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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.

A brief guide to South Africa’s Bill of Rights

humanthumbMarch is Human Rights Month, a time when South Africans celebrate the progressive rights granted to them in the Constitution. But do you really know these rights? Our handy plain English guide to the Bill of Rights will help you get to know both your rights and those of your fellow South Africans.

Student viral campaign tells the world: Africa is not a country

"I don't speak 'African' because 'African' is not a language." "Africans do not all look alike." "Africa existed before colonialism." These are just some of the messages young Africans studying in the US are sending out in a new viral photographic campaign.

Reading for life

To foster a lifelong love for reading among the world's children, Biblionef donates books to schools, libraries and early childhood development centres. The project has reached some 3 million children, introducing them to a world of new stories and ideas. 

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 creates new Zulu terms

South African creates new Zulu terms

South African electrical engineer turned author Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi has developed 480 new Zulu words to explain contemporary science and technology as well as to help change perceptions about indigenous languages.

SA engineer gets Zulu technical

A South African electrical engineer turned author has developed 480 new Zulu words to explain contemporary science and technology terms.

Zulu gets technical

A South African electrical engineer turned author has developed 480 new Zulu words to explain contemporary science and technology terms.
Cards celebrate SA’s languages

South African film wins at Tribeca

New York's prestigious Tribeca Film Festival has named the South African film Father Christmas Doesn’t Come Here the best narrative short film.
New Afrikaans film a hit

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.

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