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Languages of South Africa

The languages of South Africa

We're not called the rainbow nation for nothing. South Africa has 11 official languages, and scores of unofficial ones besides. English is the most commonly spoken language in official and commercial public life - but only the fifth most spoken home language.

Across the Colour Bar: Nthabiseng’s story

Nthabiseng Hibbert is an ordinary South African woman who, for the past two decades, has lived in a modest home in Katlehong, one of the country's largest – and poorest – black urban townships. Only one thing sets her apart from her neighbours: Nthabiseng is white.

South African English

English has been spoken in South Africa for over 200 years, evolving into a distinct dialect with a vocabulary strongly influenced by indigenous languages. Learn to understand the locals with our comprehensive guide to Mzanzi taal.

South African English is lekker!

South African English is lekker!

South Africans speak English, that doesn't mean you'll always understand us. Our robots are nothing like R2D2, just now doesn't mean immediately, and babbelas is not a shampoo. Tune in with our quick dictionary of SA idiom. It's lekker, bru!
AmaZulu top Man City on Mandela Day

AmaZulu top Man City on Mandela Day

Premier Soccer League club AmaZulu handed English giants Manchester City the second loss of their tour of South Africa when they beat the Sky Blues 2-1 in a Nelson Mandela Football Invitational match in Durban on Thursday.
2010 jobs boost for SA tourism

Back to SA after Asian adventure

An intrepid South African couple is on their way back home after eight years of travelling and working abroad – bringing with them a vast store of memories and experiences.
Northern Cape ideal for extreme sports

2010: home away from home

2010: home away from home

A number of prominent European communities within South Africa - in particular the Italian, Portuguese, Dutch, English and Greek communities - plan to give their teams a welcome that will make them feel right at home during the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
2010: England fans 'raring to go'

2010: England fans ‘raring to go’

Thousands of English fans have already begun gearing up for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, with the international coordinator of the country's Football Supporters' Federation, Kevin Miles, spending time in South Africa this week to get the lay of the land.

South African English? No jive, my friend

While English is spoken everywhere in South Africa, here there are as many Englishes as there are people who claim to speak the language - either as a first or 11th language, writes Jacob Dlamini.

South African English

English has been spoken in South Africa for over 200 years, evolving into a distinct dialect with a vocabulary strongly influenced by indigenous languages. Learn to understand the locals with our comprehensive guide to Mzanzi taal.

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