Ju, Tu & Khoe languages

Previously known as Khoesan (or Khoisan) languages, today these unique click languages are more accurately grouped into three distinct language families:


  • Ju (also known as Kx'a) language family

    • examples include: Ju|'hoansi, !Xun and ǂHoan


  • Tu (also known as !Ui-Taa) language family

    • examples include: N|uu and Taa


  • Khoe (also known as Khoe-Kwadi or Khoeid) language family

    • examples include: Khoekhoe (Khoekhoegowab), Kora (!Ora), Khwe (Khwedam), Naro, Ts'ixa and Tshwa.

All three language families are endangered and despite extensive research in the field of linguistics around sustaining linguistic diversity, "Relatively little is known about Africa's endangered languages" (Kandybowicz & Torrence, 2017, synopsis)

Speakers of these languages are found in southern Africa in countries such as: Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe

Click orthography (way of writing) for Ju, Tu and Khoe languages:

UNESCO produced short film series : Saving endangered languages, featuring the ǂKhomani San speaking the N|uu language in South Africa