Southern Sesotho Language
This Bantu language originates from the Bantu-Nguni era and is also known as Suto, Souto, Sisutho as well as Suthu. The dialects originates from Suto, Pedi as well as Tswana but at the same time is considered to be a separate language.
Being one of the eleven official languages of South Africa, Southern Sesotho is spoken by more than five million of the South African population as well as peoples in Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. In Lesotho, Southern Sesotho is one of the two official languages and is spoken by more than 85% of inhabitants. According to scholars, the original written form of this language was based on the dialect from Tlokwa and today it is mostly based on the dialects from the Kwena and Fokeng.
To describe the language is quite a task, as it is regarded to have nine vowels which are collapsed in five letters each. This, when compared to other languages of this nature is quite a large amount. The language consists of 35 consonants, which include two semi-vowels, for non-homogenous doubled eloquent and a tri-click.
In this language, the words for father - ntate and mother - mme are also used to address elders and shows respect for them. Children are encouraged to have good manners, be polite and always have to be willing to know their values. The overall attitude that this culture has toward the growing youth is “Lefura la ngwana ke ho rungwa”, translated means, Children benefit from serving their elders.
Marriages are pre-arranged between families; which can lead to a girl being married as young as twelve. This has however changed with time and they are now free to pick their partners.
Sepedi (Northern Sotho) Language
Useful Words / Phrases
A few phases in Southern Sotho:
Kamore ea ka e kae? - Where is my room?
Bichi e kae? - Where is the beach?
Bara e kae? - Where is the bar?
Did You Know?
There are 11 officially recognised languages, most of which are indigenous to South Africa. English is spoken everywhere you go. English is the language of the cities, of commerce and banking, of government and official documents. All our road signs and official forms are in English and at any South African Hotel, Bed and Breakfast or Guest House the service staff will speak to you in English.
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