Tag Archives: afrikaans

An important conference for Afrikaans in Europe

Summer is a good time for attending conferences in Europe, and 2017 has proved to be no exception. This afternoon we had to brave a thunderstorm that would hold its own against any Highveld thunderstorm in South Africa, and that in Venice, Italy, just after our arrival here from München by bus. We were on…

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Luister, you can keep your Oxford scholarship

By Mark John Burke Three years ago, I sat around a dinner table as one of 10 national finalists for five very prestigious scholarships to Oxford. Across from me sat a professor who insisted: “We need to do away with Afrikaans completely. It is the language of the oppressor. We need to start with universities.”…

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Klein Karoo National Arts Festival: Close, but no cigar

Just before the weekend I learned that the Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) had recently posted a Facebook statement informing the public that Steve Hofmeyr would not be performing at this year’s festival. The post continued to say that Hofmeyr had not, in fact, applied to participate, but that even if he had, the…

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An Afrikaans arts festival and fish out of water…

I always wondered about that phrase, “a fish out of water”. To me, it always seemed like a chosen emotion. That is, you can only be a fish out of water if you chose to be one. In my head, any situation can be accommodated by opening yourself up to it, learning about it and…

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Whose language is it anyway?

By Athambile Masola The language question has reared its ugly head again. Recently Rebecca Davis wrote an article about research that confirms “English is leading the way as the most preferred teaching language”. As an English teacher this ought to make me happy. However, I am not convinced that the findings from this research account…

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Afrikaans shows some unexpected mettle

For the past two decades Afrikaners have been struggling to find a new identity. Specifically, one beyond the cliché of Boertjie as a thickset, thick-skulled, knuckle-dragging, racist Neanderthal whose simple pleasures in life are slugging Klippies-and-Coke and dancing lang arm around the braai. That is, when the Baas is not otherwise engaged dragging errant farm…

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Why all Afrikaners should go to Europe

By Mark John Burke Europe is a great place, it really is. You step off your plane onto a train that takes you to your destination and once there trams and buses stand ready to take you to wherever you want. Europeans have perfected recycling and they go to great lengths to ensure everybody’s safety….

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Language and inequalities in education

By Athambile Masola As a language teacher, I have been following the furore about African languages being axed from schools with great interest. I have been reading and trying not to be cynical about every new article announcing that yet another school will no longer offer isiZulu or isiXhosa in the foundation phase. There have…

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