October 13, 2008


One thing I learned while I was on my break is that - understandably - not everyone knows how to pronounce Mthatha and several asked for a guide. So here it is.

Mthatha is pronounced MM-ta-ta. Do not pronounce the “th” sound like in English. The h is a breath mark that makes the t softer so the Xhosa words “tata” (father) and “thatha” (take) are pronounced with subtle differences. And do not add an a-sound to the first syllable. It is not MA-tha-tha or any variation thereof. The alternate spelling is Umtata and it is much easier to see the pronunciation that way.

Itipini is pronounced IH-tih-PEE-ni

Xhosa is pronounced with the x-click in the first syllable. If you can’t make that sound, use a k-sound instead and say KO-sa.

Does that help?