Zulu Alphabet

Zulu Alphabet

If you're trying to learn the Zulu Alphabet which is also called isiZulu, check our courses about pronunciation, and sound of all letters... to help you with your Zulu grammar. Try to concentrate on the lesson and memorize the sounds. Also don't forget to check the rest of our other lessons listed on Learn Zulu. Enjoy the rest of the lesson!

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Zulu Alphabet

Learning the Zulu alphabet is very important because its structure is used in every day conversation. Without it, you will not be able to say words properly even if you know how to write those words. The better you pronounce a letter in a word, the more understood you will be in speaking the Zulu language.

Below is a table showing the Zulu alphabet and how it is pronounced in English, and finally examples of how those letters would sound if you place them in a word.

Zulu AlphabetEnglish SoundPronunciation Example
a[a]as in father
b[b]as in bay
c[ʨ]ch as in chay
d[d]as in day
e[ɛ]as in elephant
f[f]as in fine
g[ɡ]as in gold
h[h]as in house
i[i]'ee' as in meat
j[ʥ]as in job
k[k]as in kitchen
l[l]as in life
m[m]as in man
n[n]as in nice
o[o]as in olive
p[p]as in pool
q[k]as in kiss
r[r]as in rice
s[s]as in smile
t[t]as in time
u[u]'oo' as in mood
v[f]f as in free
w[w]as in wind
x[ks]as in wax
y[j]as in year
z[z]as in Zulu

The Zulu clicks:

  • c - dental (comparable to a sucking of teeth)
  • q - alveolar (comparable to a bottle top 'pop')
  • x - lateral (comparable to a click one may do for a walking horse)

Zulu Pronunciation

You saw how a letter is written and might be pronounced, but there is nothing better than hearing the sound of the letters in a video or audio. Below you will be able to hear how the 3 Zulu clicks sound like and how some letters above are pronounced, just press the play button:

Zulu Pronunciation

The alphabet and its pronunciation have a very important role in Zulu, therefore they need very special attention. Once you're done with the isiZulu alphabet, you might want to check the rest of our Zulu lessons here: Learn Zulu. Don't forget to bookmark this page.


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