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January 13, 2011





Yes, the question marks are supposed to represent clicks, of course. I think that's a really brave attempt at !ora (Koranna).

Here's a really old version of the Lord's Prayer in the !ora language, one of the Khoe languages of what's today south west Namibia and the Northern Cape.

If you voice the clicks, this version starts off identically to yours (look at the 't? homme' and the 'Tomie', where the 't?' and the 'T' are I think the dental click.)

Sita ienp Tomie nakap
tsa onee thaa tgy tgy
tsa chaoop koo ha
tsa tymp aapie
ie hom na kgboma aie hoop
maadaa hoowaa tzee koo breep
tnooo baa daa
tghaa tre sita taa whie kgho...

The 'ts' would be a | in Bleek's orthography for the dental click, I supposed. The 'tg' would be a ≠, for the palatal click.

The first standardised orthography for Khoe and San clicks was probably that of Lepsius: |, ||, !, ≠, later adapted by Wilhelm Bleek (do you know his 'Specimens of Bushman Folklore'? I think it might blow your mind.) The modern orthography for Nguni clicks uses the letters c q and x instead.


Oh. That's from John Campbell's Travels in South Africa of 1815.

I'm sure I've got a Lord's Prayer in one of the extinct Cape Khoe languages and definitely a 'Bushman' one somewhere.


Thank you so much, Neil. This is what I call effective crowdsourcing! I am delighted to get a reply on this question from someone who clearly is in a position to hold forth.


It's a pleasure.

I like it here very much.

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