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Say Thank You In All Eleven Official South African Languages

There are eleven official languages of South Africa: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. Fewer than two percent of South Africans speak a first language other than an official one. Most South Africans can speak more than one language. Dutch and English were the first official languages of South Africa from 1910 to 1925. Afrikaans was added as a part of Dutch in 1925, although in practice, Afrikaans effectively replaced Dutch, which fell into disuse. When South Africa became a republic in 1961 the official relationship changed such that Afrikaans was considered to include Dutch, and Dutch was dropped in 1984, so between 1984 and 1994, South Africa had two official languages: English and Afrikaans.

Different government departments and official bodies use different terms to denote Northern Sotho. In South Africa, Southern Ndebele is known simply as Ndebele, as most speakers of Northern Ndebele live in Zimbabwe.

Since taking power in the 1994 election, the ANC has promoted English as the main language of government, even if South Africans often take pride in using indigenous languages for any purpose. Afrikaans also features prominently in commerce together with English as the languages with the highest number of fluent speakers are Afrikaans and English.

In terms of linguistic classification, the official languages include two West Germanic languages (English and Afrikaans) and nine Bantu languages. Four of these are Nguni languages (Zulu, Xhosa, Swati and Ndebele) and three are Sotho–Tswana languages (Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho and Tswana). Tsonga is a Tswa–Ronga language.

South African Sign Language is understood across the country, though sometimes sign-language interpreters use manually coded language.

 

English

thank you

Afrikaans

dankie

Ndebele

ngiyathokoza

Xhosa

enkosi

Zulu

ngiyabonga

Sepedi

ke a lebogaSesotho

ke a leboha

Setswana

ke a leboga

Siswati

ngiyabonga

Tshivenda

ndi a livhuha

Xitsonga

ndza Khensa

We say thank you for gifts, thank you for special favors, and thank you for assistance in times of need. But it’s not only the big things where thank you matters. We also say thank you as we’re handed our change in the store, thank you to someone who holds the door for us, and thank you to the person who passes us the salt at dinner.
So that you get in enough practice, choose one language everyday and every time you’re being polite, surprise people by using one of these phrases!

 

Article written by Noxolo P. Mshweshwe

Director at Iisuba (PTY) Ltd
UmXhosakazi Ostrongo!

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Earle Hertler Reply

    i bookmarked it and will be back to check it out some more later ..|I wish getting over a broken heart can be so easy as following a few

  2. Nikita Irebe Reply

    Hope it helps you out 🙂

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