We all know Yoda, the highly intelligent life-form from Star Wars; insightful in all his ways. From time to time he crosses my mind when thinking of an intelligent way to respond to a difficult situation; and so it was during one of these intensely stressful times I experienced today, that a more interesting question crossed my mind: did Yoda’s language derive from Afrikaans?
The fact that I dwell in Bloemfontein surely prompted the question, and even more so because I learned the Afrikaans “woordorde” back in my English-medium high-school in Kwa-Zulu Natal. You see, a basic rule of English – Afrikaans translation involves shifting a word around; something like:
“I throw a stone at you” becomes “Ek gooi jou met ‘n klip”.
In basic form, the verb stays in place and the noun moves to the end: simple in this case, although I have often heard the local children saying things like “I throw you with a stone”. Nevertheless I got to wondering about Yoda’s rules:
The same “I throw a stone at you” becomes “A stone at you I throw”. Interesting!
In Yoda language therefore, the noun moves to the beginning and the verb to the end. Another example? “The TV tonight I watch” or (a little more complex) “To the movies tomorrow I go”.
Fascinating to think it may be a dialect that is yet to develop, maybe even due to our failing education system of today?
It may just be coincidence, but wouldn’t it be great to claim another victory for the Afrikaner? Just think… that would fit in well with the other great titles they (or WE, because I am now pretty much a convert myself) have earned, like being one of the most successful strategic forces in world history! Come to think of it… was Yoda not one of the most successful Jedi warriors in the Galaxy?
So have I stumbled onto something here?
It may just be that we need our own Luke Skywalker to break us out of the dark death-star! And it should be noted at this point that the Jedi themselves were made up of multiple races and cultures that gathered together to defeat the “Dark Side”.
So where, oh where could our Luke Skywalker be? Well one thing we have learned is that Luke needed the extra assistance of some very talented and powerful Jedi, like Princess Leia and Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Now we are getting somewhere! Casting for these two roles has begun; who do you nominate?
Helen Zille for Princess Leia’s role?
Moeletsi Mbeki for Obi-Wan?
Where, oh where do we find a Luke?