Asking in Zulu

Cela, is to ask for something in a polite way.  When you are visiting southern countries like South Africa, Swaziland or Zimbabwe you will be asking for a lot of things, like buying the paper.


Ngi-cela i-Sunday Times.  (May I have the Sunday Times please).

I’m trying to think of the English equivalent of ce-.  It is NOT like Celine or cellphone.  Let’s try ci, ci, ci, ci, when someone is talking to you and you nod.  
ZULU
ENGLISH
Celiwe.
A girl’s name.  Maybe parents wanted a baby girl because they had three boys already.  Maybe, they had been trying for a child for years.  Celiwe, the one we asked for.
Sicelo.
A boy’s name.  Maybe parents had six girls already and wanted a boy.  Maybe they had been trying for a child period.
Celani.
A boy’s name, meaning you should ask.
Ngi-cela amanzi.
May I have some water please.
Ngi-cela u-$20.
May I have $20 dollars please.
Ngi-cela i-Sowetan.
May I have the Sowetan newspaper please.
Si-cela inyama.
May we have meat please.
Si-cela i-menu.
May we have the menu please.
Si-cela i-bill.
May we have the bill please.
Ba-cela u-Sandra.
They are asking for Sandra.
Ba-cela u-Fazila.
They are asking for Fazila.
Cela kahle.
Ask nicely/politely.
Si-cela imvula.
We are asking for rain (when there’s drought).
Ngi-cela uthando.
May I have some love please? (man making moves on a woman).
Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness, a South African book.


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