Nguni Bantu language with click consonants
Phrasebooks > Xhosa phrasebook

Xhosa (isiXhosa) is a language of South Africa.

Pronunciation guideEdit

VowelsEdit

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)

ConsonantsEdit

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

ClicksEdit

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 listEdit

BasicsEdit

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?

ProblemsEdit

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

NumbersEdit

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

TimeEdit

English expressions for telling the time commonly used by Xhosa speakers

DurationEdit

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

DaysEdit

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

MonthsEdit

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

ColorsEdit

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

TransportationEdit

Bus and trainEdit

DirectionsEdit

TaxiEdit

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

LodgingEdit

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

MoneyEdit

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

EatingEdit

  • 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

BarsEdit

ShoppingEdit

DrivingEdit

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

AuthorityEdit

EmergencyEdit

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!

CommunicationEdit

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.