intermittentblogger

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Minor language annoyance

So there’s a new teacher at the kids daycare. Apparently I’m not as “undercover” a South African as I’d hoped because less than a minute after introducing herself to me she launched into the “its SO good to meet another South African!”

Really? I can’t for the life of me imagine why. Besides, we live on the North Shore… you can’t walk 10 paces without bumping into a South African.

Anyhoo, that’s not the annoyance. The annoyance is that she now speaks to my kids in Afrikaans. The Diva just blinks at her blankly and DestructaBoy smiles and waves because our kids don’t speak or understand Afrikaans! If it was our first language things might be different but it isn’t. Our kids will have a second language, but it’ll be Maori.

When I’m in a predominantly SA environment – like the SA restaurant we went to over the weekend – then speaking and hearing Afrikaans is comfortable, it feels right. But when going about my daily life in this very English speaking country, when someone speaks good English, it feels rude to switch into a foreign language that the people around you don’t speak.

Guess I should politely tell her that the kids don’t understand Afrikaans and then just let her speak whatever she chooses, right? But when I respond it will be in English and if she wants our kids to understand her she’ll need to switch to English.

Not very patriotic, I know!

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5 thoughts on “Minor language annoyance

  1. OMG!

    Just today C was asked if he works at the prison or the military camp, purely because we said we were Saffers!

    It really winds me up when people assume you are Afrikaans speaking. And when they carry on talking in Afrikaans when a non Afrikaans speaker joins the group. AND when all they want to do is bash the new country…

    Oops… I am not patriotic either.

    I do wish we had a Saffer restaurant in Welly though. Especially a Spur or Dros! mmmmm

  2. Nothing to do with being patriotic, Afrikaans is not your language, english is – it is rather silly to assume because you are South African that your kids will understand Afrikaans.

  3. I agree with Barb! Would be like someone speaking Afrikaans to my kids here – they wont really understand them!

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