Whilst writing my candyfloss piece on vampires, I once again realized that Afrikaans is a unique language and there is just some things that sound better in Afrikaans. Take a good old SA “braai”, technically the translation for braai is BBQ, but a BBQ and a braai is just not the same. Braai is what us South Africans do. Some use wood for the fire, the lazy and/or hasty ones use charcoal. We use proper meat to braai, for real SA men also the “salad” – a piece of chicken. Some parts of the country make a version of mieliepap (I prefer Putu, if anything any other kind is on the menu, I won’t touch it).
BBQ is what the Yanks do. They’ll start a bonfire and make a burnt offering of either hamburger patties or sausage. Why oh why do Yanks like to sacrifice the meat they are about to eat? What is so tasty about a piece of charcoaled hamburger/sausage? Then there is wors/boerewors. All wors may be sausage, but not all sausage is wors. A hotdog filled with a nice tasty piece of boerewors is just so much more than a hotdog with a vienna. Biltong – some like biltong to be almost as dry as dust, I prefer mine to be a little wet and juicy. Beef jerky is the closest thing to biltong, but as with the difference between a braai and a bbq, ours are better. Americans may have walked on the moon, but we at least know what to do with meat and to do it tasty to boot. The sure fire way to ruin a piece of meat is to make beef jerky using the following steps : all the fat gets removed from beef, then the meat is cut into thin strips (sometimes they’ll even freeze the meat to make slicing easier), then the meat is marinated with whatever spices you may fancy.
Again back to the refrigeration for up to 24 hours. After all the freezing the heathens will dehydrate the meat. The Afrikaans translation for the word creature is “kreatuur”, but as we all know a creature and a “kreatuur” is not the same thing. A creature could be an animal or some kind of movie monster, a “kreatuur” is one of those rare specimens found in groups in either Sasolburg, Brakpan or Welkom. They still sport a mullet, have a tacky tattoo of either a ship’s anchor or an ode to their Mother or a Betty Boop like figure that grew over the years to closely resemble Honey Boo Boo’s mother. They will have one car in “working” condition, one of those beauties that leaks oil, petrol and water as if there is no tomorrow, the exhaust will smoke like a volcano about to explode and it backfires every 10 seconds, making it sound like we are in the midst of World War 3, the rest of their car collection will stand on bricks in their yard and is being used as a doghouse/chicken coup/rubbish heap/empty beer can collector. They will stand in the front yard with a piece of fried polony in one hand and chug beer straight of the can, belching and farting as they go. So a kreatuur is not something one really would like to meet or admit that you know them personally. Another beautiful Afrikaans word is the word “kak” and it has such diverse usages in the language. It could be explained as to what you really did for over an hour on the toilet. “Ek het soos ‘n reier gekak” – I have a stomach problem and nearly shat myself to death.
It could be used to tell somebody else to bugger off and leave you the hell alone “Ag gaan kak man” It could also be used to tell somebody that whatever they just said is devoid of the truth “Jy praat kak” If Afrikaans you can also give somebody a “snotklap”, which is a very hard slap through the face, if both are manly men, a closed fist may sometimes be used, but in essence it is still a snotklap. Another phrase is “hy het sy gat gewip” meaning the person in question is highly indignant about some sort of perceived wrong committed against them. Usually of teenagers will “wip” their “gatte”, but some infantile adults are known to do the same. I can bet you that when Malema was kicked out of the ANC “het hy sy gat behoorlik gewip”. My mother tongue is Afrikaans, but that does not mean when conversing in English I sound like a “kreatuur”. I have no discernable Afrikaans accent.
I will “wip my gat” when I hear an Afrikaans speaking person with a heavy accent, but then again some Afrikaans people do think the devil can’t understand Afrikaans and that English is the language of the anti-christ. For me there is absolutely no reason why every person in this country can’t speak proper English. It’s just that there are some things in Afrikaans that cannot be translated. All of us enjoy a Saturday afternoon braai, talking “kak” en rugby around the fire and for that I’m extremely proud to be Afrikaans. So try to forgive and forget all the kak of the past and build the future on all that’s right – maybe we should forego formal parliament, and have all politicians meet around the braai, with a “doppie” in one hand, a bowl filled to the brim with biltong and droëwors being passed around and a nice tjoppie and a piece of boerewors sizzling on the fire. Maybe then maybe they can sort their kak out so that the rest of us can live in peace with each other.
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