This Thanksgiving break I inexplicably got it in my head to migrate my blog from Blogger to WordPress. What I should have done is a) picked a more opportune time when I wasn't already extremely busy, and b) created a test domain to migrate my blog to before switching to live, which I could have built in peace and tested to my heart's content until it was rock solid. But I didn't.
Americans are known to like the head-on approach to solving problems and to vanquish an opponent. Not so much subtlety as a show of overwhelming force, even if a lot of resources are needed that might be more wisely used with a more thoughtful approach. The latest brouhaha at United Airlines just underscores that point. Read how South Africa approaches problems differently.
The short answer to the question, Do they speak English in South Africa, is yes. Check. You can breathe easier now - one of the things not to be afraid of when moving to South Africa as opposed to, I don't know, Uzbekistan. But the long answer makes for some interesting insights.
One thing that makes expat life so interesting is that you do get to observe how other cultures foster behaviors different from our own, and often that teaches us something worth knowing about ourselves. Most Africans are patient. Very, VERY patient, in fact. If you see the kinds of queues people stand in on a Friday afternoon, you cannot help but marvel at such stoicism.
A brief explanation about the demographics of South Africa:
Based on the latest census in 2011, roughly 9% of South Africa’s population is white. Within that group, about 61% are Afrikaans speakers, 36% are English speakers, and the remaining 3% speak other languages such as Portuguese.
A good ...
One of the first things you always have to learn in a new country is how much to tip.
This is especially true in South Africa. You’ll be setting out on your very first errand to buy milk and butter at the Woolworth’s around the corner, you’ll return to your car with your bags, and ...
South Africa has opened up a whole new dimension for me in my appreciation of pronouncing guttural sounds. It is like discovering subatomic particles after you’ve just mastered mechanics. If a word is in any way connected to Afrikaans, the language of the Boers and Voortrekkers, the letter G is basically out of bounds for you as the uninitiated.
I recently got an email from a new reader who, like me, now lives in the United States and spends her time alternately missing South Africa and appreciating the fact that she no longer has to deal with its flaws.
We both agreed that we miss the South African lifestyle. But what, exactly, is the South ...
“So you’re raising your children English?”
“Yes, my husband is English.”
I overheard above conversation some time ago while I was waiting, along with other mothers, for our children to perform in a public speaking contest Dainfern College was participating in.
My ears perked ...