AFRICAN WORDS SOUTH AFRICA. There are a lot of differences

South Africa words and African words south Africa has done strange things with the language over the years. The Afrikaans that comes from Dutch may sound very logical to us, but has since acquired a completely different meaning.

And English does not resemble what we know from school or from television. Not to mention all the African languages ​​integrated into English.

Read the glossary below with explanations to be well prepared or to just smile and be amazed by South African.

First, a list of the most important ones you’ll hear a lot from day 1 in South Africa.

African word Baie dankie

Thank you! Is mainly used in Afrikaans but the word “Baie” is also used loosely in English and means “a lot / very much”.

South African word Howzit

The famous South African greeting. Short for “How is it?”. Don’t say the usual “It’s fine, thanks”. But rather “No, fine”, which actually means “Yes, I am fine”. The word no often also means yes. A real Afrikaner (someone who is descended from the Dutch) can even answer with: “Yes, well, no fine,” which just means that everything is fine.

Al south Africans use the words. Is it? (Izzit?)

A fairly normal response to everything you hear. Kind of a surprise like “oh yeah dude?” It is therefore not a question whether you are serious and whether you can explain it further. It is also used as a clincher in a conversation that someone doesn’t feel like doing. So pay attention to a slightly cynical undertone.


The word delicious is really used in South Africa for much more than we use it in Dutch! Nice girls or boys are “Lekkerrr!” But cars can also be nice. You have a “nice time” which means that you are having a good time, “I feel good”, the “Holiday is nice”. The TV was not tasty “(so it’s broken) and of course tasty is also a word that is used for food and the weather. As a superlative you have Baie Lekker of course.

Also something you have to get used to is the double negation in Afrikaans such as “Ek is niet bij die huis nie” which simply means “I am not at home”.

Ag (‘A * g’)

Like “Ag, no man” (ah no man! Slight irritation) or “Ag, I don’t know” (ah, I don’t know).


This means yes. It comes from Zulu, but is widely used.


Barbecue African style. The bbq is often half an oil drum. Huge pieces of meat and sausage are put on it. Only when everything is cooked, the food is put on the table and people start eating. You eat mielie porridge with it, salads, rolls (small round soft rolls).


Is the name for an white African speaking person. Has a slightly negative sound as a conservative person.


Pickup truck. Dit is een type auto dat veel mensen hebben. “That bokkie and her ballie parked off on the back of the bakkie” betekent: That pretty girl and her father sat on the back of the pickup truck.

Ek sê

(I say – “I say”) but means more “I tell you!”


From the Afrikaans word for poo. It’s used in a lot of ways “Don’t talk kak” or “Don’t give me kak” or “You’re so full of kak” or “Having a kak day” or “He’s in the kak”


Dowry. One question you may be asked is how much the Lobola is in your country.

Yada yada

( blah blah).

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