How to Say Thank You in Several African Languages

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When traveling to a new country, it's easy for things to become lost in translation - especially in Africa, where there are between 1,500 and 2,000 recognized languages. If you want to transcend the language barrier, however, learning to say thank you in the native tongue is a great first step. African societies are typically both polite and respectful, and so being able to say thank you is key when it comes to making new friends and establishing a good rapport with the local people. 

Note: Since most African countries are multilingual, this guide will tell you how to say thank you in the country's official language. Where there are multiple official languages, or an unofficial language that is nevertheless widely used, we will include these translations as well; however, this list is by no means exhaustive. 

How to Say "Thank You" in:

Portuguese: Obrigado (Thank you for a man), Obrigada (Thank you for a woman)

Setswana: Ke a leboga 

English: Thank you

Burkina Faso

French: Merci 

Mossi: Barka

Dyula: I ni che

French: Merci

English: Thank you 

Cape Verde Creole: Obrigadu

Portuguese: Obrigado (Thank you for a man), Obrigada (Thank you for a woman)

Cote d'Ivoire

French: Merci 

Arabic: Shukran 

Amharic: Amesegënallô

French: Merci

Fang: Abora

English: Thank you

Twi: Me daa si

Swahili: Asante

English: Thank you

Lesotho

Sesotho: Ke a leboha

English: Thank you

Arabic: S hukran

Malagasy: Misaotra

French: Merci

Chichewa: Zikomo

English: Thank you

French: Merci

Bambara: I ni ce

Mauritania

Arabic: Shukran

Hassaniya: Shukram

Arabic: Shukran

French: Merci

Portuguese: Obrigado (Thank you for a man), Obrigada (Thank you for a woman)

English: Thank you

Afrikaans: Dankie

Oshiwambo: Tangi unene

English: Thank you

Hausa: Nagode

Igbo: Imena

Yoruba: E se

Kinyarwanda: Murakoze

French: Merci

English: Thank you

French: Merci

Wolof: J erejef

Sierra Leone

English: Thank you

Krio: Tenkey

Zulu: Ngiyabonga (Thank you to one person), Siyabonga (Thank you to several people)

Xhosa: Enkosi

Afrikaans: Dankie

English: Thank you

Sudan

Arabic: Shukran

Swaziland

Swati: Ngiyabonga (Thank you to one person), Siyabonga (Thank you to several people)

English: Thank you

Swahili: Asante

English: Thank you

French: Merci

French: Merci

Arabic: Shukran

Luganda: Webale

Swahili: Asante

English: Thank you

English: Thank you

Bemba: Natotela

English: Thank you

Shona: Ndatenda (Thank you to one person), Tatenda (Thank you to several people)

Ndebele: Ngiyabonga (Thank you to one person), Siyabonga (Thank you to several people)