Mary’s Koedoe

Mary tonight reminded me of her trip to South West Africa back in the seventies, I think, where ‘they all talk Afrikaans, you know.’

She tells of staying with one young fella who was fascinated by her accent. He told her she talked funny. What do you mean, asked Mary, indignant that her Free State Afrikaans wasn’t judged perfect by this lil five-year-old.

‘Tannie praat so Talking Talking,’ he said.

The pic shows Mom feeding a (probably Afrikaans-speaking) kudu.


Shades of my Afrikaans also being judged in SWA in 1969, see below – the full post of our tour is here.


We camped near Windhoek where my Dad had arranged that I got fetched by some of his relatives I had never met. Third or fourth cousins, I suppose. In the car on the way to their home they had lots of questions, but before I had finished my second sentence the younger son blurted out “Jis! Jy kan hoor jy’s ’n rooinek!” (Boy, You can hear you’re English-speaking!) and my bubble burst. All of my short life I had laboured under the mistaken and vain impression that I was completely fluent in Afrikaans. Hey! No-one had told me otherwise.


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