Is the future English?


By Clarize Strydom

In today’s political era, it is the norm for everyone to have a political opinion. Those who do not give an opinion are stoned almost as much as those who give the “wrong”, rather opposing, opinion.

There is indeed one extremely important issue that extends right across South Africa – from the EFF to the FF Plus – and that is spelling. Many South Africans emigrate… immigrate… move? abroad due to a list of problems and disagreements. Politics, by far the biggest issue, but it still leaves frustration for those who choose to stay in this land of sunshine.

Maybe because of emigrants”worry” those who lag behind less and less about spelling; correct spelling. Nor can the Afrikaans-speaking youth of South Africa bear full responsibility for the poor spelling. There is definitely a significant problem in the youth, but also a notable problem among the rest of the language community.

I have seen numerous articles or opinion pieces from scholars, doctors, professors where I border on unnecessary spelling mistakes. Scholars who still bring home as one word. “Still on the way home,” says Miss van Eck in every second Afrikaans class at high school.

Even Netwerk24 often mentions “still”, then I can only think: where does it stand in the dictionary? Afrikaans needs a break (no, not the Mathematics break).

For us Afrikaans speakers, Afrikaans is the most beautiful language in the world; yet we use the language wrongly. We do not honor the language as intended. No, we all don’t have to speak advanced Afrikaans and address each other like a bunch of convulsed people. We should all be able to master at least high school Afrikaans.

We should all at least be able to remember the second “not”, but also know that the words “must not” do not exist. Don’t spell it that way! Even in law, spelling errors are found daily. Lecturers who are doctors and professors – study for years – but “breach of contract” is found.

The solution? I’m almost not sure there is one. This issue has been left for too long. How do you correct an entire nation’s language? How does a whole nation remember that words are now spelled differently?

Afrikaners must spell WIL correctly; it is a completely different issue. Something as simple as too much effort. “Neh” is much easier to type than the correct use of the gravis. Afrikaners become lazy because of comfort, it’s just a shame that the beautiful language has to suffer.

  • Clarize Strydom is 19 and currently studying LLB at Akademia. She has a great passion for Afrikaans and loves to write, write poetry and read in her language.

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