South Africa Volunteers

Basic Xhosa

Welcome to your most challenging language ...ever.

Here are a few helpful sayings and phrases most commonly used in the Xhosa language. Please note there are a few specifics here that are used more or less often by Mpondo people versus the larger Xhosa speaking entity in Southern Africa. Mpondo dialect is unique to Port St Johns.

EnglishXhosaPhonetic Pron.
Hello (sing)MoloMo-Lo
Hello (plural)MolweniMol-Weni
YouWena 
He / sheYena 
MeNom 
Little girlNtombazana 
Little boyInkwenkwe 
Woman(older-oldest)Abafazi,Sisi, Mama, Makhulu 
ManIndoda, Bhuti, Tata, Madala 
How are you? (sing)Unjani Wena? Oon-Jani?
How are you? (pl)Kunjani?Koon-Jani?
I am fineNdiphilileIndi-pilee-le
We are fineSiphilileSi-pe-lee-le
Thanks!EnkosiIn-cos-i
What is your name?Ungubani Igama lakhoGoobani-kamalakko
My name isIgama lam ndingu (name)  Ikama-lam indingoo
What time is it?Ngubani iXesha?Goobani I (side click)-kesha?
Where do you stay?Uhlalapi Wena?Oo-shellapee We-na?
Where are you coming from?Uvelapi?Oo-ve-lapi?
Where are they going?Wayaapi?Wai-ya-pee?
I have no moneyAndinayo I maliAnd-ee-Nayo e Mah-lee
I don’t want itAndifuni leAnd-ee-fooni lay