South African rainbow tongue

africa_tongue The South African constitution of 1996 recognizes no less than 11 official languages.

They comprise Southern Bantu languages, plus Afrikaans and English.

I guess I can skip introducing English. As for Afrikaans, this is a Germanic language, evolved from the Dutch spoken by European settlers, originally in the Cape peninsula.

Among the Southern Bantu languages, we find the Nguni languages: Ndebele, Swati, Zulu, Xhosa. They are easily recognizable by their click sounds, that they borrowed from the Khoi-San languages.

The Sotho languages form another sub-family with Sotho, Northern Sotho (a.k.a. Pedi), Tswana.

Finally, there remain two outliers, located in the North-Eastern part  of the country: Tsonga (also spoken in Mozambique) and Venda.

This linguistic context is one of the reasons which brought me here, in South Africa and at the University of South Africa (UNISA). UNISA is a major and massive (400,000 students!) comprehensive, distance-learning university, the first in size in South Africa and on the whole continent.

As such, it has a specific mission in serving the whole population, regardless of the language they speak. I will come back on that in another post!



UNISA or the University of South Africa.

Listen to the clicks.



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