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Xhosa language

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Native to South Africa, Lesotho
Region Eastern Cape, Western Cape
Ethnicity amaXhosa, amaBhaca
Native speakers 7.6 million  (2007)[1]
Language family
Official status
Official language in  South Africa
Language codes
ISO 639-1 xh
ISO 639-2 xho
ISO 639-3 xho
Guthrie code S.41[2]
Linguasphere 99-AUT-fa incl.
varieties 99-AUT-faa
to 99-AUT-faj +
99-AUT-fb (isiHlubi)
South Africa 2011 Xhosa speakers proportion map.svg
Proportion of the South African population that speaks Xhosa at home

     0–20%      20–40%



Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa. Xhosa is spoken by 7.6 million people, or about 18% of the South African population. Xhosa is written using a Latin alphabet. Henry Hare Dugmore helped translate the entire Bible in Xhosa language. Xhosa has ten vowels.

Xhosa is well known for its set of three major clicks.


  1. Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
  2. Jouni Filip Maho, 2009. New Updated Guthrie List Online