Xhosa / isiXhosa Translation Services

Unerring Xhosa Translating and Interpreting Services

Xhosa (also known as isiXhosa) is one of South Africa’s most distinctive official languages, thanks to the click consonants which trip up many Western tongues.  According to 2011 Census data, there are over 8.1 million Xhosa speakers in the country, which equates to about 16% of the population. This makes it the second largest language group after Zulu (isiZulu). It’s also spoken in Zimbabwe, Botswana and Lesotho. Given its sheer size in South Africa, and it’s foothold in other southern African countries, it’s only natural that ST Communications should include Xhosa in its range of translation services.

ST Communications specialises in translating and interpreting all of South Africa’s official languages, including isiXhosa, as well as a significant number of the other 3000-odd languages on the continent. So, if you need to translate an important business document from Arabic or Shona into Xhosa or from Xhosa into Herero or English then look no further. If your needs are personal and not business, well, you’re covered too, as our translation and interpreting services extend to personal documents and private functions.


It Starts with a Same-Day Quote

If speed is of the essence, request a quote outlining your translation requirements and we’ll get back to you on the same day. Our team of in-country mother-tongue translators is always at the ready to tackle any project, from large multinational localisation to a single personal reference letter that could make or break new employment prospects.

In addition to being expert linguists, our translators have experience in specialist industries, such as pharmaceuticals, IT, engineering, mining and finance. So, you can sleep soundly in the knowledge that every technical nuance will be accurately communicated.

Our range of professional, confidential translation services includes:

  • Localisation for business software and website content, so you’re ready to take new markets by storm.
  • DTP services, so you can translate your print materials into any script, including Arabic.
  • Interpreting for business events, like workshops, seminars and conferences, as well as private functions, like weddings.
  • Translating, editing and proofreading print documents, including by-laws, contracts, sworn statements, instruction manuals, academic literature, personal letters and emails and news articles.


Complete our form for a free online quote or contact us now to find out more about our Xhosa translation services.


Xhosa in a Nutshell

Xhosa belongs to the Nguni family of languages, which is part of the bigger Bantu family of languages. In South Africa, it is most commonly spoken in the Eastern Cape, where about 78% of the population are mother-tongue speakers. The Western Cape boasts the second largest population of Xhosa speakers (about 24% of the population), followed by Gauteng, the Free State and KwaZulu-Natal.

The click consonants come from Xhosa’s relationship to Khoisan languages. There are 15 click sounds which are divided into dental clicks, lateral clicks and post-alveolar clicks. One of the most enduring and endearing examples of the different clicks is Miriam Makeba’s “Click Song #1”.

There are several different dialects: Mpondo, Xesibe, Gaika, Thembu, Ndlambe, Hlubi, Gcaleka, Bomwana, Bhaca (which may be considered a separate language, depending on who you’re talking to, according to Wikipedia) and Mpondomise.

One of the most famous men in the world was Xhosa: former South African president, Nobel Peace Prize winner and global icon Nelson Mandela.

Other famous Xhosa speakers include: anti-apartheid heroes Steve Biko and Chris Hani, peace icon and human rights activist Desmond Tutu and novelist, poet and playwright Zakes Mda.