Essential Pronounciaton of Vowels and Consonants

Reminder: VIDEOS vs AUDIO & TEXT:

Some of you will prefer the video to the text and audio, and some the other way around, but the audio and text include more content than the videos, which are more like enjoyable summaries of the most important parts of the course!

Some of you may enjoy revising through both ways of learning!

You can find the videos as separate lectures in the curriculum, usually right after the text and audio lecture!

Find what works for you!

How to work with the Audio & Text:

  • The text in this course is replicated in the PDF which you were given for download, and the audio mp3s too, but this platform gives you a structure to move through the content, piece by piece, with some additional resources.
  • You will aim to cover each week's lesson BEFORE you attend the Zoom recap / practice / Q & A sessions!

Step 1: Click the audio, and follow the text, whilst listening to the audio.

Step 2: Speak out loud to all audio, repeating all the Xhosa words that you hear.

Step 3: Repeat as you need. The louder the better :)

Step 4: Move on by "completing and continuing"! You can always come back later, or listen to the download pack, or join the Zoom class where you will practice the checkpoint for that week!

Rhythm and Tempo [10]

These are the audio files - Click to play:

Important to learning a language is rhythm. Here is a basic tip.In Xhosa the accent falls on the second last syllable. Notice, in a two syllable word like molo, followed by another mama, the accent is thus on the mo and the ma. The accent is like a slight lengthening:

Greetings, Mother .....................................- Molo, Mama

Whilst, molweni, a three syllable word, the accent is on the lwe:

Greetings, Mother and others ...................- Molweni, Mama

Pronunciation [11]

An important place to start is with pronunciation. This will be learnt and re-learnt as your experience with the language grows. It is important to make an effort from the start as we all know how much an accent can affect ability to communicate and early habits tend to stick.

English is a non-phonetic language, which means that a letter can be pronounced in many different ways or different letter can represent the same sound in different words. The following example reveals four such ways for A:

Ape - Arm - Apple - Air

Xhosa is a phonetic language. The letters correspond to the sounds consistently, so it is an easy language to learn to read quickly.

Vowels [12]

Vowel - pronounced like - as in word for - in Xhosa

A - ah - mother - mama

E - egg - yourself - wena

I - igloo - well - philile

O - or - hello - molo

U - oo-la-la - brother - ubhuti

Consonants [13]

Are generally easy and may be learnt as one learns the language. There are a few important exceptions:

Ph - peanut not phone (alive - phila, well - philile)

Th - talk not thought (talk - thetha)

Hl - hlala not shlala(live,sit - hlala) (down - phantsi)

TIP: (keep front tip of tongue against palette whilst making a sh sound) well/beautifully - kakuhle

Rh - in Gauteng/goud - eRhawutini (as in Afrikaans), AmaRharhabe – One of the main Xhosa proper tribes.

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Learning the HL sound found in #isiXhosa, but this video using words found primarily in #isiZulu

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Now try this:

‘Nelson’ Mandela’s actual Xhosa first name – Rholihlahla

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#MyNameIs How to pronounce Nelson Mandela's Xhosa name! Comment with a Xhosa name you'd like is to help you with or with any questions. #letslearnxhosa #MyNameIs #Isixhosagram #ubuntubridge #southafricanlanguages #isixhosa

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