29 June 2004


Quote, Although South Africa's smallest province in land surface, Gauteng is not just any other province. Gauteng is the urban heart of South Africa, housing the cities of Johannesburg, Soweto and Pretoria, the national capital. 'Gauteng', meaning 'Place of Gold' in Sesotho language, is where the country's thriving gold industry was sparked off by the discovery of gold in 1886. Gauteng now accommodates 22 percent of South Africa's population and accounts for about 40 percent of its GDP. And it is a stronghold of the ANC, the national ruling party of President Thabo Mbeki, unquote.
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Sesotho sa Moeti

Sesotho sa Moeti teaches Basic Words, Numbers, Shopping/Dining Vocabulary, Travel Sesotho, Directions, Places and Time and Dates. That's a good bit, already. Give them a go.

21 June 2004


"stupid white people"

Read this Fodder post for information about this "stupid white people" link.

17 June 2004

Sesotho Look

What Sesotho looks like on the printed page. This is Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili's speech during Lesotho's celebrations of the 35th independence anniversary.

08 June 2004

Re: Lithothokiso (Praise Poetry)

Sometime ago we spoke about praise poetry, and about it being a performance. Here's a video clip of a praise poet from Lesotho reciting The Griffith Poem. You'll need Real Audio to view and hear this, although WMP may also suffice. The folks at Ohio State University where this is hosted say,

As with many societies, the history and culture of southern Africa is embedded in an oral literary tradition where information is passed from one generation to the next orally, and where what is spoken is just as important as how it is delivered. The message is in the performance and the audience interaction as much as it is in the words.

06 June 2004

Sesotho's /kh/ or /kg/

Sesotho has quite a few "hard" sounds. One of them is /kh/ or /kg/, same sound but as written in Lesotho and in South Africa respectively. It is the sound in khotso (kgotso), peace, or in khutla (kgutla), come back -- everything's normal and is as it should be. Why, then, do we have another representation of the sound in South African Sesotho, making a total of three representations? Why do they write gold gauta, not kgauta, Gauteng (the place of gold), not Kgauteng, but an argument kgang, not gang? In Lesotho, gold is written khauta. The /kh/, /kg/ or /g/ sound is the same as the /ch/ in achtung, or in lochness, the /kh/ in khomeini, the /g/ in geld or Vereeniging.

Here are a few /kh/ or /kg/ words:
Khaba (spoon)
Khalase (glass -- borrowed word -- glas)
Mokhibo (women's Sotho dance)
Khauta (gold)
Khomo (cow)
Khemere (ginger -- borrowed word -- gemmer)
Lekhotla (court, tribunal)
Akhente (barrister -- borrowed word -- agent)