Ernestine teaches Charl isiXhosa: Lesson 1

One of my colleagues at Stone Three, Ernestine, is teaching me isiXhosa. I’m a very slow learner, partly because isiXhosa doesn’t fit in any of my existing Germanic or Romantic (I only have a smattering of this, but it’s there) language frameworks. However, it’s loads of fun, so I decided this had to go on my blog.

There will be absolutely no structure to these lessons. I’m planning to put posts up more or less when I think it’s going to be fun to do so. At some point I might even post a sound recording or two, and then you can laugh at my attempt to reproduce the different types of click sounds in isiXhosa.

Yesterday, Ernestine taught me how to talk about the weather!

If it’s warm, one says:


meaning “it’s warm”, pronounced as koo-SHOO-shoo.

When it’s cold (as is currently the case down here, well relatively speaking of course), one could say:


meaning “it’s cold”, and pronounced as koo-yah-BAN-da.

When it’s raining, the phrase is:


meaning “it’s raining”, and pronounced as koo-ya-NET (the a is not pronounced).

That’s everything I acquired yesterday. Have fun practising!

Salani kakuhle!

P.S. Usually these kinds of posts begin with greetings in the new language. These ones don’t. Because.

P.P.S. Check out this fun music clip about learning isiXhosa by Craig Charnock, “Quite a White Ou”: