Definition of Setswana in US English:



  • The Bantu language of the Tswana people, related to the Sotho languages and spoken by over 4 million people in southern Africa. It is one of the official languages of South Africa.

    Also called Tswana
    • ‘He took to the podium like an experienced campaigner, displaying his oratorical flair in eloquent Setswana to appeal to the predominantly Tswana audience.’
    • ‘The signs are in English and Setswana - none of the Bushmen in the reserve read either of these languages.’
    • ‘Seboko, whose first name means simply ‘woman’ in the local language Setswana, is not just the first female chief of her tribe, which is one of the eight major tribes of Botswana, she is also the first female to be appointed paramount chief.’
    • ‘Her poems are crafted about the identity of black people in South Africa and she writes in Setswana and Sepedi.’
    • ‘Ninety percent of the population is said to speak Setswana.’
    • ‘Go to court, and you will see that the official language of oppression is still the main lingo; check your traffic ticket and see if you notice any Setswana, Sesotho or isiZulu printed with the English.’
    • ‘A variety of documentaries, some in Setswana, Zulu and Afrikaans, have been organised by the SABC, and will be shown at The Mandela Cell, Number Four.’
    • ‘Brochures, written in Afrikaans, English, isiZulu, isiXhosa and Setswana, are available from all the city's clinics and hospitals.’
    • ‘More than isiXhosa or Setswana, Afrikaans, through its historical dominance, has powerful campaigners and a myriad of avenues through which to promote itself.’
    • ‘If this gentleman could speak Setswana - as one would expect a radio presenter to be able to do - it would not have been necessary to spend more than a year on training him.’
    • ‘The human rights organisation claimed that the men spoke Secherechere, a San dialect, and at the time of their trial understood neither Setswana (the language of Botswana) nor any language other than their own.’


  • Relating to Setswana.

    • ‘They gave, as a mnemonic device, new Setswana names for each of the two colors.’
    • ‘At the end of each term, those who had done well would receive a prize for their efforts; an atlas, perhaps, or a Setswana Bible, or some other book which would be useful at school.’
    • ‘More than four-fifths of it is made up of the Kalahari desert, and little grows in a land where water is so scarce its monetary unit is the pula - the Setswana word for ‘rain’.’


The name in Setswana.