Free English To Bemba Translation Service

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KitweOnLine is offering a service to translate phrases and short sentences from English to Bemba. If you want to learn Bemba language phrases or sentences, just submit them in the box below and we will do our best to  interpret them for you.

This is a FREE English to Bemba translation facility to help you learn Bemba at your own pace.

You can also consult our  KitweOnLine Free English – Bemba Dictionary.

Translate English to Bemba by submitting your phrase or SHORT sentence below. If you need a longer piece translated, you will need to send a special request by Email.

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    • In Bemba, “He is …” and “She is…” are the same: “Ali …”
      The plural is “Bali …”

      “He is hungry.” = “Ali ne nsala.”
      “They are hungry.” = “Bali ne nsala”

      “She is happy.” = “Ali ne nsansa.”
      “They are happy.” = “Bali ne nsansa.”

      “He is near.” = “Ali mupepi.”
      “They are near.” = “Bali mupepi.”

  1. Hi,

    This is such a fantastic resource, thanks! I don’t know if this is still running. But if it is, could you translate the following to Bemba, please: “Dear Annie, Happy Holidays! Have a wonderful Break. Can’t wait to see you next year! Lots of love, Sharon”

  2. Dear Editor,

    What would Bemba speaking people say in daily conversation if they want to refer to a “project” like an NGO project, a “study” as in a research project, and scientific “research”? Would they tend to mix in the English terms, or are there common Bemba expressions? Do they have particular connotations that would be good to know about?

    If you happen to know of the terms in Nyanja too, I would be very happy to learn those as well.

    As always: thank you very much in advance!

  3. Hi, could you please translate:

    In my eyes you are the most beautiful African women. My eyes have never seen such a natural beauty. I love you and I will always make sure that everything is wright with you. Till the day I die I will support and protect you. God bless you my love.

    Thanks :)

  4. Hi please could you translate this to English for me

    Nakuchelela Maria waisulo busuma, mulungu nobe, wachishya banakashi bonse busuma, na isa, mwana we fumo lyobe, alipelwe baraka. Maria mutakatifu, nyina kwa mulungu, utulombere ifwe, fwe ba masambi, nomba no mwaka wa kufwa kwesu. Chibe ifyo fine.

    This is for my school project. Thank you very much for your help.

    • Hi Matthew,
      I’m not completely sure, but here is my take:

      Nakuchelela Maria waisulo busuma = Greetings, Mary, who is full to the brim with goodness
      Mulungu nobe = God be with you
      Wachishya banakashi bonse busuma = The most beautiful of all women
      na isa = He has come
      Mmwana we fumo lyobe = The child of your womb
      alipelwe baraka = Was given ??
      Maria mutakatifu = Holy Mary
      Nyina kwa mulungu = The Mother of God
      Utulombele ifwe = Intercede on our behalf
      Fwe ba masambi = We are sinners
      Nomba no mwaka wa kufwa kwesu = Now and until we die
      Chibe ifyo fine = Amen

  5. I would like to know how to sing this chorus in Bemba? Could you please translate it from English to Bemba? Thank you!

    Then sings my soul
    My Savior, God, to Thee
    How great thou art
    How great thou art
    Then sings my soul
    My Savior, God, to Thee
    How great Thou art
    How great Thou art

  6. Dear JS,

    Once again I turn to you for help with two questions: one is about translation, and the other is more about common ways of expressing things in Bemba (and Nyanja, if you happen to know).

    The translation first: People sometimes referred in English to “the owner” of various projects and activities, meaning the funders or the founders. I wonder whether in Bemba (and Nyanja?) the word for “owner” is the same as “father” – as it is in some other African languages?

    Next, I am working with some expressions by people who explain how they came to be volunteers at a district clinic. They say in English: “I had that mind of being close with sick people” or “I have a heart for the community”. I don’t need a translation of these sentences, but I wonder whether ‘mind’ and ‘heart’ in such expressions of inclination might be the same term in Bemba (and Nyanja)?

    Looking forward to your always so helpful response


    • Birgitte,
      Owner (Mwine) and Father Mufyashi) are different words in Bemba. The overlap in meaning may occur when you talk about the Originator (Ntulo)or founder and Father (as in founding fathers). These are some of the words that can be used.

      You are right, Mind (Mano) and Heart (Mutima) are used to mean the same thing in Bemba as well as in Nyanja (In Nyanja, Mind = Nzelu, and Heart= M’tima)

  7. Are the following correct translation? If not, why? What do you usually say instead?

    1 Where are you from?
    Bushe uli wakwi?

    2 I am from California.
    Ndi waku California.

  8. hello JS
    I have enjoyed reading your translations. I am looking for your help. I am in the USA and need a name for my farm. I was born in Chingola and have sadly forgotten most of the Bemba that I knew.
    Here are some words I would like to know, but I would be very grateful for any other suggestions:
    Horse Farm
    The problem I have is the Westerners have difficulty saying words that begn with m, n or b followed by a consenant eg mwana would be said mawana here or Ndola would be said Nadola.
    I love the word Katanga which is the family name of a friend of mine and would love to know it’s meaning.
    Also Kasaba Bay is a place we went as children, what does Kasaba mean?
    Many thanks.

  9. Hi

    My brother in-law wants to use Bemba at his wedding and I am afriad I could not do a good translation, please help.

    “Good afternoon, family and friends, I’m so glad to see you all here at our wedding and I hope you are having a good time.”

    • Hi Emma,
      For “Good afternoon, family and friends, I’m so glad to see you all here at our wedding and I hope you are having a good time,” you could say: “Cungulopo mukwai, ba lupwa ne fibusa fyonse. Ndinensansa nganshi ukumumona pano pa bwinga bwesu. Ndesubila bonse mwalaipakisha.”

  10. After living in Zambia for 30 years, I am embarrased to admit I have forgotten how to say

    “thank you very much, my friend”

    Can you help please?


    • Hi Mashina,
      (Mashina is Bemba for “(my) Namesake”

      Thank you very much, my friend = Natotela sana, mune.”

      Mune is shortcut for “we munandi” (My friend / mate)

      • pliz translate the following sentence into bemba and underline personal pronouns.

        she is looking at him.

        • Lubs,

          “She is looking at him.” = “Alemulolesha”

          Think of it as “”A le mu lolesha”

          “Look” = “Lolesha”
          “To look” = “Ukulolesha”

          In Bemba, there is no proper third person pronoun.

          “A…” refers to the subject, “She”
          It would also be used in talking about a man, “He is …” = “A…”

          Emphasis on this initial “A” is used to change the tense of the sentence to Past Tense:
          “She looked at him.” = Aaliimulolesha”
          “She continued looking at him” = “Aaleemulolesha”

          Object (singular):
          “…mu…” refers to the subject, “him”.
          “…ka…” refers to a small or short man (Dimunitive): “Alekalolesha”
          “…ci…” refers to a big or tall man: “Alecilolesha”

          Object (plural):
          “…ba…” is plural for “them”: “Alebalolesha”
          “…tu…” is plural for dimunitive men “Aletulolesha”
          “…fi…” is plural for big men: “Alefilolesha”

          I hope this helps. I will post another lesson on personal pronouns soon.
          The first one was Bemba Lesson 14: Personal Pronouns, I, Me, My

    • Hi Kangwa,
      Favour = Afwa / Temwapo
      e.g “He favours his last born” = Atemwapo kasuli wakwe.
      Favour (noun) = Bwafwilisho
      e.g. “Do me a favour, …” = Njafwilisheniko …

        • Hi Mark,
          If someone has sent the phone in the post you could say “Bushe mwalipokelela “phone””?
          If you are asking if they have bought the phone: “Bushe mwalishita “phone” iipya”?

  11. Do you think it is appropriate to ask someone “Ati nomba?” when I want to know what the person said??

    • Keita,
      “Ati nomba?” is difficult to interpret accurately without knowing the context.
      To ask “What did you say?” = “Amuti shani?” (plural) or “Auti shani?” (singular).
      Even if you left out the “Shani”, the question would still be understood.

        • Keita,
          “Ati” = “Is it not so?”
          “Nomba” = “Now”
          “Ati nomba?” = “Is it not so now?”
          I suppose you could say you can use the words if you were asking the question. I hope that helps.

          • Thank you sir. It was very helpful for me.

            I personally created a free online translation website named “AtiNomba”.
            Basically this is for Japanese people who want to learn African tribal languages.


            Why don’t you try to type “happy birthday” in this search-engine?

            Im still in a process to register vocabularies in Chibemba.
            Please help me for that.

            Thank you

    • Hi Johannes,
      Thanks for your comment.
      For “Volunteer” you can use “Kaafwa” which really means “Helper”, but is the closest term I know.


    • Chick,
      Condolences” = “Mwacuuleni”
      Ukucuula = Suffering
      It is a form of greeting for a bereaved person.
      (The two U’s can be replaced with a single “U” that has a circumlex over it}.

    • Hi Peter.
      We have sent you a private message. Please check your Junk Mail folder if you have not received it.

    • Hi Vicky,

      “Vicky” or “Victoria” (meaning “Victory” in Latin) is not directly translatable into Bemba. There are probably local names that are equivalent.
      Are there any readers able to help us with that one?

  13. Dear Editor, I want to learn some useful bemba.

    How to say:

    Who is there? Who told you? and Who brought it?


    • Hi Charlie,
      How you say these statements depends on whether you want to use the plural (the plural is also used as a sign of respect, and is used here) or the singular.

      “Who is there?” = “Nimwe bani?” (if you are asking who is at the door)
      “Who is there? (e.g. Who is at the party?) = Nibani baliko?

      “Who is there (in the house)?” = “Nibani balimo?”

      “Who is there?” (at the road junction) = Nibani balipo?”

      “Who told you?” = “Nibani bamwebele?”

      “Who brought it?” = “Nibani baletele?”

      The plural form can apply to the person you are asking as well as the person you are asking about. If you are asking a child “Who told you?” you could say “Nibani bakwebele?

  14. “Ishina niwebo nani?” What is your name?

    I just can’t figure out the meaning of “niwebo” in the foregoing sentence. Is niwebo a word or a phrase?

    • Hi Tom,
      “We” (pronounced “Way”) is a shortcut for “Iwe” and means “You”
      “Webo” also means “You”
      “Ni” (pronounced “Knee”) means “Is”
      Literary translated, “Ishina niwebo nani?” means “Name, is you who?”
      In this context, “Niwebo” is “You are”
      The shortcut is “Niwe”
      “Niwebo Chairman” = “You are the Chairman.” = “Niwe Chairman.”

  15. I am cooking, you are cooking, s/he is cooking; I am sleeping, you are sleeping, s/he is sleeping; I am dancing, you are dancing, s/he is dancing; I am eating, you are eating, s/he is eating; I am walking, you are walking, s/he is walking; I am reaing, you are reading, s/he is reading.

    p.s. if you want to translate all the pronoun forms (we, you plural, they) that would be great!

  16. How are you?
    A twin is born.
    A queen is born.
    What are your hobbies?
    What is your vision?
    You are a godly, beautiful woman and I want to pursue a relationship with you.
    I have a great time when I am with you.
    Good night.
    God bless you.

    Thank you

    • How are you? = Uli shani?
      A twin is born = Mpundu afyalwa
      A queen is born = Namfumu afyalwa
      What are your hobbies? = Fyangalo nshi watemwa?
      What is your vision? = Finshi ukabila muno calo?
      You are a godly, beautiful woman = Umwanakashi uwacindika Lesa, elyo kabili uwawama.
      and I want to pursue a relationship with you = Ndefwaya ube cibusa candi
      I have a great time when I am with you = Umutima wandi ulasansamuka ngatuli pamo
      Good night = Sendama umutende
      God bless you = Lesa akupale

  17. Hello!
    I am trying to commence some community geology work and I wanted to get hold of some words to start my Bemba education. I realise some of the technical terms may not exist but hopefully there only a couple.

    If you have the time, I would really appreciate it. I think Hardness is Ukukosa?

    Accessory minerals
    Stream sediment sampling
    Metamorphic grade
    Cut-off grade (or minimum grade)
    Keep drilling!
    I need a bigger hammer.
    Have you seen any green rocks?
    May I please use your head as a scale?
    I’m going to the conference.
    Which way to the bar?

    • Hi Tim.
      This is a tough request.

      Mineralisation = ?
      Hardness = ?
      Accessory minerals = ?
      Deposit = ?
      Stream sediment sampling = ?
      Metamorphic grade = ?
      Cut-off grade (or minimum grade) = ?
      Keep drilling! = Twalilileni ukubomba (Keep working)
      I need a bigger hammer = Ndefwaya sando mukalamba ukucilo yu
      Have you seen any green rocks? = Namumonapo amabwe aya katapa katapa?
      May I please use your head as a scale? = Ndefwaya mpimine pamutwe wenu
      I’m going to the conference = Naya ku cilonganino
      Which way to the bar? = Nikwisa ninga ya nwapo? (Where can I get a drink?)

  18. Hi please translate this to bemba for me

    My love you are like the roses so beautiful, your love is like the rose scent so wonderful to me.
    So take me into your heart like I have taken you and let me dwell there through the ages of time till death shall we part. May our love like the thorns of the rose chase away those who may want to destroy it. May the precious Lord keep us together till we meet him.

  19. My son’s aunties live in Zambia and I would like to know how to say…

    “Kutanga misses his aunties”

    “One visit felt like five minutes since he has only met his aunties once”

    “Thank you”

    “My son will grow knowing his roots”

  20. Dear JS,

    Some years back I lived for in Lusaka for 12 months. I had many friends who spoke many different Zambian languages and I have come to wonder about the use of the verb ‘love’. It seems that many of my friends said things like “they love us”, where I would have used the less strong verb “like”. Someone once mentioned to me that this is because there are not so many different verbs for ‘love’, ‘like’, ‘admire’, etc in Bemba or Nyanja, so people tend to translate this positive feeling into the English “love”. Is this true?

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    • Hi Birgitte,
      It is true that there are very few verbs for the word “love” in most Zambian languages.
      In Bemba, if you want to indicate that two people are lovers, you would say the equivalent of “they sleep together” (lala) or “they walk together.” (enda).
      You would have to rely on the context to determine the implied depth of love since the same word is used for “like” and “love.”

      • Dear JS,

        Thanks for the very prompt response! It encourages me to ask a bit more :)I hope you don’t mind?

        What would be the Bemba word, then, for love/like? Not necessarily in a lovers relationship, but for example when an employee says that her (female) boss loves her (i.e. likes her).

        Would you happen to know the similar verb in Nyanja and whether the same thing applies in Nyanja, that there are very few Nyanja terms for love/like/admire/adore/being fond of/sympathize with etc.

        • Birgitte,

          You are most welcome.
          “Temwa” is the Bemba verb meaning “Like” and “love”.
          “Konda” is the Nyanja equivalent.

          In both languages, the limitation in verbs means the depth of the affection or love is communicated by the context.

  21. translate for me in Bemba.
    Seems like only yesterday wen on Thursday afternoon 22 Dec 2011, at exactly 14.05 my sunshine was brought into this world. indeed how can I repay u, what gift can I give , to thank you Jehovah? Baby K, Others think you are just one year old, but you are 12 months old. That makes you sound a lot older. And Just 15 more years and you’ll be driving a car. So mum n dad r wishing you a happy 1/16th of being old enough to drive.

    • Hi Estelle,
      “Mwemakufi yandi mwinenuka” = (The speaker is addressing his/her knees saying) “You are my knees (my strength), do not buckle under (this) pressure.”

      It a figurative way of acknowledging that the going is is tough, but asking to hang in there.

    • Hi Esther,
      “Cisankonde” is Bemba for sugarcane. Normally, you only eat the stem of the cane and throw away the root.
      “We cisankonde candi” = “You, my sugarcane”
      “Icakuliila kumo ne mishila” = “are edible, together with the roots” (“Lock, stock and barrel”).
      It’s a romantic turn of phrase meaning “I love everything about you.”

    • Hi Kevin,
      “I love you” = “Nalikutemwa” (singular), “Nalimutemwa” (Plural)
      “Always” = “Lyonse”
      “Forever” = “Muyayaya”
      “I love you, always and forever” = “Nalikutemwa, lyonse no muyayaya”

    • Hi Matt,
      Transport (noun) – means of transporting = Imyendele
      Transport (verb) from one place to another = Sesha
      Transport (verb) – enrapture = Sansamusha

  22. Hi.
    Could i please Get sone help to translate this? I have a hard time gettin through to my bf and hope maybe he will hear me if i speak to him in bemba.

    Thank you!

    “I would never hurt you my love. You are the most important person in my life, and i love you.
    I’m so sorry if i have ever dine anything wrong to ever make you question my love for you.
    I sant to spend my life with you. I love you.”

    • Hi Benedicte,

      “I would never hurt you my love” = “Teti mfwaye ukukalifya iwe citemwikwa candi.”
      “You are the most important person in my life” = “Walicindama ukucila bonse mu mweo wandi”
      “I love you” = “Nalikutemwa”
      “I’m so sorry” = “Unjelele”
      “If I’ve ever done anything wrong to ever make you question my love for you” = “Nganali kulufyanyapo, nokulenga ukuti utwishike ukutemwa kwandi”
      “I want to spend my life with you”= “Ndefwaya ukuba nobe inshiku shandi shonse”

      Wishing you all the best.

  23. Thank you very much.
    One more question.As a learner of Bemba for two years, I still can’t figure out the meaning and sentence structure of:
    We cipendo nobe ulacepa ca misepela tuteyanya mu masambililo yakumine mu fyakukabila fyamikalile yaiko.

  24. Please can you tell me how to translate:

    “Dear Mike and D,
    This is an invitation from all of us at WWT Consulting as our little wedding present. Hopefully it will help you to prolong your forthcoming African experience once that you come back!

    Lots of love”

    A friend is getting married and going to Zambia for honey moon and would love to know how to write the above in bemba.

    Thanks a million!!

    • Hi Bea,
      You can say:

      Ba Mike naba D,

      Ubu bwite bwafuma kuli ifwe bonse kuno ku WWT Consulting. Ubu bwine bwite e bupe bwesu pa kusefya kwa cupo cenu.
      Tulecetekela ukuti (ubwite) buka afwilisha ukumwibukishako amaliila yaku Afrika cilya mwabwela kuno!

      Nifwee benu.

    • Hi Peter,

      Most would accept “ilyeshi” as the plural form of ilyeshi (Flood).
      “Ilyeshi lyaisa” can mean “The floods have come” and can also mean “The flood has come.”

      The plural for “Akeyala” is “Ba keyala” or even “Ama keyala.”