Northern Sotho: Theme 7 -  Touring and socializing

Previous greetings and courtesies | asking for help, emergencies | numbers, days, months, seasons | question words, quantities, weather and time | banks, taxis and restaurants | transportation and finding your way | touring and socializing | at the filling station | the human body and ailments | shopping and sport Next

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Like and love
In Northern Sotho the word for ‘like’ and ‘love’ is the same verb –rata. If one says  Ke a go rata it can mean ‘I like you’ or ‘I love you’. It is up to the listener to deduct from the context which feeling the speaker is expressing.

Names in Northern Sotho
Most Northern Sotho names have meanings that are easily recognisable. Traditionally, African names were often chosen from circumstances surrounding the birth of the baby, for example:
Mapula (Mother of Rain)
Tšie     (When the baby was born during a locust plague)
Tlala    (When the baby was born during famine)

Slang language in South Africa
South Africa is a multi-cultural, cosmopolitan society where slang is used by many as a lingua franca.  Street language may be called Isicamtho, ‘flaai-taal’ or ‘tsotsi taal’ and incorporates Africanised articulations of English and Afrikaans. Some slang borrowings from the African languages are:
aikona  -  No way, absolutely not. From Nguni language meaning “No”.
babalaas – Hangover.  From the Zulu word ibhabhalazi.
bra -  my brother, mate.
chana - my mate (from Zulu, 'my nephew' umshana).
eish! - an interjection expressing resignation, surprise, bewilderment or shock.
eita! -  a greeting: “eita bra!” Originated in the townships among the youth.
hhawu! - expression of disbelief.
hhayi bo! - wow! (from Zulu, 'definitely not').
majita – men.
spaza - an informal trading-post/convenience store found in townships and remote areas.
toyi-toyi - protest-dancing; used in mainstream South African English.