Xhosa language

Xhosa (/ˈkɔːsə, ˈksə/,[5][6][7] Xhosa pronunciation: [kǁʰóːsa]) also isiXhosa as an endonym, is a Nguni language and one of the official languages of South Africa and Zimbabwe.[8][9] Xhosa is spoken as a first language by approximately 8.2 million people and by another 11 million as a second language in South Africa, mostly in Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng and Northern Cape. It has perhaps the heaviest functional load of click consonants in a Bantu language (approximately tied with Yeyi), with one count finding that 10% of basic vocabulary items contained a click.[10]

Pronunciation[ᵏǁʰóːsa] (listen)
Native toSouth Africa
RegionEastern Cape
Western Cape
southern parts of Free State
eastern parts of Gauteng
southern parts of KwaZulu-Natal
eastern parts of Northern Cape
EthnicityXhosa people
Native speakers
8.2 million (2020 March 2008)[1]
11 million L2 speakers (2002)[2] isiXhosa is one of the official languages of post-apartheid South Africa.
  • Gcaleka & Rharhabe
  • abaThembu
  • amaMpondo
  • amaMpondomise
  • amaBhaca
  • amaHlubi
  • amaMfengu
  • amaXesibe
Latin (Xhosa alphabet)
Xhosa Braille
Ditema tsa Dinoko
Signed Xhosa[3]
Official status
Official language in
 South Africa
Recognised minority
language in
Language codes
ISO 639-1xh
ISO 639-2xho
ISO 639-3xho
Linguasphere99-AUT-fa incl.
varieties 99-AUT-faa
to 99-AUT-faj +
99-AUT-fb (isiHlubi)
Proportion of the South African population that speaks Xhosa at home
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This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Xhosa language, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.