South African English

Clark   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 07:33 GMT
Does anyone know how many people in South Africa are of British descent? And has their (the British South Africans) ENglish been influenced mainly by native African languages or by Afrikaans/Dutch?

Does anyone know of any good sites with pictures of "Coloureds"? I do not think that I have ever seen a picture of a Coloured person before. Do they look more white or black?

Also, does anyone know what the current trend on the use of Afrikaans is in South Africa? Is the language losing ground to English? If a person going to Capetown, Johanesburg, Bloemfontein (mainly white towns), would it be beneficial to learn Afrikaans?
Cricket   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 08:20 GMT
I believe that "coloureds" refers to Indian/Pakistani South Africans and possibly to people with mixed heritage (eg. Indian/native African or European/native African, etc.). This is what I gathered after reading Bryce Coutney's "Power of One" and "Tandia". I'm a great fan of Bryce Courtney's novels, and both "Power of One" and "Tandia" were successful in actually taking me on a journey through the South Africa of the past.
Tremmert   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 19:12 GMT
The South Africa of the past and present are extremely different. I don't know how many people in SA are of British descent but I speak English as my mother tongue and am only +-1/8 British.

Local English has been influence slightly by Afrikaans in the use of words like 'braai' (rhymes with 'buy') for barbecue but apart from a few phrases like that should be entirely understandable to any English speaker. Of course a native Afrikaans speaker will speak English with an Afrikaans accent and a native Zulu speaker will speak with an African language accent, etc.

Coloureds are people of mixed descent. However, black people vary in colour depending on which part of the continent they were from (Etheopeans are almost completely black whereas the 'bushmen' or San native to Southern African are coloured more like Asians) so you can get black people which are lighter than coloureds - they basically range from white to black ;)

Afrikaans is the language most commonly spoken either as a first or second language, Zulu and Xhosa are the most spoken first languages, but despite this English is the main language of TV and many newspapers and I think the amount of English speakers is growing all the time. Cape Town and Johannesburg are predominantly English speaking but Pretoria and Bloemfontein will have far more Afrikaans speakers. Learning Afrikaans would be beneficial (like learning any language ;)) but not necessary.
Clark   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 19:37 GMT
Tremmert, do the Coloureds look more like "lighter blacks"?

Do you know the status of Afrikaans used in schools? Forgive me for asking, but are you living in South Africa right now? Have you lived there all of your life? How did you learn Afrikaans?

I am really interested in two countries; Canada and South Africa. This is the reason for all of the questions (which I hope you do not mind giving the answers or opinions).
Clark   Wednesday, May 28, 2003, 19:48 GMT
Tremmert, I just read another post and you said you are South African.

Anyways, I also just found a website from South Africa:

I could read some of it, and it makes me want to learn more Afrikaans. Ek denk dat ek wil Afrikaans lern.
Tremmert   Friday, May 30, 2003, 10:13 GMT
Jy dink dat jy Afrikaans wil leer ;)
Tremmert   Friday, May 30, 2003, 10:22 GMT
I do Afrikaans at school which means I know just about all the grammar rules but I can't speak it fluently.
Clark   Friday, May 30, 2003, 21:08 GMT
Tremmert, if you do not mind me asking, what part of South Africa do you live in?

As for Afrikaans being very easy, you are the first person that I have heard say that about Afrikaans. Everyone thinks that Spanish or Esperanto are the easiest languages to learn for native English-speakers. This is NOT the case. Afrikaans is so easy!!!
Mitra   Friday, May 30, 2003, 21:27 GMT
It seems to me if one speaks Enlish and some German, one can undrestand Afrikaans. At least, I understand the above sentence in Afrikaans.
Clark   Saturday, May 31, 2003, 04:26 GMT
Well, not really. There are a lot of similarities between Afrikaans, German and English, but Afrikaans has evolved a considerable amount.
Tremmert   Saturday, May 31, 2003, 13:41 GMT
Afrikaans is easy for people who speak a Germanic language but maybe Spanish is easier for people who speak Chinese or Arabic or something...

I live in Johannesburg, Gauteng province.
Clark   Saturday, May 31, 2003, 20:06 GMT
That is neat. South Africa is one of the places to visit on my list. I want to go to Johannesburg, Cape Town, Pretoria, Bloemfontein and some other places. Where would be the best place for learning Afrikaans (as in where are the most native speakers located)?