04 April 2009

Sharp Sharp

South Africa is a very interesting place to be with some first world areas, some third world areas and lots of Western influence (mostly from the U.K. and America). I thought it would be interesting to highlight some of these similarities.

  • Soapys! These are like soap operas only much more intense! (And they move faster than American soaps.) I think a better comparison is that South African "soapys" are like Tele Novella in Mexico. Very dramatic! Here's a clip to one called Generations on YouTube. There are several others like Soul City, Isidingo and 7 de Laan (Afrikaans soapy).
  • English phrases. Like the bathroom is called the 'loo' and apartments are called 'flats.' (I haven't seen an elevator yet, but I have it on good report that it would be called a lift!)
  • Cricket, rugby and soccer is actually called soccer. So silly me, I thought that outside the US they called soccer football, but in South Africa, I haven't heard anyone yet call it football. And I thought cricket was played with mallets, but it looks more like a cross between hockey and baseball .... (what are the shin guards for?!)

Setswana Words and Phrases
(Just for fun!)
  • Sharp, Sharp (or just Sharp) - meaning: it's all good, cool, etc.
  • Le kae "luh-kai" - meaning literally: where are you?; taken as: how are you?
  • Ke teng "kay-tang" - meaning literally: I am here; taken as: good
  • Ke a leboga "kay-ah-lay-boh-hah" - meaning: thank you
  • Gape "hah-pay"- meaning literally: again; taken as: repeat (I used this a lot!)
  • Ema "ay-mah" - meaning: stop
  • Ga ke itse "hah-kay-eat-see" - meaning: I don't know
  • Ga go na matatha "hah-hoh-nah-muh-tat-hah" - no worries, no problem (think Lion King, Setswana is close to Swahili, where they have the phrase "hakuna mathatha"
  • Short left or short right - meaning: asking the taxi driver to make a short stop (yeah, I know it's in English, but I still think it's funny)
On a happy note, I passed my language exam (yay!) and I'm officially in Mafikeng at my new site! We swore-in on Thursday and I arrived about 9:30 that night. Now I'm just unpacking and getting into the local culture.

Much love,


1 comment:

Patrick Doran said...

Croquet is played with mallets, like the one you smashed Matt in the testicles with so many years ago.