A Xhosa Lesson

After our first day working with the kids, we asked our project leader, a native Xhosa, to teach us some of the language.  Although the kids do know what we’re saying in English, they like to pretend that they don’t understand.  We figure that if we can tell them more important things in Xhosa that they would be more likely to listen to us.

Any consonant with an “h” after it is pronounced like the consonant by itself.  “Hl” is pronounced by placing the tip of your tongue on the front roof of your mouth and blowing air outward.

  • Hello:  molo/molwene
  • How are you?:  kunjani
  • I’m well:  ndiphilile
  • Sit down:  hlalaphanzi
  • Come here:  yiza apha
  • Don’t cry (to calm or to quiet):  thula, also sukulila
  • No:  hayi
  • Look there (while pointing):  jonga pha
  • Goodbye (tomorrow):  ngomso
  • Thank you:   nkosi
  • Share:  mnike ibenye enye
  • Go play:  hambo dala
  • Sorry:  uxolo
  • I love you (for ourselves!):  ndiyaku thanda

About jessinsafrica

Hi, my name is Jessica MacKinnon. I am driven to work to make the world a slightly better place. I was really excited to take that motivation to somewhere I thought really needed improvement. What actually happened, though, was that I instead became a better person.
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