South Africa is such a diverse country with incredible natural scenery and a fascinating cultural experience. Most travellers take flights to Johannesburg as their first port of call when visiting the country.
From Joburg, consider travelling to Cape Town and Durban. As you cross the country, you’ll notice significant differences in the native languages.
South Africa has eleven official languages recognized in the country’s constitution including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.
Interestingly enough English is only spoken at home by around eight percent of the population – however within commercial and business circles English is widely spoken.
Zulu is the most common dialect as the first language with almost one quarter of the country speaking Zulu at home.
Apart from English, the only other language derived from Europe is Afrikaans, which is spoken by around 13 percent of the nation at home.
Afrikaans is also spoken in Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe. The language owes its origins to seventeenth century Dutch dialects.
Given that Afrikaans is spoken more widely than English at home, the locals may appreciate tourists who make the effort to use a couple of words when in the cities and on safari.
When visiting South Africa, these phrases might come in handy:
Hello, how are you? Hallo, hoe gaan dit?
Do you speak English? Praat jy Engels?
What is your name? Wat is jou naam?
Which animals will we see on our safari? Watter diere sien ons op ons safari?
Will I see any elephants? Sal ek olifante sien?
Where are the lions? Waar is die leeus?
I can see an impala. Ek kan sien ‘n rooibok.
Can you take my photo? Kan jy ‘n foto van my neem?
Thank you. That was amazing. Dankie. Dit was ongelooflik.
You have a beautiful country. Jy het ‘n pragtige land.
I love you. 🙂 Ek is lief vir jou. 🙂
If you are interested to extend the above write-up ‘special look at an official South African Language, Afrikaans’ or a topic limited to South Africa, we welcome you.