Xhosa is one of the official languages of South Africa and is a member of the Bantu/Nguni family of languages. It is spoken by about 6.5 million people mainly in Eastern Cape Province, Orange Free State, Ciskei and Transkei in South Africa, and also spoken in Botswana and Lesotho. Xhosa is closely related to Zulu, Swati and Ndebele and more or less mutually intelligible with them.
Xhosa's click consonants were most likely borrowed from the Khoisan languages as a result of long and extensive interaction between the Xhosa and Khoisan peoples.
A system for writing Xhosa using the Latin alphabet was devised by Christian missionaries during the early 19th century. The first printed work in Xhosa was a grammar book that was published in 1834.