The Art Of The

The fear of travelling to a new country is often exacerbated by the worry of learning a new language. The uniqueness of South Africa is that, on arrival, you need to learn how to greet in not one but 11 official languages and a few dozen more unofficial on top of that. It makes for an interesting first impression! Of course, landing in South Africa (generally at OR Tambo International) you would be hard pressed to look around and identify the members of each linguistic nation. So, to assist, heres a rather broad breakdown of the general areas where the official languages are spoken. Right now, the unofficial languages take a back-seat. Please note, due to the way our ever-exciting country works, things tend to change often! Eastern Cape: Xhosa (83%), Afrikaans (9%) Free State: Sesotho (64%), Afrikaans (12%) Gauteng: Zulu (21%), Afrikaans (14%), Sesotho (13%), English (12%) KwaZulu-Natal: Zulu (81%), English (13%) Limpopo: Sepedi (52%), Tsonga (22%), Venda (16%) Mpumalanga: siSwati (31%), Zulu (26%), Ndebele (12%) Northern Cape: Afrikaans (68%), Setswana (21%) North West: Setswana (65%), Afrikaans (7%) Western Cape: Afrikaans (55%), English (19%), Xhosa (23%) Source: Now this may appear to be a broad generalization and it may well annoy a few, but bear in mind, South Africa is as diverse as its languages. Which makes a common greeting an occasion! Afrikaans Goeie dag English Hello Ndebele Salubonani Pedi Thobela Sotho Lumela Swazi Sawubona Tsonga [morning] Avusheni Tsonga [afternoon] Inhelekani TswanDumela Venda Avuwani Xhosa Molo Zulu Sawubona And on top of the numerous languages, South Africans have several greeting styles; of course all depending on the ethnic heritage of the person you meet. When dealing with foreigners, most offer to shake hands while maintaining eye contact and smiling. Others prefer not to raise their eyes as a sign of respect. And with some the hand-shake is two-handed confused yet? Dont worry too much about it though; were generally a friendly bunch who dont take offence if you dont get it right first time! Once you’ve mastered that, let me help you along with a few words and phrases, in the English version of South Africanese, that may help you understand us when we speak – even if they are words you think you recognize at first. Howzit Hello, a general greeting, especially coined by the slacker surfer dude. Cape Doctor The south-easter which howls across the Cape Peninsula in summer, rolling a cloud over Table Mountain also known as the city’s "table cloth". The wind blows away all the pollution. Robot Traffic light the only country in the world apart from France that refers to the traffic light thusly need I say more? Shot In a peculiar way this mostly means "Thanks". Tune – Another word for tell or talk. "Tune me the ages." Get it? Or you can just ask for the time. Just now Sometime soon, shortly, which may come closer to "sooner or later" or even "never". Now now Sooner than "just now" hopefully. The last 2 phrases in fact dont even make sense anywhere else but here. But you learn to live with them, as walking through the minefield that is hello in South Africa may sometimes be confusing, often frustrating, but when you get it right, it’s always rewarding. By Jo Jordan [email protected] For more language-related articles visit the Lingoproz Live! magazine at, part of Africa’s only online platform for language professionals Search or offer language services Terminology forum, calendar of events, index of resources .ing soon About the Author: Lingoproz provides you Professional Language Services like for voiceover Chichewa , Language Translation Services, Interpretation Services , Language Service Providers allows you to .pare several language service providers, individuals and .panies, in your region. It also provides teaching, proofreading, editing and transcription services. Article Published On: Leading 2 Bed And 3 Bed Launch Offer By: akansha tyagi – Prestige Misty Waters Bangalore is in very closer proximity to the major parts of the city yet enabling a pollution free life in a calm and serene environment. 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