Tag Archives: isiXhosa

Language: An emotive issue

Why is language such an emotive issue? Primarily because it goes to the heart of what we are as speaking beings, as Jacques Lacan would no doubt retort. Language is what differentiates between humans and other animals insofar as it is a symbolic system where every signifier (word, image, or gesture) corresponds with a signified…

Leave a comment Continue Reading →

It’s never too late to learn another South African language

Two months ago I decided to learn to speak isiXhosa. This is a big thing for a 53-year-old — some might say impossible. Others might say it is unnecessary. They might be right in strictly practical terms. I don’t need to speak isiXhosa. Very, very seldom do I have to communicate with someone who speaks…

17 Comments Continue Reading →

Why learn an African language?

A short version of this article appeared in the M&G print verison on May 24 2013. Every thinking white South African must have at least toyed with the idea of learning to speak an African language. Few however have made the effort. Nor it seems are their children learning. The department of basic education is…

38 Comments Continue Reading →