Where does the Xhosa language come from?
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Xhosa Language


Somebody speaking Xhosa

About 500 AD, some Bantu people moved into South Africa. They spoke Bantu, of course. But after they settled down in South Africa, they learned a lot of new words from the Khoisan people who lived there, who spoke a language called !Kung. So new languages came out of mixing these two languages together. Xhosa is one of those languages, and another one is called Zulu. One famous modern Xhosa speaker is Nelson Mandela.

Xhosa
!Kung
Swahili
Yoruba
African languages and literature
Ancient Africa
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.
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