8 Must-Know Chichewa Words

Orant Charities Africa works exclusively in rural Malawi. Meanwhile, many of our friends and supporters live in the United States. We take great joy in connecting across cultures. Language is a powerful connector. 

What are the languages of Malawi?

Malawi’s national language is Chichewa. English is its official language. Chichewa is a Bantu language. It is also spoken in Mozambique and Zambia. About seven to eight million people speak Chichewa. As a phonetic language, it is written as it sounds when spoken. Though most people in Malawi speak Chichewa, each tribe speaks their own unique language as well. 

How do you greet someone in Malawi?

When meeting someone in Malawi, you should greet them. Especially if they are an elder. While a handshake works, in rural areas, you may grasp your right forearm with your left hand to show respect.

Below are eight of the must-know words in Chichewa:

How are you? – Muli bwanji?

I am fine – Ndiri bwino. 

Please – Chonde

Thank you – Zikomo

You are welcome – Takulandirani

Come  – Bwera

My friend –  Nzanga

Food – Chakudya

Learn about one of Malawi’s most popular chakudya dishes, nsima.

Read the recipe here

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