Learn Survival Xhosa
Wikitravel phrasebooks are available in many languages and each one varies in depth and detail. Most of the phrasebooks include a pronunciation guide, a general phrase list, information about dates and numbers, a color list, transportation-related phrases, vocabulary for shopping and phrases for eating and drinking. Some are even more in depth, and all are free!
This Xhosa phrasebook is not a language tutorial, comprehensive grammar or dictionary. Its goal is to define just enough of the language so that an English-speaking traveller can "get by" in areas where Xhosa is spoken.
Xhosa (English pronunciation: /ˈkoʊsə/, Xhosa: isiXhosa [isikǁʰóːsa]) is one of the official languages of South Africa. Xhosa is spoken by approximately 7.9 million people, or about 18% of the South African population. Like most Bantu languages, Xhosa is a tonal language, that is, the same sequence of consonants and vowels can have different meanings when said with a rising or falling or high or low intonation. One of the most distinctive features of the language is the prominence of click consonants; the word "Xhosa", the name of the language itself, begins with a click.
Xhosa is the most widely distributed African language in South Africa, while the most widely spoken is Zulu. Xhosa is the second most common home language in South Africa as a whole. As of 2003 the majority of Xhosa speakers, approximately 5.3 million, live in the Eastern Cape, followed by the Western Cape (approximately 2 million), Gauteng (671,045), the Free State (246,192), KwaZulu-Natal (219,826), North West (214,461), Mpumalanga (46,553), the Northern Cape (51,228), and Limpopo (14,225). A minority of Xhosa speakers (18,000) exists in Quthing District, Lesotho.
Xhosa is written using a Latin alphabet-based system.