ISIXHOSA
Pronunciation Guide


a - as a in father
b - like b in English but slightly softer
bh - as b in buy
c - dental click (see note below)
dl - similar to ll in Llewellyn
dy - as due in duel
e - as e in send
g - as g in guinea
gr - English r with voicing
i - as ea in tea
j - as j in jam
kh - as c in call, followed by a strong rush of air
kr - compound of k and ch in loch, with ejection
ng - as ng in linger
ntl - similar to ntl in gentle
ny - similar to ny in Kenya
o - as a in all
ph - as p in push, followed by a strong rush of air
q - palatal click (see note below)
rh - as ch in loch
sh - as sh in show
th - as t in take, followed by a strong rush of air
ty - as tu in tune, but there is no aspiration
tyh - as tu in tune, but with aspiration
tsh - like ch in cheese, but with a more forceful puff of air
u - as o in to
v - as v in vain
w - as w in woe
x - lateral click (see note below)
y - as y in you
z - as z in zoo


CLICKS IN ISIXHOSA
To pronounce the dental click, c, press the tip of the tongue against the front teeth, and then withdraw it sharply, at the same time dropping the back of the tongue from the soft palate. This sound may be compared with the sound you would make when sucking something from your upper teeth, or the sound of sympathy when someone says ts-ts.

To pronounce the palatal click, q, press the tip of the tongue against the front palate and then follow with the same procedure as with c. This sound may be compared with the sound a person would make when trying to imitate the sound of a cork being pulled from a bottle.

To pronounce the lateral click, x, place the  tip of the tongue against the hard palate as if you were going to produce the n sound. Press one side of the tongue against the side of the jaw. Then, without shifting the tip of the tongue from the hard palate, withdraw the side sharply from the jaw. This sound differs from the other two in that the release takes place at the side(s) of the tongue and not at the front. This sound is sometimes made to express regret or to spur on a horse.

 


SAlanguages.com : Xhosa



J. Olivier (2009)
SAlanguages.com