Friday, April 21, 2017

Names For Days Of The Week In Nine Bantu Languages That Are Spoken In The Nation Of South Africa (Part I)

Edited by Azizi Powell

This is Part I of a two part pancocojams series on the names for the days of the week in nine traditional languages in the nation of South Africa.

Part I provides a general overview of South Africa's official languages and provides information about and lists of the days of the week in Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, and Swazi languages.

Click for Part II of this series. Part II provides information about and lists of the days of the week in four South African languages- Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu languages.

Note that the languages featured in this series may be spoken in other Southern African nations.

This pancocojams series is part of an ongoing series that provides information about and lists of day names in various African languages. Click the "African languages days of the week" tag to find other posts in this ongoing series.

The content of this post is presented for linguistic, cultural, and educational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

"There are eleven official languages of South Africa: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. Fewer than two percent of South Africans speak a first language other than an official one.[2] Most South Africans can speak more than one language. Dutch and English were the first official languages of South Africa from 1910 to 1925. Afrikaans was added as a part of Dutch in 1925, although in practice, Afrikaans effectively replaced Dutch, which fell into disuse. When South Africa became a republic in 1961 the official relationship changed such that Afrikaans was considered to include Dutch,[3] and Dutch was dropped in 1984, so between 1984 and 1994, South Africa had two official languages: English and Afrikaans.[4]

Different government departments and official bodies use different terms to denote Northern Sotho.[5][6] In South Africa, Southern Ndebele is known simply as Ndebele, as most speakers of Northern Ndebele live in Zimbabwe.

Since taking power in the 1994 election, the ANC has promoted English as the main language of government, even if South Africans often take pride in using indigenous languages for any purpose. Afrikaans also features prominently in commerce together with English, as the languages with the highest number of fluent speakers are Afrikaans and English.

In terms of linguistic classification, the official languages include two West Germanic languages (English and Afrikaans) and nine Bantu languages. Four of these are Nguni languages (Zulu, Xhosa, Swati and Ndebele) and three are Sotho–Tswana languages (Northern Sotho, Southern Sotho and Tswana). Tsonga is a Tswa–Ronga language.

South African Sign Language is understood across the country, though sometimes sign-language interpreters use manually coded language.
Click for information about Afrikaans.

(This list is given in alphabetical order.)

Excerpt #1:
"The Transvaal Ndebele language (Southern Ndebele, isiNdebele or Nrebele) is an African language belonging to the Nguni group of Bantu languages, and spoken by the amaNdebele (the Ndebele people of South Africa).
There is also another language called Zimbabwean Ndebele, or Matabele, spoken in Zimbabwe, which is closer to Zulu than other Nguni dialects.[5]

Ndebele is one of the eleven official languages in the Republic of South Africa. The language is a Nguni or Zunda classification (UN) spoken mostly in the Mpumalanga Province, Gauteng, Limpopo and the Northwest.
The expression "isikhethu" can be loosely translated to mean 'the Ndebele way of doing or saying'. Isikhethu means Ndebele the same way that sikitsi will mean Swazi and se harona will mean Sotho. The language has been severely marginalised over the years. Until the formation of the apartheid Ndebele homeland (KwaNdebele), speaking the language publicly was discouraged. Most Ndebele speakers preferred Zulu especially because the latter was learned at school. Today the Ndebele speakers, mostly those who are educated still prefer to use Ndebele as home language for their children and will use Ndebele as a language to communicate with other Ndebele speakers."...

Excerpt #2
"Days of the week
Sunday - uSonto
Monday - uMvulo
Tuesday - uLesibili
Wednesday - uLesithathu
Thursday - uLesine
Friday - uLesihlanu
Saturday - uMgqibelo"

SESOTHO sa LEBOA (Northern Sotho),
Excerpt #1
From https:/
"Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa Leboa, also known by the name of its standardised dialect Sepedi or Pedi) is a Bantu language spoken primarily in South Africa, where it is one of the 11 official languages. According to the 2011 census it was the first language of 4,618,576 people in South Africa, principally in the provinces of Limpopo, Gauteng and Mpumalanga.[5]

Urban varieties of Northern Sotho, such as Pretoria Sotho (actually a derivative of Tswana), have acquired clicks in an ongoing process of such sounds spreading from Nguni languages.[6]


Confusion of nomenclature with Sepedi
Northern Sotho has often been equated with its major component Sepedi, and continued to be known as Pedi or Sepedi for some years after the new South African constitution appeared. However, the Pan South African Language Board and the Northern Sotho National Lexicography Unit now specifically prefer and endorse the names Northern Sotho or Sesotho sa Leboa.

The original confusion arose from the fact that the (now official) Northern Sotho written language was based largely on Sepedi (for which missionaries first developed the orthography), but has subsequently provided a common writing system for 20 or more varieties of the Sotho-Tswana languages spoken in the former Transvaal (including dialects of Sepedi). The name "Sepedi" thus refers specifically to the language of the Pedi people, while "Northern Sotho" refers to the official language of that name and to all the speech varieties it has been taken to cover. (It should be noted that the ethnic name "Pedi" also refers to a ruling group that established its dominance over other communities in the 18th century and to the culture and lifestyle of that group and of those over whom it ruled.)"...

Excerpt #2
From Sesotho sa Leboa (Northern Sotho)
"Days of the week
Sunday - Lamorena / Sôntaga
Monday -Mošupologô
Tuesday -Labobêdi

"The Sotho language, Sesotho (/ˈsuːtuː/;,[5] also known as Southern Sotho, or Southern Sesotho[6]) is a Southern Bantu language of the Sotho-Tswana (S.30) group, spoken primarily in South Africa, where it is one of the 11 official languages, and in Lesotho, where it is the national language...

Sesotho is a Southern Bantu language, belonging to the Niger–Congo language family within the Sotho-Tswana branch of Zone S (S.30)...

The Sotho-Tswana group is in turn closely related to the other Southern Bantu languages, including the Venḓa, Tsonga, Tonga, and Nguni languages, and possibly [clarification needed] also the Makua (zone P) languages of Tanzania and Mozambique.
Sotho is a tribal suffix, i.e. the name of the Sotho people or Basotho, while Sesotho is the term for the "language of the Basotho". Use of Sesotho rather than "Sotho language" in English has seen increasing use since the 1980s, especially in South African English and in Lesotho….
Geographic distribution
According to the South African National Census of 2011, there were almost four million first language Sesotho speakers recorded in South Africa – approximately eight per cent of the population. Sesotho is also the main language spoken by the people of Lesotho, where, according to 1993 data, it was spoken by about 1,493,000 people, or 85% of the population. The census fails, to record other South Africans for whom Sesotho is a second or third language. Such speakers are found in all major residential areas of Metropolitan Municipalities - such as Johannesburg, and Tshwane - where multilingualism and polylectalism are very high.

Official status
Sesotho is one of the eleven official languages of South Africa, and one of the two official languages of Lesotho.


Derived languages
Sesotho is one of the many languages from which the pseudo-language Tsotsitaal is derived. Tsotsitaal is not a proper language, as it is primarily a unique vocabulary and a set of idioms but used with the grammar and inflexion rules of another language (usually Sesotho or Zulu). It is a part of the youth culture in most Southern Gauteng "townships" and is the primary language used in Kwaito music."

Excerpt #2
"Days of the week [in] Sesotho:
Mantaha [Monday]
Labobedi [Tuesday]
Laboraro [Wednesdday]
Labone [Thursday]
Labohlano [Friday]
Moqebelo [Saturday]
Sontaha [Sunday]

siSWATI (Swazi)
"The Swazi or Swati language (Swazi: siSwati [siswatʼi]) is a Bantu language of the Nguni group spoken in Swaziland and South Africa by the Swazi people. The number of speakers is estimated to be in the region of 3 million. The language is taught in Swaziland and some South African schools in Mpumalanga, particularly former KaNgwane areas. Swazi is an official language of Swaziland (along with English), and is also one of the eleven official languages of South Africa.

Although the preferred term is "Swati" among native speakers, in English it is generally referred to as Swazi. Swazi is most closely related to the other "Tekela" Nguni languages, like Phuthi and Northern Transvaal (Sumayela) Ndebele, but is also very close to the "Zunda" Nguni languages: Zulu, Southern Ndebele, Northern Ndebele, and Xhosa."...

Excerpt #2
Days of the week
Sunday - LiSontfo
Monday - uMsombuluko
Tuesday - Lesibili
Wednesday - Lesitsatfu
Thursday - Lesine
Friday - Lesihlanu
Saturday – uMgcibelo"

This concludes Part I of this two part series on names of days of the week in nine South African languages.

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

No comments:

Post a Comment