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Thread: Do Whites in SA Speak or Understand Zulu?

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    Question Do Whites in SA Speak or Understand Zulu?

    Just a curiosity of mine.

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    My Father can speak Fanagalô which is a hybrid language between Zulu, Xhosa Portugese, English and Afrikaans. It had its beginnings in the mines where people from many racial backgrounds worked together as migrant labour. I don’t know where my Father picked it up as he never worked on a mine. I know that Fanagalô was also used in the bush war between the Afrikaans and Portuguese speaking UNITA combaters from Angola as many Angolan combatants had worked on the South African mines.

    Speaking for myself, no I can’t speak an indigenous language. It could be handy though when they swear at you in their foul language. I doubt that many white South Africans can.

    Fanagalo or Fanakalo is a pidgin (simplified language) based on the Zulu, English, and Afrikaans languages. It is used as a lingua franca, mainly in the gold, diamond, coal and copper mining industries in South Africa — and to a smaller extent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Although it is used as a second language only, the number of speakers was estimated as "several hundred thousand" in 1975.

    Fanagalo is the only Zulu-based pidgin language, and is a rare example of a pidgin based on an indigenous language rather than on the language of a colonising or trading power.

    Zimbabwe has a variant known as "Chilapalapa", while Zambia's variant is "Cikabanga"
    Although the word "Commando" was wrongly used to describe all Boer soldiers, a commando was a unit formed from a particular district. None of the units was organized in regular companies, battalions or squadrons. The Boer commandos were individualists who were difficult to control, resented formal discipline or orders, and earned a British jibe that"every Boer was his own general".

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    Do Whites in SA Speak or Understand Zulu?
    As a general rule, no, nor any of the other eight black languages spoken in SA.

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    No, unless they are historians or scholars who want to research something about Zulus.

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