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So I have been wondering from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiWiYjW1Xrc

How would one write the Katakana for this name that has an exclamation mark? And how would we pronounce it? Thanks!

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3  
Can you write !xobile in IPA? –  snailboat Feb 25 at 5:25
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IPA can be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_consonant –  Kaizoku Feb 25 at 14:23
    
he was just trying to be funny, but offended and mislead a lot of people, if you Google the name Nqobile, you would never really find anyone named that, only results related to the video,but if you Google Nqobile, you will find lost of South Africans named that!!! –  Kimmy Apr 6 at 10:45
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I'm not so sure when this question was posted but the comedian lied about how the name is written as any Xhosa native speaker, maybe for his comedy, there is no such name as !Xobile in my language and I am Xhosa, it annoys me to think that there are people who took hims seriously, some people even wanted to name their babies that, that doesn't make sens in our language, however when he pronounced the name, I realized he meant Nqobile!!!!,.. the click he pronounced was a Q-click not an X-click!!!... –  Kimmy Apr 6 at 10:45
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

People have been voting to close this as a "translation request". I vote we reword it into a question basically asking: "how are the clicks in 'click' languages represented in katakana?" because this actually got me super interested and I've been doing a little research...

I first checked the Japanese wikipedia pages for these languages hoping they would have katakana representations of words but unfortunately no such luck, they all use romaji. I did however find the names of lots of languages which start with a click though:

The !Kung language is seems to be クン語 on wikipedia. Xhosa is コサ語(コーサ語、ホサ語とも表記する), !Xoon is コオ語 and ǁXegwi is ケグウィ語.

It would appear that a click, at least at the start of words, is normally represented using カ行 katakana.

Therefore, assuming the name in the video is pronounced correctly by the guy and that I'm hearing him right (I'm sure it's not, and it's super difficult to hear him, but...), I propose that something like クイレイ would be a good katakana representation. Anyway, the point is it would start with a カ行 letter.

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1  
Actually, it would appear to me that the click is not represented at all. –  Zhen Lin Feb 25 at 8:41
    
@Kaizoku Hey, I appreciate the "best answer"! This was just a theory based on a little research so if someone comes up with a better answer please shift "best answer" to them instead :) Zhen Lin at least seems to disagree with me. –  Ash Feb 25 at 12:34
    
@Ash Well it's the only answer so far, and thanks for that :) –  Kaizoku Feb 25 at 14:30
    
If Xhosa is written コサ語 then what is the 'k' representing if not the click? –  無色受想行識 Feb 26 at 7:52
    
There is a coarticulated [k]. I expect if it were nasalised then we might see something like ゴサ or ノサ instead. –  Zhen Lin Feb 26 at 8:17
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