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Xhosa (isiXhosa)

Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa and is a member of the Bantu/Nguni family of languages. It is spoken by about 7.9 million people mainly in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Free State and Northern Cape in South Africa and also in Lesotho. Xhosa is closely related to Zulu, Swati and Ndebele and more or less mutually intelligible with them.

Xhosa's click consonants were most likely borrowed from the Khoisan languages as a result of long and extensive interaction between the Xhosa and Khoisan peoples.

A system for writing Xhosa using the Latin alphabet was devised by Christian missionaries during the early 19th century. The first printed work in Xhosa was a grammar book that was published in 1834.

Xhosa pronunciation

Xhosa pronunciation

Sample text in Xhosa

Bonke abantu bazalwa bekhululekile belingana ngesidima nangokweemfanelo. Bonke abantu banesiphiwo sesazela nesizathu sokwenza isenzo ongathanda ukuba senziwe kumzalwane wakho.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Some corrections to this page by Michael Peter Füstumum

Information about Xhosa | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel | Learning materials


Information about the Xhosa language

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Xhosa phrases

Bantu languages

Bemba, Chichewa, Comorian, Duala, Ewondo, Ganda/Luganda, Herero, Kikuyu, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Kongo, Lingala, Loma, Lozi, Mandekan, Maore, Mende, Northern Ndebele (South Africa), Northern Ndebele (Zimbabwe), Ndebele (Southern), Northern Sotho, OshiWambo, Ronga, Shona, Soga, Southern Sotho, Swahili, Swati, Tofa, Tshiluba, Tsonga, Tswana, Tumbuka, Umbundu, Venda, Xhosa, Yao, Zulu

Other languages written with the Latin alphabet