Pronunciation Guide

J.P. Mohapeloa Critical Edition-Pronunciation Guide to the Sesotho Texts revised 2016

This guide is not a definitive document but a ‘rough guide’ to a language that has tricky pronunciation issues and is known to few people outside southern Africa. Sesotho home- language speakers themselves do not always agree about spelling or pronunciation, and there are limitations when it comes to singing rather than speaking any language. Bearing this in mind, the following pronunciations of vowels, diphthongs, and consonants are offered in the spirit of helping choirs pronounce what they sing. Comments that help to improve this Guide are welcome via the Contact page on, and corrections to it can easily be made online. Sesotho vowels and consonants are shown on the left; Sesotho examples from the song texts are given in brackets; the International Phonetic Alphabet symbol is shown in the middle; and the sound in an English equivalent (or occasionally other language) or a comment, is given on the right.