A new pocket-sized phrasebook of South Africa’s 11 official languages will be useful for tourists while visiting South Africa in June for the 2010 Fifa World Cup, and anyone who wants to get by travelling throughout the diverse country.
The Hello South Africa phrasebook translates over 600 English phrases into South Africa’s other ten official languages, namely Afrikaans, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swati, Tshonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. English is widely spoken in most provinces, but South Africa is so diverse that being able to converse with its citizens in their mother tongue language is guaranteed to enrich the cultural experience of the country.
Tsonga, Swati, Ndebele, Venda and Pedi are widely spoken in Limpopo, home to the Peter Mokaba Stadium. Afrikaans and Tswana are most prevalent in the Northern Cape.
There are also handy tips and hints about everything from finding a good restaurant to catching a taxi, which, like most South Africans know and as the phrasebook says, is done at the tourist’s own risk.
The languages are listed alphabetically and colour-coded for easy access. The pronunciation guide at the beginning of each section will help tourists to master the art of the Afrikaans ‘g’ and the Xhosa click.
The phrasebook was developed by graphic designer Mark Macdonald and a voice and English pronunciation coach, Michelle Macdonald. Contributions were also made by relevant South African experts, including language expert and Emerita Prof. Rosalie Finlayson.
With the Hello South Africa Phrasebook in their pockets, tourists are less likely to be left speechless during the World Cup.
The phrasebook includes a brief history of South Africa and its colourful linguistic heritage, as well as language distribution maps, which show where each language is spoken and where the phrasebook is likely to be needed.
Whether you’re taking a trip up Table Mountain, visiting Cape Point or touring the township of Khayelitsa, being able to speak a few phrases of Xhosa or Afrikaans will be most useful in the Western Cape.
Xhosa is the most prevalent language spoken in the Eastern Cape, where you’ll also find the Wild Coast and the Addo Elephant National Park.
In the Free State, home to the Golden Gate National Park, Sotho and Afrikaans are the languages of choice.
Most of the 11 official languages are spoken in Gauteng, so whether you’re attending a match at Soccer City in Soweto or visiting the Union Building in Pretoria, or The Apartheid Museum and Constitutional Hill in Johannesburg, this phrasebook will help you converse with locals.
While visiting east coast beaches or the Natal Midlands, Zulu is the language most likely to be useful in Kwa-Zulu Natal. If you’re making a trip to see the Blyde River Canyon in Mpumalanga, Pedi, Ndebele and Swati will get you there.