Numbers In Xhosa: Counting To 20 In The IsiXhosa Language

Numbers In Xhosa: Counting To 20 In The IsiXhosa Language

You’re probably here because you decided to learn the beautiful Bantu language that is Xhosa. Learning to count is imperative to your fluency goals.

That’s why we’ve put together this post teaching you the first 20 numbers in isiXhosa. You’ll also be able to see the similarities between it and a couple of other Bantu languages.

Here are numbers 1 – 20 in the Xhosa language:

Numbers and counting in Xhosa


Is Xhosa similar to any other languages?

Xhosa is a language in the Bantu group of the Niger-Congo language family. It is mostly spoken in southern Africa, and is partially intelligible with other Bantu languages, namely Zulu and Ndebele. This means that speakers from all of those languages can understand each other to some extent.

Check out this table of numbers 1-10 in Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele:

Xhosa Zulu Ndebele
1 inye kunye kunye
2 zimbini kubili kubili
3 zintathu kuthathu kuthathu
4 zine kune kune
5 zintlanu kuhlanu kuhlanu
6 zintandathu isithupha isithupha
7 isixhenxe isikhombisa isikhombisa
8 sisibhozo isishiyagalombili isificamunwembili
9 lithoba isishiyagalolunye isificamunwemunye
10 lishumi ishumi itshumi

You can clearly see the similarities between in the first five numbers, and the number 10 (though Zulu and Ndebele are much more closely related).

Why are Xhosa, Zulu and Ndebele similar?

Bantu languages evolved from the same parent language – Proto-Bantu, the language originally spoken in central Africa.

When languages have the same parent in common, they often share many similarities, making them mutually or partially intelligible with each other.

Read more about language mutual intelligibility and how you can use this to speak to the world in only a handful of languages.

Hear how the numbers sound when spoken by natives

Learn how to pronounce numbers in Xhosa.

Also check out this Xhosa numbers story for children and beginners:

The Number Story 1 IBALI ELAMANANI: Small Book One English-Xhosa (Xhosa Edition)