Xhosa (isiXhosa)

travel phpto to inspire Xhosa language study
By I, Gregorydavid, CC BY 2.5

ALPHABET MATCHING GAME VOCABULARY FLASHCARDS

Why learn Xhosa?

Xhosa a Nguni Bantu language spoken by about 20 million people primarily along the southeastern coast of Africa. It is one of the official languages of South Africa and Zimbabwe and also spoken in Botswana and Lesotho. Xhosa-speaking people have inhabited coastal regions of southeastern Africa since before the 16th century. Nelson Mandela was a famous Xhosa man. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: Civil War and Black Panther, the language spoken in the fictional African nation of Wakanda is Xhosa.

You can communicate in Xhosa. Four out of five new jobs in the US are created as a result of foreign trade. Creativity is increased with the study of Xhosa. Studying Xhosa offers a sense of the past: culturally and linguistically.

How Long Does it Take to Learn Xhosa?

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Xhosa Alphabet & Pronunciation

Xhosa is both a tonal language and a click language. It has two tones, high and low, and 18 click sounds. The first six are dental clicks (represented by the letter "c"), made with the tongue on the back of the teeth, and they are similar to the sound represented in English by "tut-tut" or "tsk-tsk" to reprimand someone. The next six are lateral (represented by the letter "x"), made by the tongue at the sides of the mouth, and they are similar to the sound used to call horses. The last six are alveolar (represented by the letter "q"), made with the tip of the tongue at the roof of the mouth, and they sound somewhat like a cork pulled from a bottle.

A a
B b
C c
D d
E e
F f
G g
H h
I i
J j
K k
L l
M m
N n
O o
P p
Q q
R r
S s
T t
U u
V v
W w
X x
Y y
Z z

Basic Phrases in Xhosa

HelloMholo
GoodbyeSala kakuhle
YesEwe
NoHayi
Excuse meUxolo
PleaseNdiyacela
Thank youEnkosi
You are welcomeWamkelekile
Do you speak englishIngaba uyasithetha Isingesi?
Do you understandUyaqonda?
I understandNdiyaqonda
I do not understandAndiqondi
How are youUnjani?
Fine thanksEnkosi ndiyabulela!
What is your nameUngubani igama lakho?
My name isIgama lam ndingu
Pleased to meet youNdonwabela ukuhlangana nawe

Xhosa Grammar

Xhosa Nouns

ManIndoda
WomanMfazi
BoyInkwenkwe
GirlIntombazana
CatIkati
DogInja
FishIntlanzi
WaterAmanzi
MilkUbisi
EggIquanda
HouseIndlu
FlowerIntyatyambo
TreeUmthi
ShirtIhempe
PantsIbhulukhwe

Xhosa Adjectives

Colors in Xhosa

BlackMnyama
WhiteMhlophe
RedBomvu
OrangeOrenji
YellowLubhelu
GreenLuhlaza
BlueLuhlaza
PurpleMfusa
PinkLipinki
GrayNgwevu
BrownNtsundu

Numbers in Xhosa

ZeroUnothi
OneInye
TwoZimbini
ThreeZintathu
FourZine
FiveZintlanu
SixIsithandathu
SevenIsixhenxe
EightIsibhozo
NineIsithoba
TenShumi
ElevenIshumi elinanye
TwelveIshumi elinambini
TwentyAmashumi amabini
ThirtyAmashumi amathathu
FortyAmashumi amane
FiftyIshumi amahlanu
SixtyAmashumi amathandathu
SeventyAmashumi asixhenxe
EightyAmashumi asibhozo
NinetyAmashumi aluthoba
HundredIkhulu
ThousandIwaka

Xhosa Verbs

To beUkuba
To haveUkufumana
To wantUkufuna
To needUkufuna
To helpUkunceda
To goUkuhamba
To comeUkuza
To eatUkutya
To drinkUkusela
To speakUkuthetha

Building Simple Sentences

More Complex Xhosa Sentences

AndKwaye
OrOkanye
ButKodwa
BecauseNgoba
WithNge
AlsoKananjalo
HoweverNangona kunjalo
NeitherHayi
NorKananjalo
IfUkuba
ThenKe

Useful Xhosa Vocabulary

Xhosa Questions

WhoNgubani
WhatIntoni
WhenNini
WherePhi
WhyNgoba
HowNjani
How manyZingaphi
How muchYimalini

Days of the Week in Xhosa

MondayUMvulo
TuesdayULwesibini
WednesdayULwesithathu
ThursdayULwesine
FridayULwesihlanu
SaturdayUMgqibelo
SundayICawe
YesterdayIzolo
TodayNamhlanje
TomorrowNgomso

Months in Xhosa

JanuaryEyoMqungu
FebruaryEyoMdumba
MarchEyoKwindla
AprilUTshazimpuzi
MayUCanzibe
JuneIsilimela
JulyEyeKhala
AugustEyeThupha
SeptemberEyoMsintsi
OctoberEyeDwarha
NovemberEyeNkanga
DecemberEtiMnga

Seasons in Xhosa

WinterUbusika
SpringIntwasahlobo
SummerIhlobo
AutumnEkwindla

Telling Time in Xhosa

What time is itNgubani ixesha?
HoursIiyure
MinutesImizuzu
SecondsImizuzwana
O clockYintsimbi
HalfIsiqingatha
Quarter pastKwikota edlulileyo
BeforeNgaphambili
AfterEmva