Swati (Sewati / Swazi / siSwati) Language
Swati might not sound familiar to you, but rather Sewati, Swazi or siSwati as these are all the same language, just in different names. Swati is a part of the Nguni Group and it is one of the many Bantu languages. It is mainly spoken by people in South Africa and Swaziland.
Swati one of the official languages of South Africa and many schools teach this language to the students only if they would like to learn it, while at other schools it is a compulsory subject to take. It is a similar language to Ndebele, Xhosa and Zulu and they are often confused by people that are unaware of the differences these four languages have.
Swati is easiest when divided into its four dialects, which are Hhoho, Nandzini, Shiselweni and Shiselweni again. These are the four divisions that correspond with the four appropriate districts of the country. There are mainly two different strains of the siSwati language. The normal kind of siSwati that is spoken is done so mainly in the South and North West, the other kind of Swati is mainly spoken far into the Deep South, this type is highly influenced by Zulu, so it is not really considered to be proper siSwati. Often considered to be the second dialect that is spoken is Swati.
During the year of 1750, the Swazi successors in South Africa decided to relocate, going north in the direction of KwaZulu Natal and then from there they went north-west in the direction of the Ususthu River. They chose to move to this river because it provided them with shelter and protection from the warriors and the King Shaka Zulu. They found it so enjoyable that there are still some Swazi’s staying there today.
This is a ceremony held normally in the last days of August till the first few days of September for all the single women. All the unmarried women will do their dance for the Queen Mother and hand over the reeds that had specially cut for the occasion. The reason for this ceremony is to “protect the women’s chastity” and to praise the Queen Mother. On the last day of the celebration, the King will have his cattle slaughtered and the women may then help themselves to the meat and take it back home with them to enjoy further.
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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