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Xhosa (isiXhosa) is a language of South Africa.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Vowels[edit]

a
like hard (IPA: a)
e
like in red (IPA: ε)
i
like in seen (IPA: i)
o
like in all (IPA: ɔ)
u
like in moon (IPA: u)

Consonants[edit]

d, f, h, j, l, m, n
Pronounced as in English
s, sh, v, w, y, z
Pronounced as in English
dl
Similar in sound to hl (see below)
g
always like g in go
hl
Place your tongue to the side of your mouth and expel the air (like Welsh ll sound)
ts
A hissing sound made by placing your tongue just above your teeth and ejecting air.
tsh
similar to dge in judge
ty
similar to dge in judge
r
pronounced like "ch" in Reich

Clicks[edit]

c
Place your tongue at the back of the teeth and suck in, like when expressing annoyance. (IPA: k|)
q
Place your tongue on the roof of the mouth and suck in, like imitating a clock's ticking. (IPA: k!)
x
Place your tongue on your upper right jaw and pull it down, as if urging on a horse. (IPA: k||)

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Common signs


OPEN
vula
CLOSED
vala
ENTRANCE
EXIT
phuma
PUSH
thyala
PULL
TOILET
yangasese
MEN
madoda
WOMEN
bafazi
FORBIDDEN
Hello.
Molo. (singular) :Molweni. (plural)molo
Hello. (informal)
Kunjani.uphilile
How are you?
Unjani? (singular):Ninjani? (plural) ndiphilile/siphilile
Fine, thank you.
Ndiyaphila.Nma
And how are you?
Wena unjani? philile
What is your name?
Ngubani igama lakho?ngu Mivuyo
My name is Mivuyo______ .
Igama lam ngu Mivuyo______ .
Nice to meet you.
Ndiyavuya ukukwazi.
Please.
Ndicela.
Thank you.
Enkosi. :Ndiyabulela.
You're welcome.
Wamkelekile.
Yes.
Ewe.
No.
Hayi.
Excuse me. (getting attention)
Ndicela uxolo.:Uxolo.
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
Uxolo andivanga.
I'm sorry.
Ndixolele.
Goodbyes
Uhambe/Usale kakuhle.:Hamba kakuhle. (go well) (singular)
Hambani kakuhle. (go well) (plural)
Sala kakuhle. (stay well) (singular)
Salani kakuhle. (stay well) (plural)
I can't speak Xhosa.
Andithethi isiXhosa.
Do you speak English?
Uyasithetha isingesi na?
Is there someone here who speaks English?
Ukhona apha umntu othetha isiNgesi?
Good morning.
Molo. (singular):Molweni. (plural)
Good evening.
Molo. (singular):Molweni. (plural)
Good night.
Ulale kakuhle.
Good night (to sleep)
I don't understand.
Andiqondi.
I don't know.
Andazi.
Where is the toilet?
Iphi indlu yangasese?

Problems[edit]

My ... have been stolen.
I ... yam intshontshiwe. :I ... yam ibiwe.
I've lost my ...
Ndilahlekelwe yi ...
handbag
isingxobo:ibhegi
passport
pasipoti :ncwadi yokundwendwela
luggage
mpahla
wallet
spaji

Numbers[edit]

0
-unothi
1
-nye
2
-mbini
3
-ntathu
4
-ne
5
-hlanu
6
-thandathu
7
-sixhenxe
8
-sibhozo
9
-sithoba
10
-shumi

Time[edit]

English expressions for telling the time commonly used by Xhosa speakers

Duration[edit]

in the morning
kusasa
during the day
emini
in the evening
ngokuhlwa
in the afternoon
emvakwemini
at night
ebusuku
yesterday
izolo
today
namhlanje
tomorrow
ngomso

Days[edit]

Sunday
iCawe
Monday
uMvulo
Tuesday
uLwesibini
Wednesday
uLwesithathu
Thursday
uLwesine
Friday
uLweshlanu
Saturday
uMgqibelo

Months[edit]

January
Eyo Mqungu
February
Eyo Mdumba
March
eyoKwindla
April
uTshazimpunzi
May
eyoCanzibe
June
eyeSilimela
July
eyeKhala
August
eyeThupha
September
eyoMsintsi
October
eyeDwarha
November
eyeNkanga
December
eyoMnga

Colors[edit]

black
mnyama
blue
luhlaza
brown
ntsundu
green
luhlaza
orange
orenji
red
bomvu
white
mhlophe
yellow
mthubi

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

Directions[edit]

Taxi[edit]

How much is it to...?
Yimalini ukuya e...?
Take me to this address.
Ndise kule dilesi.
Please stop here.
Yima apha.

Lodging[edit]

I need a room.
Ndifuna igumbi.
One room
Igumbi elinye
Two rooms
Amagumbi amabini
Single room
Igumbi lomntu omnye
Double room
Igumbi labantu ababini
Per person
Umntu emnye
Bed and Breakfast
A meal
Isidlo
Beaverages or Drinks
Isiselo
Supper
Isidlo sangokuhlwa
Lunch
Isidlo sasemini
Dinner
Isidlo sasemvakwemini
Kitchen
Igumbi lokuphekela :Ekhitshini
Sharing
Kunye :ukwabelana

Money[edit]

Money
Imali
In cash
eziinkozo
Cheque
itsheke
Postal order
Coins
imali eziinkozo
Notes
imali engamaphepa
Expensive
ixabisa kakhulu :iyabiza

Eating[edit]

  • Meat

Inyama

  • Chicken

Inkukhu

  • Beef

Inkomo

  • Water

Amanzi

  • I'm allergic to..

Andiyityi i..

  • I'm full,thank you

Ndihluthi, enkosi

  • Can I please have..

ndicela i...

  • Drink

Isiselo

Bars[edit]

Shopping[edit]

Driving[edit]

Turn
jika
Left
ekhohlo
Right
ekunene
Stop the car
misa:yima
Go
hamba
Forward
phambili
Go forward
bheka phambili
Straight ahead
phambili
Gravel road
indlela yomhlaba

Authority[edit]

Emergency[edit]

Help!
Nceda!
Look out!
Qaphela!
Call the police!
Biza amapolisa!
Get a doctor!
Biza ugqirha!
Go away!
Hamba
I'm ill.
Ndiyagula.
I'm lost.
Ndilahlekile.
Leave me alone!
Ndiyeke!
Stop thief!
Yima sela!

Communication[edit]

Telephone
Umnxeba
Telegram
Ucingo
Mobile or Cellphone
makhal'ekhukhwini:nomyayi
umnxeba wasesinqeni
Make a call
tsala umnxeba
Give ... a call
tsalela u ... umnxeba
Mail
Iposi
ngeposi (by post)
Fast mail
iposi engxamisekileyo
This Xhosa phrasebook is a usable article. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.