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Xhosa or isiXhosa is one of the eleven official languages of the Republic of South Africa and is spoken by about 8 million people as a first or home language (‘mother tongue’).

It belongs to the so-called Nguni language group of the Bantu language family of Niger-Congo.

Xhosa is especially known for its click sounds, which are borrowed from the Khoesan languages, a second major phylum of languages spoken in Namibia, Botswana and other parts of Southern Africa today.

“First names (Amagama) Giving a child a name is a great event. The child may be named after someone (an ancestor or some other important person) or after any event that coincided with the birth. Very often the name reflects what the birth of the child means to the parents.

Thus: Themba is hope, Sipho is a gift, Thandiwe is a loved one, Nomvula was born on a rainy day.”

(Munnik, A. 2006. Learn Xhosa with Anne Munnik. Pietermaritzburg: Shuter & Shooter, p. 164.)

At the University of Bayreuth, Xhosa can be studied as an online beginner course (G1, G2) from winter term 2018/19 onwards.

University of Fort Hare (here: East London Campus)                                  isiXhosa in South Africa http://www.ethnologue.com/

Languages in South Africa

South Africa is a multicultural society that is characterised by its rich linguistic diversity. …

According to Stats SA’s Community Survey 2016, isiZulu is the most common home language spoken by 24,6% of the population, followed by isiXhosa (17%), Afrikaans (12,1%), Sepedi (9,5%), Setswana (8,8%), and English (8,3%), Sesotho (8%), Xitsonga (4,2%), Siswati (2,6%), Tshivenda (2,4%) and isiNdebele (1,6%).


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