One of the thing that living in Costa Rica cured me of is being afraid of getting laughed at if I mis-pronounce a non-English word. As I mentioned in a previous post, South Africa, has eleven official languages. I haven’t checked the census figures yet, but I’m pretty sure more than that are commonly spoken.
I only speak two of the eleven fluently: English and Afrikaans. While I took Zulu in university, it focused more on the academic portions, and my Zulu is not much stronger than the other nine languages. Thankfully, every trip to the super market presents another opportunity to either learn or practice some new vocabulary. At a mi:nimum I would like to be able to say
- how are you
- fine thanks
- thank you
in all eleven of our languages. At the moment, I have about four of the words across six of the languages (including English and Afrikaans).
Today when I was paying for my groceries the cashier’s home language was Venda, and so I learnt how to say “hello” in Venda. It’s aa, but pronounced more like ah! Which is great fun and I don’t think I will easily forget.
Love and learning,