Many of the Basotho villages are named after their cheifs. Ha+name such as: Ha Maama, Ha Seeiso, Ha Molapo etc. Maama, Seeiso and Molapo are the names of Basotho cheifs. It is always advisable to report a visitor to the chief for her/his safety and security. A volunteer placed in a village will also be reported to the chief so that the chief knows that such person stays in his/her village.

Dialog 1

  • Where are you going?
  • U ea kae?

This is singular, it can only be asked to one person

  • Where are you going?
  • Le ea kae?

This is plural, it can only be asked to more than one person

  • Where do you come from?
  • U tsoa kae?

This is singular, it can only be asked to one person

  • Where do you come from?
  • Le tsoa kae?

This is plural, it can only be asked to more than one person

Sesotho English
Sepetleleng At the hospital
Mosebetsing At work
Ofising At the office
Hoteleng At the hotel
Sekolong At the school
Lebenkeleng At the shop

Dialog 2

a) The locative has to do with location or place. Locatives are usually indicated in Sesotho by adding "-ng" as a suffix to nouns.

For example:
bese (bus) - beseng (in the bus)
bethe (bed) - betheng (on the bed)
buka (book) - bukeng (in the book)
dikereke (churches) - dikerekeng (to/in the churches)
kereke (church) - kerekeng (to/in church)
lebenkele (shop) - lebenkeleng (to/in shop)
naha (field) - naheng (in the field)
ntlo (house) - tlung (to/in the house)
polasi (farm) - polasing (to/on the farm)
sekolo (school) - sekolong (to/in school)
setulo (chair) - setulong (on the chair)
tafole (table) - tafoleng (on the table)
thaba (mountain) - thabeng (to the mountain)
toropo (town) - toropong (to/in town)

b) Any noun can be changed into a locative. If the noun ends with an -a, it changes to -eng. Yet when a noun ends in an -e or -o, just -ng is added.

c) When refering to people the word ho is added before the personal noun:

Ke ea ho ntate. (I am going to father.)
Motsoalle wa ka o tswa ho malome. (My friend came from uncle.)

d) Similar to ho is ha. The word ha is used to say "place of", in other words ha ntate would mean "father's place".

Ke ea ha ntate. (I am going to father's place.)
Motsoalle wa ka o tsoa ha malome. (My friend came from uncle's place.)

e) The -ng is not added to some place names, wind directions, seasons, names for the months of the year, and words such as "monyako" (door), "khotla" (court) and "leoatle" (ocean). Wind directions: leboea (north), bochabela (east), bophirimela (west) and boroa (south) Seasons: lehlabula (summer), hwetla (fall), mariha (winter), and selemo (spring).

f) By adding ka before the locative the meaning changes from "in" or "to" to "into". For example: Ke ea lebenkeleng.(I am going to the shop.) and Ke tsamaea ka lebenkeleng. (I am going into the shop.)

g) Other words that indicate a location that do not take the locative suffix -ng are:

fats'e - down
hare - middle
haufi - nearby
hodimo - up
hole - far
morao - behind
pele - in front

Examples of usage:

Ke ea toropong. (I am going to town.)
O ngola bukeng. (You are writing in the book.)
Baithuti ba tsamaea sekolong. (The students are walking to school.)
Mme o dula setulong. (Mother is sitting on the chair.)
Nkhono o ea ho ntatemoholo. (Grandmother is going to grandfather.)
Ngaka e chaka ha mokudi. (The doctor is visiting the patient's place.)
Re rata ho sesa lehlabula. (We like to swim in the summer.)
Letsatsi le chaba bochabela. (The sun rises in the east.)
Mosadi o kena ka tlung. (The woman enters into the house.)
O ts'ela tee ka koping. (You pour the tea into the cup.)