So I have been wondering from this video: https://youtu.be/U4okFm62gxk

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

  • 1
    IPA can be found here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_consonant
    – Van Nguyen
    Feb 25, 2014 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!!!
    – user5089
    Apr 6, 2014 at 10:45
  • 5
    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!!!...
    – user5089
    Apr 6, 2014 at 10:45
  • Please do not yell in the casino!
    – istrasci
    Dec 1, 2016 at 16:12

1 Answer 1


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.

  • 4
    Actually, it would appear to me that the click is not represented at all.
    – Zhen Lin
    Feb 25, 2014 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.
    – Robin
    Feb 25, 2014 at 12:34
  • @Ash Well it's the only answer so far, and thanks for that :)
    – Van Nguyen
    Feb 25, 2014 at 14:30
  • If Xhosa is written コサ語 then what is the 'k' representing if not the click?
    – HAL
    Feb 26, 2014 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, 2014 at 8:17

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