The Xhosa language ( or ; Xhosa: ) is one of the official languages of South Africa. Xhosa is spoken by approximately 7.6 million people, or about 18% of the South African population. Like most Bantu languages, Xhosa is a tonal language; that is, the same sequence of consonants and vowels can have different meanings when said with a rising or falling or high or low intonation. One of the most distinctive features of the language is the prominence of click consonants; the word “Xhosa” begins with a click. Xhosa is written using a Latin alphabet. Three letters are used to indicate the basic clicks: c for dental clicks, x for lateral clicks, and q for post-alveolar clicks (for a more detailed explanation, see the table of consonant phonemes, below). Tones are not indicated in the written form.