Bemba Lessons


Click on a choice to open the lesson.

  1. Giving Instructions in Bemba
  2. Common Verbs
  3. Learn How To Count In Bemba
  4. Visiting A Friend
  5. Learn To Speak Bemba Online Using The Bible
  6. Greetings
  7. Asking Questions
  8. Pronounciation & Reading
  9. At the Restaurant
  10. At the Hospital
  11. Visiting Grandma
  12. Introducing Yourself
  13. Days, Weeks, Months and Seasons in Bemba
  14. Personal Pronouns – I, Me, My.
  15. How to Ask a Question:
    1. What? – To Want
    2. What? – To Do
    3. What? – To Eat
    4. What? – To Drink
  16. Small Talk
  17. At the Hotel
  18. Around the House
  19. Basics of iciBemba: Vowels, Consonants and Syllables.
  20. Romance
  21. At the Market Place
  22. Nouns and Adjectives
  23. At the Market Place (Video)
  24. Nouns and Adjectives (Video)
  25. Describing Places and Space
  26. Bemba Lesson 26: Human Anatomy
  27. Bemba Lesson 27: Emergencies
  28. Bemba Lesson 28 – Living Room Conversation
  29. Bemba Lesson 29: “How Is …?”
Student cartoon

Student cartoon

Learning a new language can be a lot of fun. A visitor who makes an effort to learn the local language comes across as being genuinely interested in getting along with local people.

While it is true that Zambians are a very welcoming people who will receive visitors with open arms regardless of the language they speak, it is still a good idea to learn a local language. It is more fun and enables you to communicate with those who do not understand your language.

There are several options you can look at when learning a new language:

  • A native language speaker who is willing to teach you in your own time
  • A phrase book
  • Foreign language eBooks that you can carry along on your eBook reader or your mobile phone
  • A dictionary
  • Smart phone Apps that translate from your language into a foreign language of your choice. These are not currently available for Zambian languages
  • Manuals

Zambian languages currently only have some of these resources.

KitweOnline is compiling common phrases and simple sentences that you are likely to use in common day to day situations. We are depending on you to send in suggestions about the words you would like to see translated into English.

Starting with Bemba, we eventually aim to cover other Zambian languages.




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  29 comments for “Bemba Lessons

  1. Mwenya
    July 1, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    I love that I stumbled upon this site!!! I’m a Half Bemba (Batata) half ngoni (bamayo) living in Hawaii. Not much opportunity to speak Bemba for my children to learn. I will use this site to strengthen my own language and incorporate it in our homeschool lessons. So excited, mahalo!!!

    • JS
      August 17, 2017 at 5:02 pm

      Hi Mwenya,
      Thanks for your feedback. It’s great to know you find the content useful.

  2. Tarisai Nyamayaro
    March 10, 2017 at 10:44 pm

    can someone translate to me in english jk’s song nafikilisha meaning

  3. ntombifuthi
    January 26, 2016 at 1:41 pm

    What does “awe kwena twatandala mukwai ” means

  4. Laura
    December 15, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    What does walisa nolubuli mean in English

    • Natasha
      January 12, 2017 at 10:45 am

      It means you have come with trouble or you’ve just come to annoy me.

  5. atupala
    November 27, 2015 at 5:44 am

    Hi could you do a segment on farm life.
    Asking how much of a certain crop is grown.
    What kind of animals do they own.
    How many of these animals are there.
    The income of the person you’re talking to.
    With any such additions deemed necessary
    Before next week ends would be so fantastic
    Thank you very much.

    • JS
      November 28, 2015 at 4:45 pm

      Atupala, That sounds like a topic we could cover. Whether we could do it in a week is doubtful.

  6. mac
    May 28, 2014 at 2:21 am

    Hi Can you please help me translate boma ya fika to english?

    Thank you

    • JS
      May 30, 2014 at 2:01 am

      Hi Mac,
      Boma yafika = The government is here.

      • mac
        May 30, 2014 at 4:32 am

        Thank you for your reply. If this was said to someone, would this be an insult?

  7. Gideon
    February 9, 2014 at 8:13 pm

    I have a friend who is originally from Kitwe. I’ve been successful in translating some words using this site. My friend has no idea how I am translating. He responded to me with “Iyo Gideon mune uli munandi wachishinka. Mfwile fye nakusenda Ku Zambia Ku vacation”. What did he say to me?

    • JS
      February 9, 2014 at 9:22 pm

      Hi Gideon,
      “Iyo Gideon mune” = “Well, Gideon my friend”
      “uli munandi wachishinka” = “You are a true friend”
      “Mfwile fye nakusenda” = “I should just take you with me”
      “ku Zambia ku vacation” = “to Zambia on vacation.”

  8. Crystal83
    January 19, 2014 at 4:35 am

    How do u say Crystal in bemba thak u

  9. obnurse1245
    January 5, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Ba Editor,
    What does kangala in English?


    • JS
      January 10, 2014 at 1:20 am

      Kangala could be a noun or it could mean “Player.” Not sure.

  10. Catherine
    December 4, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I always thought Kia Mena meant my house. Is that correct?

    December 4, 2013 at 10:36 am

    hi can you please translate the following words for me?


    couple (man & woman)

    Cement Concrete









  12. Corrie
    November 16, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Ba Editor,

    What does mwandi chalishupa mean?


    • JS
      January 23, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Hi Corie,
      “Mwandi chalishupa” means “It is difficult”

  13. Sus J Heden
    October 26, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Hello! I have a question about a zambian proverb I’ve heard, but sadly forgotten about. What is the origin and the meaning of “Icikwanka bacimwena kumampalanya” in your opinion? Love your site and best regards, Sus.

  14. Will
    September 15, 2013 at 3:01 am

    Hello JS I would love to learn the Bemba language for i would like to visit Zambia as well soon so i know what i am saying when i go if you can please email me would be great thanks.

    • JS
      September 15, 2013 at 6:05 pm

      Hi Will,
      I sent you a message as you requested.

  15. August 31, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Hello John,

    I have a few ideas about things which could be done with dictionaries – your own English-Bemba dictionary, and also some old Nyanja dictionaries on the Web Archive, if you would like to send me an e-mail.

    Best wishes,
    Caoimhín Ó Donnaíle

    • JS
      September 8, 2013 at 10:36 pm

      Hi Caoimhín,
      Thanks for your message.
      I have sent you a Private Message.

  16. patrick salasini
    June 19, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    nde fwaya ukubomba naimwe mukwai

    • JS
      June 21, 2013 at 6:24 am

      Ba Salasini,
      We are always looking for people who are keen to work with us.
      We have sent you a Personal Message by email. Please check your Junk folder if you have not yet seen it.

      • Andrew-Knox
        June 21, 2013 at 3:25 pm

        awesome, I just emailed you a few minutes ago and just realised you have made this post. Cool looks like I just came here at the right time 🙂

        • JS
          July 1, 2013 at 9:34 am

          Thanks for your email response. I will Skype you.

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