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Xhosa phrasebook

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Revision as of 09:19, 18 May 2012 by 137.158.153.206 (Talk)

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Xhosa is a language of South Africa.

Pronunciation guide

Vowels

like a in hard
like e in red
like ee in seen
like a in all
like oo in moon

Consonants

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)
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
pronounced like "ch" in Reich

Common diphthongs

Clicks

Place your tongue at the back of the teeth and suck in, like when expressing annoyance.
Place your tongue on the roof of the mouth and suck in, like imitating a clock's ticking.
Place your tongue on your upper right jaw and pull it down, as if urging on a horse.

Phrase list

Basics

Common signs

OPEN 
Vula
CLOSED 
Vala
ENTRANCE 
EXIT 
PUSH 
PULL 
TOILET 
MEN 
WOMEN 
FORBIDDEN 


Hello. 
Molo.
Hello. (informal
Kunjani.
How are you? 
Unjani?
Fine, thank you. 
Ndiyaphila.
And how are you? 
Wena unjani?
What is your name? 
Ngubani igama lakho?
My name is ______ . 
Igama lam ngu ______ .
Nice to meet you. 
Ndiyavuya ukukwazi.
Please. 
Ndicela. ('Ndiyacela' )
Thank you. 
Enkosi. or ('Ndiyabulela')
You're welcome. 
. ('wamkelekile' )
Yes. 
Ewe.
No. 
Hayi.
Excuse me. (getting attention
. ('ndicela uxolo ) or ('uxolo )
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Uxolo andivanga.
I'm sorry. 
. ('ndixolele' )
Goodbye 
Uhambe/Usale kakuhle.
Goodbye (informal
. ( )
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.
Good evening. 
. ('Molo' )
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' ?)

Problems

My ... have been stolen. 
I ... yam intshontshiwe. or ('I ... yam ibiwe' )
I've lost my ... 
Ndilahlekelwe yi ...
handbag 
isingxobo or ibhegi
passport 
pasipoti ('incwadi yokundwendwela' )
luggage 
mpahla
wallet 
spaji

Numbers

unothi
-nye
-mbini
-ntathu
-ne
hlanu
-thandathu
-sixhenxe
-sibhozo
-sithoba
10 
-shumi

Time

English expressions for telling the time are commonly used by Xhosa speakers

Duration

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

Days

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

Months

January  
uMdumba
February 
uMthupha
March 
ukwindla
April 
uThazimpunzi
May 
uCanzibe
June 
uSilimela
July 
uNtulikazi
August 
eyeKhala
September 
eyoMsintsi
October 
eyeDwarha
November 
eyeNkanga
December 
eyoMnga

Colors

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

Transportation

Bus and train

Directions

Taxi

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

Lodging

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')?

Money

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

Eating

Bars

Shopping

Driving

Turn
jika
Left
ekhohlo
Right
ekunene
Stop
('stop the car' ): misa or ('yima')
Go
hamba
Forward
phambili
Go forward
bheka phambili
Straight ahead
phambili
Gravel road
indlela yomhlaba

Authority

Emergency

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!

Communication

Telephone 
Umnxeba
Telegram 
Ucingo
Mobile or Cellphone 
('makhal'ekhukhwini'? / 'nomyayi'? / 'umnxeba wasesinqeni'?)
Make a call 
tsala umnxeba
Give So&So a call 
tsalela u So&So umnxeba
Mail 
Iposi
By post : ngeposi
Fast mail 
iposi engxamisekileyo
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