Foreign Language: Afringlish 101

NEW WORDS HAVE BEEN ADDED TO THE AFRINGLISH 101 PAGE…

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As a child growing up in South Africa, I was always fascinated by countries abroad but more with those that were remarkably different from the one I was growing up in. I loved Europe – I had never been there as a child – but I had a set of World Book Encyclopedias which showed the most beautiful pictures of the architecture and ancient streets lined with cafes and quaint shops. I had dreams at night of touring through Europe and discovering all these grand places – the museums, the galleries and the little towns and villages seen only in my World Book.

I always wanted to speak a foreign language – one that is not spoken in my country. I liked French in particular. It sounded so sophisticated. I have long believed the saying that only the French can make an insult sound like a marriage proposal. Sadly I have never learned to speak French and I suppose it is not too late to. But when I moved to the USA, I realised to my utter delight that in fact, I do speak a foreign language. I am an English-speaking South African and I learnt Afrikaans as a second language (in school, because we had to) and now being the States, where South Africans are few in number, I speak an unique language – one that in my neighborhood is understood by my husband and my children.

But now a days, the English and Afrikaans have kind of melted together and a new dialect has been created which many refer to as slang. I don’t like the word “slang” because it sounds disjointed and not serious. The truth is this way of speaking is so commonplace that slang does not do it justice – Afrikaans + English = Afringlish…

So I have decided to start a page and every week or so, I will post new words so that you too, can understand a South African if you ever visit my country. Welcome of Afringlish 101!

Our words this week:

Slapgat: (slah-p-gaht) The ‘g’ is throaty. Literally means ‘limp bottom’. Wildly used to refer to someone who is not taking anything very seriously or someone who does something half hearted. “That slapgat never gets the job done!” Please remember that although not a swear word, actually calling someone a slapgat to their face might result in an unpleasant reaction.

Lekker: (lack-er) Means something is beyond awesome, great, nice, yummy. Used to describe anything that is enjoyable or fun, or tasty or good. “This ice-cream is so lekker.”

Braai: (sounds like dry) The South African term for barbecue or the Australian barbie. People braai chops, steak, sausage but never ever hamburgers! “I feel like having a lekker braai!”

Bakkie: (buck-ee) The South African version of the American pick up. The bigger the better and the more raised the better. “John bought a lekker new blue bakkie.”

Sarmie: (sahrmee) Shortened version of a sandwich. “The kids took their sarmies to school for lunch.”

So I have started a page devoted to new words and once a week I will post some new ones! Enjoy trying to pronounce them.

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~ by ski holidays on March 31, 2008.

5 Responses to “Foreign Language: Afringlish 101”

  1. […] words we share – lekker and bakkie being a few we share in South Africa. Some more can be found at A-Broader View. Can you imagine 11 official languages? But we do have something in common. We are South African. […]

  2. Brilliant!!!

  3. Ag ja hey, fanks…we miss words like lekker and it is so difficult to explain that it means more than awesome but you must be able to feel it, touch it, smell it or taste it. Now, for a lekker stukkie braai and a castle or cream soda and my day will just be kieff!

  4. […] words we share – lekker and bakkie being a few we share in South Africa. Some more can be found at A-Broader View. Can you imagine 11 official languages? But we do have something in common. We are South African. […]

  5. […] we share – lekker and bakkie being a few we share in South Africa. Some more can be found at A-Broader View. Can you imagine 11 official languages? But we do have something in common. We are South African. […]

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