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Ladysmith Black Mambazo

3 May 2010

Here’s a video of my favorite South African music group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. They are singing in Zulu, and the clicks you hear are part of the language. I love the other sounds they make with their mouths in their music.

I think my favorite part of Zulu is the clicks. In Zulu, they not only have clicks in their language, but that there are three different kinds of clicks, represented by three different letters of the alphabet – C, Q, and X. Those were the click letters. As people spoke, they could clearly tell which click was being used. It was fascinating.

The most common click is the Q, which is (I think) the sound you hear most in their music – basically it’s the sound of your tongue popping. The X click is the sound you make when you click the back of your tongue to call a horse or dog. The C click is the “tisk, tisk” sound you make with the front of your tongue when you’re telling a child they’re in trouble. That’s the best way I know of to describe the different clicks.

The kissy sound they make in the second video – well, that’s just a kiss! Gotta love that song! 😀

By the way, listen carefully to the third one. See if you recognize it. Let’s just say it’s the original song of the Americanized version you’ve probably heard before. 10 Sharpzinto points for the first to identify what Americanized song I’m talking about!

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