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As in all
languages, colloquialisms and quaintisms appear and Afrikaans,
English, and native languages are no exception.
African English has developed a few of its own and is called Sarth
Effriken on account of their dialect.
the word African. Usually a derogatory term for a black person. The
accepted abbreviation in the English language for African is
Afrikaans word, spoken colloquially. Pronounced with the Scottish
ch as in loch - as in the Scottish word 'Och' as in 'Och aye'. Used
similarly as in 'Ag ja man' or as an expression of disgust as in
of the above meaning 'what a pity'.
give someone 'aggro' - to cause them grievance. An abbreviation of
the English word 'aggravation'.
word from the Nguni meaning 'no' or 'not likely'. Used in a strong
sense. Accepted by the English language.
word from the Nguni meaning 'ooh'. May or may not be
Afrikaans expression, may be used colloquially. Meaning 'here we go
again' - rolling the eyes heavenward emphasizes the phrase.
Pronounced 'al veer sucker tait'
colloquial expression meaning 'afternoon'. Accepted by the English
language and may have come from the Australians.
Afrikaans word meaning 'Boss' ie Head of a department. Chief of
staff. Used colloquially for anyone considered to be in a superior
position. Variants are 'oubaas'which means 'old man' as in a
grandfather, and 'baasie' or 'klein baasie' which means 'young
boss' as in a child or young adult. Accepted by the English
colloquial term for a hangover. Derived from the isiZulu
'bukkie' - a colloquial term for a utility or pick-up
||A word for
a "monkey wrench". Derived from the Afrikaans word for
colloquial term for an argument.
Afrikaans and colloquial word for 'mountain' but usually used in
respect of the Drakensberg mountain range or Table Mountain.
Accepted by the English language.
colloquial word for a vagabond who lives on the slopes of Table
Mountain. Accepted by the English dictionary, but not necessarily
known throughout southern Africa.
colloquial term for a cinema. May derive from the Afrikaans word of
the same. Known in English as 'bioscope' to mean the same. Accepted
by the English dictionary.
whose seeds have sharp barbs which stick to clothing and animal fur
as you brush past them. Very annoying when you have to sit and pull
them all out. Not known by this term in the English language. Its
Latin name is Bidens Pilosa.
African slang word meaning 'bloody' as in the English
Afrikaans word meaning 'tin can'.
African slang word of Afrikaans origin meaning 'punch or strike'.
As in 'I'm gonna bliksem you'.
colloquial term for extreme inebriation where one passes out. A
variant is K.Od. pronounced 'Kay-oed' as in 'knocked out'. Another
variant is 'kaylined'.
Afrikaans word meaning literally 'farmer's music'. A term used to
describe South African 'folk music' - for example 'Sarie Marais' or
'Vat Jou Goed en Trek Ferreira'.
Afrikaans word meaning 'man from the bush'. May be used
word meaning 'brother/small brother'. Used also
colloquial term for a stockade. In colonial times it was used for a
'fortified stockade'. In some countries like Zambia, this is the
local word for 'town' or 'town centre', or an area containing
government buildings - may have derived from the early colonial
term for British Overseas Military Administration (BOMA). Accepted
by the English dictionary.
Afrikaans word meaning 'farmer'. Known colloquially and accepted by
the English dictionary as a term, not necessarily derogatory, for
all Afrikaans speaking people.
word for 'gift' or 'free'. Known colloquially and accepted by the
word meaning 'bush'. Used as a slang word for 'crazy/wakko'.
Originally to describe the South African soldiers who were
psychologically damaged in the Angolan war.
Afrikaans word for a barbeque. Derived from the words 'braai'
meaning 'to cook over coals' and 'vleis' meaning 'meat'. Known
colloquially by every South African. Accepted by the English
dictionary. It's a sin in South Africa to call it a 'barbeque'
although the word 'Barbie' may be used.
South Africans make use of
an oil drum cut in half as a barbeque. You see other barbeques made
out of plough disks, or just a grill propped up by
'brook'. An Afrikaans word meaning 'trousers'. Used colloquially as
a term for trousers/shorts for a young child. 'Broekies' is the
colloquial term for a child's knickers.
Afrikaans word meaning 'brother'. Used in South Africa to denote a
'friend' as in 'bro'. Other variants emanate from all over South
Africa. It is now spelt Bru by most SA surfers. In the Eastern
Cape, a semantic hotbed of slang, it's often pronounced 'brorr' or
'braaah', with a longer vowel sound. Also bru, brah, bror, bro. The
accepted English abbreviation for 'brother' is
word for a type of plant known for its antiseptic qualities.
Accepted by the English dictionary. Its Latin name is Agathosma
- bok being the Afrikaans word for buck. Accepted by the English
colloquial term for the bushveld, the wilderness. A variant is
'bundu bashing' where one drives around the bush for no apparent
reason other than to test one's skills as an off-road driver, not
necessarily using a 4X4 vehicle. Bundu is accepted in the English
colloquial slang word for 'financially broke'.
accepted term for the San or Khoisan peoples. But to be called a
'bushman' is considered derogatory.
word meaning Boss. See 'Baas' above.
colloquial word for a large rodent which mainly lives in the sugar
plantations. Accepted by the English dictionary. Colloquially a
person may be called a cane rat as a term of insult.
colloquial term for a place to stay, not necessarily a tented
campsite. The English dictionary version of this word is: a fenced
colloquial term for the south-easter which howls across the Cape
Peninsula in summer, often forming a whispy, creamy white cloud
that rolls over Table Mountain in the shape of a "table cloth". The
name is self explanatory. Because it blows for up to a week or more
at a time, often at gale-force strength, it blows all the pollution
away. The air is beautifully clear and crisp in the wake of a
south-easter. Known by the English dictionary.
colloquial term meaning to tease or make fun of. Or as in the
English 'pulling your leg'.
colloquial term meaning (Look, do you see?) "You check" (See what I
mean? Do you follow? Are you with me?) or "Check this out" (Look at
this) or "Are you checking me skeef'" (Are you looking at me
crooked - in other words - do you want to fight
African pronunciation 'chups'. Original word for 'French fries'.
Slang for 'a look out' - 'to keep chips'- to act as a look out for
(usually) clandestine activities.
French fries are also
called 'chups' and there is a variety called 'slup chups'which are
African slang word for 'pimple' or acne. Another word for this is
African slang word for 'food' or 'eat'. As in 'What's for chow
ma'-or 'Here have a chow on this'. May be of Asian
drink made in a tall glass by adding coca-cola to a scoop of
icecream. Also called a 'Brown Cow'.
colloquial term for a person of mixed African/European parentage.
The word is accepted in the English dictionary but used in relation
to 'Cape Coloured'.
African or colloquial slang word for 'happening' as in 'what's
cooking''- 'what's happening''
||An old tin
bath or oil drum split in half length-ways filled with ice. Used at
parties for keeping drinks cold. Keeping drinks cool in the
bushveld usually entails immersing the bottles or cans in a stream,
preferable running water, with rocks acting as wedges to keep the
bottles from being swept away.
colloquial derogatory word for an African person.
African or colloquial slang word for 'sleep over'. As in 'You can
crash at my place tonight.' - generally meaning that a bed will be
found for you even if it is on the floor or the
colloquial slang word for 'die'. A variant is
||A word of
unknown origin for an insect known as an 'antlion' - latin name
||An area of
grass, reads or swamp. Accepted by the English
Origin: from Khoikhoi dachab. Accepted by the English
reliability - but Ford has a better idea
||This is a
phrase taken from two adverts displayed by the motoring industries
of Datsun (Nissun) and Ford to promote their products. It was once
used colloquially as part of a conversation between two people
debating over ideas. The first speaker would end his dialogue
presentation with 'Datsun reliability my friend' and the other
speaker would say 'Ah but Ford has a better idea'and then launch
into his dialogue presentation.
African slang word for a 'punch' or fight.
colloquial term, usually but not necessarily a derogatory term for
a Portuguese person. Comes from the word 'Diego' - a common
Portuguese surname. Accepted by the English
van 'n vervloekte lewe
Afrikaans phrase meaning 'the ramblings of a cursed life'. Not a
well known saying but may be used in the same way as the English
phrase 'I may as well be speaking to a brick wall'.
||A word you
use to describe a 'thing' whose name you can't remember. Used
colloquially. Derives from the Afrikaans word 'ding' which means
'thing'. Accepted by the English dictionary.
word meaning 'towel' or a piece of cloth. A colloquial term for a
'headscarf'. Accepted by the English dictionary. The colloquial
word for a 'cloth/rag' is 'lappie'.
Afrikaans word meaning 'dim/faint'. Colloquial slang for a
dimwitted person or someone acting like one.
Afrikaans word meaning the same as 'dof' derived from the words
'dom' meaning 'dumb/stupid' and 'kop' meaning head. Incorporated
into the English dictionaries.
||A ditch or
large elongated hole in the ground usually caused by erosion.
Accepted by the English dictionary.
word meaning 'to beat someone up'. Used
'do-us'. A South African slang word for 'idiot'. Used colloquially.
Also derogatory term for the female genitalia.
word meaning 'shell', 'pod' or 'cap'. South African colloquial
slang word meaning 'drink' as in 'one dop too many'' originates
from the days when the Boers used the Dop System whereby labourers
were paid in cheap wine.
word for a 'town' or 'village'. Dorpie is an even smaller town.
Used colloquially and now being accepted into the English
colloquial slang word for 'sleep' - originates from the English
word 'doss' meaning 'lay about'.
colloquial term for an outdoor cinema where you drive in and watch
the movie sitting in your car, the sound coming from a speaker
which you attach to the window ledge of your car.
Afrikaans word for a 'turd'. May or may not be
bottle of beer of about 200/250ml which had a flip off lid that
could be opened by prising the lid off under its serrated edge.
Nowadays used to describe any small bottle, since the original
'dumpie' was replaced by cans of 300/500ml. I believe that beer in
South Africa served in a 340ml bottle is still called a
colloquial term not necessary derogatory for an
African colloquial slang word meaning 'dreamy' or your mind is
elsewhere. Accepted by the English dictionary.
African colloquial word for 'ouch' or 'hurting'. Pronounced
as 'ek sair'. Afrikaans for 'I say'. A affirmative phrase to add
impact to what you are communicating. Used in a fascinating variety
of contexts all over the country. "Let's hit the road ek se."
Afrikaans phrase literally meaning 'and it!' - used to prompt a
speaker to get on with his story. May or may not be colloquial.
Another phrase is 'en die 'n die' pronounced as 'en dee un dye'
meaning 'and this and that'.
The Afrikaans word for
'that' is 'daardie' but can be abbreviated to 'die' and pronounced
as either 'dee' or 'dye'. The Afrikaans word for 'there' is
The Afrikaans word for
'the' is 'die' and always pronounced as 'dee'.
There are no masculine and
femines as in German 'die', 'das', and 'der'.
Afrikaans and English phrase meaning 'and that's the end of it' -
used to finalise an action, or to signify one has had enough. The
word 'klaar' is Afrikaans for 'finish/end'. Used colloquially to a
colloquial term meaning to 'scratch persistently' as though one has
African colloquial slang word for 'lucky break' or 'coincidence'.
May come from the English word 'fluky/flukey' which means the
|A term used
in the car manufacturing trade to denote a four-wheel drive
vehicle. Used colloquially to mean any off-road vehicle regardless
of make and engine size as in 'I have a 4x4'. You could however say
'I have a Suzuki 4x4'or 'I have a Vitara 4x4'. To say 'I have a
Suzuki Vitara' suggests you are a 'poser'.
Afrikaans and colloquial word meaning 'money'.
||A type of
vegetable gourd known throughout southern Africa.
with the 'loch' sound on all the 'g's. A word of unknown origin for
a caterpillar or any creepy crawlie insect whose name you don't
know. Usually used by children. Lovely word!
word for 'thousand' - usually in terms of money. Used
African slang word for 'fondle'. A variant is
African slang word for 'eat' or 'food', not restricted to the
eating habits of browsing animals.
African word for a 500ml bottle of spirits.
word used colloquially meaning 'Go!' or 'Get lost'.
||A Zulu word
pronounced as 'How' or 'Howoo' used as a term of surprise or the
same as 'Izzit'. Used colloquially.
There is a slight
difference between 'Hau' and 'Izzit' in that 'Izzit' is pronounced
more in a way of a 'question' where as 'Hau' is pronounced more as
Afrikaans word pronounced 'hondt' meaning literally 'dog'. Used
colloquially in its normal sense and as a derogatory term for a
nasty or sexually promiscuous woman as in the English 'bitch',
though the latter is usually termed in Sarth Effrikan as 'a
as 'izzit!', 'eezzit''!!', or 'eeeezzit!!!' depending on the
attentiveness of the listener or the juiciness of the
rhetorical question that most closely translates as 'Really'
- without regard to gender, person, or number of the subject.
Therefore, it could mean 'Is it'? 'Are you'? 'Is he'? 'Are they'?
'Is she'? 'Are we'?.
in South Africa from the Afrikaans 'Is dit so''? 'Is that so'?.
Other words derived from the source are 'Howzit''which means 'How
are you'? 'How are things'? Used colloquially.
varient is 'Really'!-pronounced as 'reeely'!?
word meaning 'Yes'. Used colloquially. Semi accepted into the
as 'yaap'. A word meaning an Afrikaans person. Usually
don't say' or 'is that right'. Used colloquially.
to open a sentence as in 'Jislaaik man, are you crazy or what?!' or
'Jislaaik, is that so!' it is a sort of attention
'jawl'. South African colloquial slang word refering to having a
good time and is used in any context. "I am going on a jol(party)."
"I am having a jol(good time)."
to some time in the future but intended to imply a certain degree
of imminence - it could be half and hour or two days from now. Used
African colloquial slang word meaning 'naked' - from the Afrikaans
word 'kaal' meaning naked and 'gat' meaning arse.
African colloquial slang word meaning 'bare-footed' from the
Afrikaans word 'kaal' meaning naked and 'voet' meaning
African slang word for 'unpleasant' or 'not so good' or
with a short 'u' sound. Afrikaans word for 'hit'. Used
Afrikaans word used for a ravine or small valley. Used colloquially
and now accepted into the English language.
and sometime spelt 'Koppie' ' Afrikaans term for a little hill.
Used colloquially and now accepted into the English
Afrikaans word for 'food'. Used colloquially.
African colloquial slang word for 'vomit'.
Afrikaans word for 'coast/beach'. South African slang word meaning
'tired/exhausted'. Another word is 'zonked'.
'larney'. A Cape slang word meaning 'friend'. May also be
smart, high quality. Original South African colloquial word used in
a derogative sense.
Afrikaans word meaning 'nice' but used to describe anything good,
enjoyable or pleasant. Colloquial. By adding an 's' to the word as
in 'lekkers' turns the word into 'sweet/sweets'.
African slang phrase used when you pass out. As in "After being
klapped for calling him a 'rock spider', little Johnny was
completely lights out".
African slang word for a 'child'. Colloquial.
built over a deep pit in the ground, with a hole in the floor over
which you squat.
An old style "compost
toilet" updated with a modern seat.
as 'marcha'. Slang word for 'money'. Sarth Effrikan may also use
the American term 'buck' or the Portuguese word 'dineiro'.
'macha' is the Mozambicanoword for money. Colloquial
is a native/Portuguese franco linqua which is predominantly
Portuguese, interspersed with native words but can also be
predominantly native, interspersed with words of
It is only
common to distinguish between the two (Porto-Mozambicano and
Shangaan-iPorto) when referring to your predominant language as
most people in Mozambique can speak both languages but prefer to
use one or the other.
out' - refers to anything from working through a complicated
procedure to circumventing bureaucracy. Colloquial.
word for 'mad'. Used in slang as in 'mad/crazy' or 'mad/angry'.
word for a white person. May or may not be derogative. May be heard
African slang word meaning 'horrible'. But to say you are 'miffed'
changes the expression - you are then really angry or annoyed about
as 'moorrr' and 'moorrra'. Afrikaans word meaning 'murder' - used
colloquially as a term for a 'beating'. The 'R' must be rolled.
African word for 'mosquito'. Colloquial.
word meaning 'boy'. Used colloquially when addressing either a
child/young man who you don't know, or your mate.
Afrikaans word meaning 'watch out'. Used colloquially. A variant is
'Pas op' meaning 'beware'.
Afrikaans word meaning 'old'. Slang South African meaning 'a
person' 'a man'. The word 'Outjie' is pronounced as 'Oukie' and in
slang means the same. Colloquial.
colloquial word for an implement used for hacking thick undergrowth
or jungle-type vegetation.
(right) Massai Warrior Knife
(left) Somali Warrior
word meaning 'small'. Derived from the Portuguese or Spanish word
for small ie 'pequeno'. A derogatory term for an African child. A
variant 'pekkie' is a derogatory word for any African person -
originated in the Eastern Cape. Not the same as 'pakkie' which is
the derogatory word for an Asian person.
an Afrikaans word for 'turd'. Used colloquially. 'Poepped' is
another way of saying you sh*t yourself.
African slang word used in a derogatory sense for anyone who is a
Afrikaans word meaning 'huts'. May be used colloquially. Apparently
there is a difference between a 'pondokkie' and a 'rondavel' even
though they may look identical. Pondokkie is one of those 'quaint'
words, like 'gogga'.
African slang word for 'house/place/where you live'.
colloquial word for traffic lights. Sometimes pronounced dropping
the 't' as in 'robos'.
African slang term for an Afrikaans person, usually meant in
African and colloquial word for a round, African-style hut, usually
made out of wattle and daub with a thatched roof. The word is now
accepted into the English language.
word meaning 'red-neck'. Used colloquially, but mainly by Afrikaans
speaking people to refer to English people, usually but not
necessarily, in a derogative sense. It came into being due to the
sunburn that the English people, being of fair skin, were
particularly prone to.
colloquial word for a traffic island.
African word for 'eraser'.
colloquial word commanding a dog to set upon or chase
African abbreviation of the word 'sandwich'. They never use the
African colloquial word for 'steal'.
||A Zulu word
of warning meaning 'I'm going to beat you up'. Phrases 'Shaiya
wena' or 'Dak Shaiya wena' or simply 'shaiya'. Known
African terminology or expression as in 'Ag shame on you!-or 'Ag
shame look at that cutie little kid'. Apparently tourists find this
word amusing and quaint.
colloquial word for an unlicensed drinking place, usually found in
townships. May be derived from a native word.
colloquial word for an African millipede. Derived from a native
word. May also be spelt 'chongololo'. Another lovely and quaint
Afrikaans word meaning 'askew/crooked'. A slang term meaning a 'bad
or dirty look' ' usually with the intention of a fight. A variant
is 'squiff'. Semi colloquial.
'skellum'. A South African colloquial slang word meaning 'rascal' -
usually in criminal terms. A variant is 'skolly'. Derived from the
Afrikaans word of the same.
African colloquial slang word meaning to 'gossip'.
Afrikaans word meaning 'fright'. Used colloquially.
colloquial word for a hand tool with a double edged long curved
blade and wooden handle used to cut grass or crops. The tool can be
swung back and forth to cut in both directions.
'Shambok' - a long whipping stock much like a riding crop only
longer, made traditionally out of hides, but nowadays made from any
flexible material. Sometimes even a length of hose-pipe is referred
to as a 'sjambok' if it is used for the purpose of castigation.
Derived from the Afrikaans word of the same. Used colloquially and
semi-accepted into the English language - defined.
Afrikaans word meaning 'shy'. Used colloquially as 'shy' or
||As in the
word 'scheme'. Used in the sense of 'think so'. As in 'I skeem it's
a good plan'. Afrikaans spelling.
alcoholic beverage or 'homebrew' drank illegally in shebeens. A
Tsotsitaal word known colloquially.
Afrikaans word meaning 'smoke'. Used colloquially for a cigarette,
a reefer, or as a verb 'to smoke'. Pronounced as 'skayf'.
Cigarettes may also be called 'smokes'.
as 'skayfies'. An Afrikaans word for 'potato crisps' or 'chips'.
South Africans never use the word 'crisps' they will always say
African word for a type of rubber sandal.
Afrikaans word for 'swallow/drink'. Used colloquially for 'a drink
of' something, or as in 'sluk it back' meaning 'drink it like it is
a shot-glass'/in one go/a downer. I'm also told it means 'to steal'
Afrikaans term for an Englishman or English speaking South African,
usually meant in derogatory terms.
word for verandah. Used colloquially.
African slang word for 'cigarette butt'. Derived from the Afrikaans
word meaning 'small thing/stump'.
Afrikaans word meaning 'piece/small piece'. Used colloquially as a
sexist term for a man or a woman.
African colloquial slang word for 'yucky'.
abbreviation of the word 'suspicion/suspicious'. Used also as a
verb as in 'Let's go suss it out.'- meaning 'Let's go take a look'.
Also means 'knowledgeable' as in 'I sussed it out for myself.'-
meaning 'I worked it out for myself'. Known in parts of
colloquial word for trainers, tennis shoes, gym shoes. Or tyres on
a car. Having 9 inch tyres on your car means it has 'fet takkies'or
instead of the correct version "throw at". For example, a South
African might say: "I'm going to throw you with a stone", meaning
"I'm going to throw a stone at you." This confusion arises because
of the Afrikaans "gooi met", which means "throw at" but translates
directly as "throw with".
booth or pay-phone. Also a child's money box. A 'tickey' was the
old English 3 penny coin. Used colloquially.
Don't know how this one came about. 'Draai' is an Afrikaans word
for 'bend/turn/wind'. They probably charged you 3 pennies to get in
to the dance hall. Also means a fete (where you have things like
'lucky dip barrels' etc.) - usually in connection with raising
funds for charity.
word for an evil spirit. Used colloquially for the
colloquial word to denote a predominantly native high-density
residential area outside a central city or town, usually made-up of
squatters and shacks.
The colloquial word is not
recognised by the English language in the terms it is represented
here, although it is defined. In the English language a township is
any residential area
word. Meaning a bad person or criminal. Used also colloquially and
defined in English dictionaries.
lingua language developed in the townships on the
Witwatersrand/Johannesburg made up of Afrikaans and other elements
of South African native languages including Portuguese or
Mozambicano and also which has included a variety of terms 'from
the street language of the gangster's underworld'.
from the word 'tsotsi' meaning 'criminal' and the Afrikaans word
'taal' meaning 'language'. Became established as an unofficial
language by the 1940s.
contention amongst many scholars has been that Tsotsitaal
constitutes an unsystematic and vastly corrupt form of Afrikaans
which was used mainly by thugs and other social
Emphatically denied by all as being
related to Fanagalo.
word meaning 'be quiet'. May be used colloquially.
leather shoes, where the leather is used on the suede side. The
shoe usually covers the ankles and looks much like a hiking boot.
With stout undersoles. An Afrikaans word meaning 'bush-shoes'. Used
colloquially and accepted into the English
'flay' - any low, open landscape, sometimes marshy. An Afrikaans
word used colloquially and accepted into the English
Afrikaans and colloquial word meaning 'get lost'. Usually a command
given to a dog but may be said to a person as a term of disbelief
as in 'get away with you'.
'frot'. An Afrikaans word meaning 'bad/rotten'. Used
as 'v-eye'. An Afrikaans word meaning 'blow' or 'to blow' as in the
wind. Used colloquially for 'go' or 'to go'.
expression meaning 'don't be a jerk'. Example: If your friend has
just spewed over the side of your car, you would call indignantly
as 'wuos/wuss'. A slang word for a coward or a weakling, or wimp,
or party-pooper. Generally someone who puts a damper on things.
Used also in Britain.
handrolled cigarette usually made out of brown paper and smoked by
township people. Colloquially used as a term for a
word that is multi-lingual, ie Xhosa, Zulu, Tswana, Swazi
etc. appears, we have termed it 'native' as it crosses all
indigenous languages. Where a word of obscure or unknown native
origin occurs, we have termed it 'Nguni'. Where a native word of
obscure or unknown origin of the Rhodesias has been incorporated
into Sarth Effriken, we have termed it 'Bantu'. The term
'colloquial' refers also to words and sayings that appear in one
area or all areas in South Africa. If the word or phrase is
peculiar only to one area only it has been left out unless it is
words may be in general use in countries like the United Kingdom or
known by many people. Some words are so well known that they have
been left out eg Afrikaaner, apartheid, mielie, biltong, boerewors
etc. but still appear in the English dictionary. Place names, fauna
and flora, and names of individuals such as Johannesburg, Cape
Town, Jan van Riebeck, etc. have been omitted but are again listed
in English dictionaries.
Fanakalo, Fanekolo, Piki,
isiPiki, isiKula, Lololo, isiLololo, Pidgin Bantu, Basic Zulu and
At least the Europeans
tried to find a common ground
was established as a lingua franca between between speakers of
various languages found in South Africa and was mainly used in the
mines throughout southern and central Africa. It can also be viewed
as a simplified version of Zulu, Xhosa and related languages with
adaptations of modern terms from English, Dutch and
evolved from contact between European settlers and African people
especially in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa
and later also in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and even Malawi.
Called "the miners' language', it was created because miners came
to the mines with 50 different languages and there had to be means
of understanding one another. Developed from about 1910, it
consists of 2000 words, 500 of them swear
also used to teach the European mine managers and superintendants
the rudiments of some sort of African language. At the time the
different native languages did not have terminologies for some of
the tools used in the trade, so it was easier to just use the
English words for these tools.
easy to learn this language, yet it is important to note that it is
not an artificially-manufactured language.
Vocabulary yes - ehe no - cha please - yabolisa / golisa thank you
- inkomu/ndza khensa excuse me - sori How are you ? - kanjani'
Fine. - kulungile. I want ... - Mina funa... good morning -
sawubona / sakubona goodbye - hamba gahle
Vala lo door. (Close the door). 'Vala' originating from Zulu/Xhosa
and 'door' is English.
lo spanner. (I want the spanner).
Godwin (a journalist), a white man who grew up in Rhodesia
(Zimbabwe) and who learnt Shona says of Fanagalo - a bastardized
patois in which "the verbs were Zulu and the nouns were English and
the swear words were Afrikaans."
J.D. 1990. Fanagalo : phrase-book - grammar - dictionary. Pretoria
: Van Schaik.ISBN: 0627017266
language - which originated among criminals in the 1930s - has been
recorded in a dictionary for the first time.
Tsotsitaal: a Dictionary of the Language
of Sophiatown is the brainchild of Unisa registrar Professor Louis
the idea to compile a dictionary was born during a holiday with his
friend, musician Hugh Masekela, at the trumpeter's upstate New York
bungalow in 1989.
Molamu: "The Fanagalo speakers were viewed as moegoes, people who
were not street-smart, migrant workers locked up in compounds.
Fanagalo was the language of the employer, of the dominant
structure, whereas tsotsi taal came from the
tsotsi taal itself was later to suffer from its association with
the dominant culture of Afrikaans, following the 1976 uprising
against the use of Afrikaans in schools.
taal is still spoken in places like Meadowlands, Rockville and
Diepkloof in Soweto, but variants exist in all major urban
person with white features, who wanted to be accepted as such; from
the Afrikaans almost-boss
prisoner; from Afrikaans.
whose head is shaven
Native Township; possibly a corruption of the Afrikaans 'die
lokasie', the location.
in love with the same man; origin obscure.
woman; a corruption of the South Sotho word
cigarette; origin unknown.
there!; probably from the South Sotho phrase 'ee thata'!, a
response to a query if one was well, meaning: yes,
reference to the Salvation Army.
derogatory term for a municipal policeman; possibly derived from
arguably from the twana 'ko fifing', a place of darkness and
of being unemployed; from the English 'loafer' and Afrikaans suffix
corruption of the name Newclare.
sex, possibly contracted from the English for 'pick (select)' and
the Afrikaans deriviant for 'naked'.
or observe, from the Xhosa word for to be
|Sweet job -
everything's going fine; partly English, partly
the slang of rebellion in apartheid Soweto, known as Tsotsitaal or
Iscamtho, now is the Kwaito franco lingua or "ringas" by which
youths searching for an identity in a new era of freedoms judge
each other's status.
says the dictionary, comes from the Amakwaito, a group of 1950s
gangsters in Sophiatown - and they, in turn, derived their name
from an Afrikaans word for angry or vicious: kwaai.
Sowetans speak five or six languages, but there's more pride in
being able to speak this street language," said Gill Mkhasibe,
co-owner of the Alternative Consultancy, a marketing agency that
regularly surveys what Soweto youths are doing and
youths speak Kwaito lingo. It's an urban thing, shunned by some
because it still carries the bluster and bad-boy image of the thugs
who invented its predecessor dialects in Soweto and Sophiatown in
the 1950s, as well as the young gangsters who stake a claim to it
languages have developed in several of the major urban centres in
Africa: Sheng in Nairobi (based on Swahili); Tsotsitaal and
Iscamtho in Johannesburg (based on Afrikaans and Zulu); Ndoubil in
Kinshasa (based on Lingala, later replaced by Lingala ya bayankee),
and in Eastern Congo (based on Swahili); and Nouchi in Abidjan
(based on Franšais populaire). The main function of these urban
youth languages is to create and to mark group identity in
opposition to the rest of society creating a distance from the
older generations, from the rural and traditional way of life, and
from the upper social classes.
language that is derived from old Dutch and German and I am told is
akin to Flemish. People say that when you know Afrikaans the
transition to either Dutch or German is fluid and you can
understand either of these two languages. I'm not so sure. Consider
dit met u?
het met u?
||Wie geht es
Afrikaans speaker I can understand Dutch better than I can
understand German, and although some of the spellings might be
different, the pronunciations are similar.
Afrikaans as a Classified
(afrekńns┤) A member of the West Germanic
group of the Germanic subfamily of the Indo-European family of
languages (see Germanic languages).
its classification is still disputed, it is generally considered an
independent language rather than a dialect or variant of Dutch (see
is spoken by close to 8 million people in the Republic of South
Africa, where it is an official language, and by about 1.5 million
people in Namibia, where it is the common language of most of the
half of its native speakers in South Africa are not white. It arose
from the Dutch spoken by the Boers, who emigrated from the
Netherlands to South Africa in the 17th century, but in its written
form it dates only from 1861.
grammar has been considerably simplified. Its vocabulary is
essentially similar to that of Dutch; Afrikaans has absorbed quite
a few words from the Khoisan languages, Bantu (such as words
designating local flora and fauna), and English.
of the West Germanic group of the Germanic sub-family of the
Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic languages
called Netherlandish, it is spoken by about 15 million inhabitants
of the Netherlands, where it is the national language, and by about
300,000 people in the Western Hemisphere.
written and spoken forms of Dutch differ significantly. For
example, written Dutch exhibits far greater formality than spoken
Dutch in both grammar and vocabulary.
reason for this divergence is that written Dutch evolved from the
Flemish spoken in the culturally advanced Flanders and Brabant of
the 15th cent., whereas modern spoken Dutch grew out of the
vernacular of the province of Holland, which became dominant after
the 16th cent. (see Flemish language ).
written Dutch is relatively uniform, while the spoken language has
a number of dialects as well as an official standard
alphabet is used for Dutch, and the earliest existing texts in the
language go back to the late 12th century. Among the words with
which Dutch has enriched the English vocabulary are: brandy, cole
slaw, cookie, cruiser, dock, easel, freight, landscape, spook,
stoop, and yacht. Dutch is noteworthy as the language of an
outstanding literature, but it also became important as the tongue
of an enterprising people, who, though comparatively few in number,
made their mark on the world community through trade and
C. B. van Haeringen,
Netherlandic Language Research (2d ed. 1960);
W. Z. Shetter, An
Introduction to Dutch (3d ed. 1968);
Dutch: A Linguistic
History of Holland and Belgium (1983).
of the West Germanic group of the Germanic subfamily of the
Indo-European family of languages (see Germanic
regarded as the Belgian variant of Dutch (see Dutch language)
rather than as a separate tongue, Flemish is spoken by
approximately 5.5 million people in Belgium, where it is one of the
official languages, and by a few thousand persons in France. So
closely are Flemish and Dutch related that the difference between
them has been compared to the difference between American and
British English; however, some scholars hold that they have
diverged sufficiently since the 16th century to be described as
sub-family of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by
about 470 million people in many parts of the world, but chiefly in
Europe and the Western Hemisphere.
modern Germanic languages are closely related; moreover, they
become progressively closer grammatically and lexically when traced
back to the earliest records.
suggests that they all derive from a still earlier common ancestor,
which is traditionally referred to as Proto-Germanic and which is
believed to have broken from the other Indo-European languages
before 500 BC Although no writing in Proto-Germanic has survived,
the language has been substantially reconstructed by using the
oldest records that exist of the Germanic tongue.
Translator - English to
Quick Translator - Afrikaans to English
introduction to cursing in Afrikaans and Zulu The starting point
for an overview of Afrikaans strong language, ranging from vulgar
curses to mild interjections. Cursing in Afrikaans and
Profanities in 106 Lanugages
Lord's Prayer in
of Afrikaans Language
Influence on Other southern African Languages
Lord's Prayer in
Afrikaans people and English people stick mainly to their own
languages and speak in only one or the other, with a few exceptions
who speak also a native-tribal language, the Africans tend to
demonstrate their use of languages by mixing words and phrases into
all of South Africa's Languages
Languages - What is Spoken Where
most countries where it serves as lingua franca, English came to be
perceived as the language of the social elite.
it was seen as the language of aspiration and empowerment for black
South Africans and for many Afrikaners, among a significant section
of the Afrikaans population it was consistently received with
hostility as an oppressor, and, from the time the National Party
came to power in 1948, Afrikaans became the openly-favoured
the fact that English was the other official language, the business
of government and administration was conducted almost exclusively
resources were allocated to the development of Afrikaans while
English was afforded a lesser status and the African languages were
ignored (except for some being declared the official languages of
the discredited ethnic 'homelands').
Lord's Prayer in
of the Rhodesias
Rhodesias are defined here in terms of the countries - Zambia,
Zimbabwe, and Malawi. They are called thus to distinguish them or
set them apart from Central Africa which are the countries - Congo,
Angola, Ruanda, Burundi, and Uganda.
Bembas are the cockneys of Zambia. Lozis have their own interesting
peculiarities when it comes to pronunciations. The "al" sounds is a
case in point. A Lozi will speak of his "originaal" idea, a cut
above the "superficiaal" ideas of his peers. The Easterners have
some of the thickest accents of any people in
some colloquialisms from Zambia :
1 Zanglish 2
Language Profile and Pronunciations :
Hail Mary in
afternoon" in more than 160 languages
Jennifer's Language Page
"I Love You"
Ek het jou lief
Ana behibak (to male)
Ana behibek (to female)
Yes kez sirumen
Eg elski teg
Mina rakastan sinua
French - Je
t'aime, Je t'adore
Naanu ninna preetisuttene
- Kaluguran daka
Tu magel moga cho
Ya tebya liubliu
Aamee tuma ke bhalo aashi
- Ya tabe kahayu
Nahigugma ako kanimo
Gaelic - Ta
gra agam ort
Ich liebe dich
Hoo thunay prem karoo choo
Latin - Te
Es tevi miilu
- Tave myliu
- Tha gra\dh agam ort
Ke a go rata
Language - ,\,,/ (represents position of fingers when signing'I
Maa tokhe pyar kendo ahyan
Te quiero / Te amo
Jag alskar dig
Swiss-German - Ich lieb Di
Soro lahn nhee ah
Chinese - Ngo oiy ney a
Ti tengu caru (to male)
Creol - Mi
- Palangga ko ikaw
Aloha wau ia oi
Ani ohev otah (to female)
Ani ohev et otha (to male)
- Guina higugma ko ikaw
Hindi - Hum
Tumhe Pyar Karte hae
Hmong - Kuv
Hopi - Nu'
Saya cintakan mu / Aku cinta padamu
Njan Ninne Premikunnu
Chinese - Wo ai ni
Me tula prem karto
Ana moajaba bik
Wa ga ei li
Ua Here Vau Ia Oe
Tamil - Nan
Nenu ninnu premistunnanu
Thai - Chan
rak khun (to male)
Thai - Phom
rak khun (to female)
Jeg Elsker Dig
Dutch - Ik
hou van jou
Eg elska tig
Palangga ko ikaw
- Saya cinta padamu
Taim i' ngra leat
Ni mits neki
Jeg Elsker Deg
Ya tebe kahayu
Urdu - mai
aap say pyaar karta hoo
- Anh ye^u em (to female)
- Em ye^u anh (to male)
English - I
Mi amas vin
Ma armastan sind
Syota na kita!!
- Inaru Taka
- Mi ta stimabo
Pig Latin -
Iay ovlay ouyay
- Eu te amo
'Rwy'n dy garu
Ikh hob dikh
Yoruba - Mo