English is the official language of the country. When traveling in the major city centers or trading areas in the country the local merchants will usually converse with the traveler in English.An auto parts store at the Mponela Trading Center carries an interesting English name. In the distant villages, however most of the population will converse in the national tongue, Chichewa. Many residents in the north will use the local language, Chitumbuka.

Newspapers can easily be found in and around the city centers in English. The white visitor called mzungu, if from America, can often listen to British Broadcasting on the radio for the news. Also, the local radio station MBC broadcasts in English. The Daily Times, The Malawi Democrat, The Monitor and The Nation newspapers are also in English.
A Few Common Words

ENGLISH CHICHEWA
Hello Moni
How are you Muli bwanji
I am fine Ndiri bwino
Thank you Zikomo
I am sick/ill Ndikudwala
I have arrived Ndafika
I am tired Ndatopa
Bed Kama
Firewood Nkhni
To walk Kuyenda
God Mulungu
I want Ndikufuna
Water Madzi
Money Ndalama
Man Mwamuna
Woman Mkazi
Men Amuna
Women Amai or Akazi
That one (Object) Iyo or Icho
That one (Person) Uyo
I am going Ndikupita
Grandfather /
Grandmother
Agogo
Visitor /
Stranger /
Guest
Mlendo
 
ENGLISH CHICHEWA
Excuse Zikomo
Food Chakudya
Maize Chimanga
Rice Mpunga
Water Madzi
Eating Kudya
Toilet Chimbudzi
Sorry Pepani
How much Zingati
Can I Help You? Tikuthandizeni?
Let us go Tiyeni
No Ayi
Bring Bweretsa
There Apo or Uko
Lion Mkango
Elephant Njobvu
Crocodile Ng’ona
Hippo Mvuwu
Bird Mbalame
Tree Mtengo
Knife Mpeni
Cook Phika