K n y s n a
K n y s n a

African Speak

Overview

South Africa has 11 official languages:- Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsongo, Vedna, Xhosa, Zulu

English is only the 4th most common language spoken as a first language, by c. 10% of the poulation (Zulu 23%, Xhosa 16%, Afrikaans 14%)
However, English is the primary language in government and media, and is the second language of most South Africans.
The fastest growing non-official language is currently Portugese.

Knysna is in a region where the dominant language is Afrikaans (followed by Xhosa), but English is widely spoken and understood by the majority.

These lists will hopefully help you understand some of the words / expressions in common use (and on this web-site).
There are many online dictionaries and language translators on the internet and this is not meant to replace any of them.
These are words / phrases that have been relevant so far (for an English only speaker!), and the list will be extended as time goes by.

Cooking / Food / Drink

Biltong
Meat: snack food - strips or pieces of cured (raw spiced dried) meat - from the Dutch words "bil" (rump) and "tong" (strip)
Boerewors
Meat: traditional sausage - from the Afrikaans words "boer" (farmer) and "wors" (sausage)
Bottle Store
Shop that sells alcohol - similar to old fashioned UK off-licence (supermarkets don't sell the variety of alcohol as in UK)
Braai
Similar to a barbecue, (a structure for) grilling meat over an open fire
Braaivleis
Meat: assortment of meat cooked on a Braai
Cap Classique
South African Champagne!!! Methode Cap Classique (MCC) is made using the same method!
Droeewors
Meat: snack food - dried sausage - based on the traditional boerewors
Gemsbok
Meat: a large antelope native to the arid regions of Southern Africa
Hake
Fish: a large-headed elongated fish related to and resembling cod - Fish and Chips is usually Hake and Chips
Half jack
Small flat pocket sized bottle of alcohol, e.g. whisky, gin, etc.
Kassler
Meat: a salted and slightly smoked cut of pork - Kassler chops similar to UK gammon steak
Kudu
Meat: a large African antelope
Mielie
Ear of maize, corn on the cob
Moonballs
Large round white seeded grapes (with a slight muscat flavour)
Padkos
Food and drink for a car journey, picnic, - e.g. sandwiches, biltong
Pap
Porridge
Potjie
Meat or fish stew cooked in a round cast iron 3 legged pot on an open fire
Roosterkoek
Traditional bread to accompany a braai, balls of bread dough cooked on a grid over coals
Slap chips
Limp, soggy (not cooked in hot enough oil) - from the Afrikaans "slap" (droopy)
Snoek
Fish: a long thin species of snake mackerel - usually cooked on a Braai or served as Pate
Sundowner
Any alcoholic drink taken at sundown (usually after a days work)
Warthog
Meat: a wild member of the pig family found in the African bush

Driving / Transport

Bakkie
Utility or pick-up truck (a double bakkie has tow rows of seats)
Circle
Roundabout
Odometer
Instrument for indicating distance travelled by a vehicle - equivalent to UK "mileometer"
Robot(s)
Traffic lights
RWC
Road Worthiness Certificate - similar to UK "M.O.T. certificate"

Buildings / Land

Burgler Bars
Bars fitted either inside or outside to prevent intrusion through windows / doors
DStv
Satellite television
Erf
Plot of land
Geyser
Hot water tank
Kreepy Krauly
Snake like device for cleaning a pool
Stoep
Verandah
Zoning Certificate
Issued by the Municpality indicating use / restrictions of a plot of land / property, e.g. residential or business

Miscellaneous

Bafana Bafana
Nickname of the South African international football team
Cell
Cell phone. mobile phone
Coza
Website qualifier - short for .co.za
Indaba
Meeting, gathering - from a Zulu language word meaning "business" or "matter"
Jol / Jawl
To have fun, party
Log
League table, e.g. Spurs finished 3rd on the log in 2016
Oke
Man, bloke, guy, chap
Proteas
Nickname of the South African international cricket team
SAPS
South African Police Service
SARS
South African Revenue Service - eqivalent to UK "HMRC"
Springboks
Nickname of the South African international rugby union team
Swallows
Foreigners who stay for the summer before returning home
Takkies / Tekkies
Trainers, running shoes, sneakers
Voetstoots
As is - e.g. when selling something; sold as seen, regardless of any faults

Conversation - English

Go well
Take care / look after yourself
Just now
Soon, sometime, but not immediately (and maybe not ever)
Now now
Now
Yes no
Yes, that's fine

Conversation - Afrikaans

Babalas / Babbelas
Hangover
Baie Dankie
Thank you very much
Dankie
Thank you
Gelukkige verjaardag
Happy Birthday
Geseende Kersfees
Merry Crhristmas
Howzit
Hi, how are you doing?
Lekker
Nice
Vasbyt
Hang in there - (literally - bite hard)

Conversation - Xhosa

Hamba gathle
Go well / take care
Inkosi
Thank you
Inkosi kakulu
Thank you very much
Molo
Good morning
Knysna and the Knysna Estuary, through The Heads to the Indian Ocean. View from Westhill Luxury Guest House.
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