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The basics

Xhosa is the first language of approximately 8 million people in South Africa, especially in the Eastern Cape, the Western Cape, and to a lesser extent, Gauteng Province. It is closely related to Zulu, Ndebele, and Swati (the language of Swaziland), all of which form the Nguni language family. It is the first language of former Presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki, the singer Miriam Makeba, and many other prominent South Africans.

One of Xhosa's unique features (only shared with a handful of other languages) is the use of "clicks." To be precise, there are three consonants in Xhosa that are pronounced as clicks. These letters are represented by the letters "c", "x", and "q", and if you are serious about learning the language, we encourage you to learn how to pronounce these consonants correctly.

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