My boet rocked up wanting to drive my bakkie.

Interpretation – My brother showed up wanting to drive my pick-up. :D English is widely spoken in South Africa, but they definitely have their own flavor of English. It is a lovely mix of English, Afrikaans, and a bit of Zulu thrown in.

We are coming home for 6 months this year! We are thrilled!

But also realize we need to prepare our friends and families to understand us and our children. So here is your very first lesson in South African-ese. Enjoy!

When Elise says you must go look out the window, she is not actually ordering you around. Must means should.

Nate needs his tekkies for the afternoon at the park. Help him find his running shoes please. :-)

It is lunch time and Marae asks for a sarmie – she means a sandwich.

When we tell you we are coming over now now, that means like right away… as opposed to just now, which means in a little while. :-)

If Carl calls you his china, he is not being politically uncorrect – he is referring to you as a good friend.

Michelle says, “Ag Shame” when she sees your newborn baby. She doesn’t think your baby is ugly… she thinks he is cute and is admiring him!

Did you bunk church today? means “did you skip church?”

You ask Carl how he is and he answers, “Hundreds, bru, hundreds!” He’s good.

My children will undoubtedly ask for the toilet (even though we are starting to try to train using that word out of them) – they are not referring rudely to the porcelain bowl in your bathroom. Bathroom, restroom, washroom = toilet here in SA. All public washrooms say “Toilet.” No beating around the bush as to what is happening behind those doors in this country!! Washing, bathing, resting… yeah, right! :-)

10. We think you are lekker friends and very kif! which means you are great/amazing and very cool!

A few honourable mentions:

robot – stoplights
rubbish – trash can
braai – barbeque
not a train smash – not the end of the world
sharp sharp – agreeing, saying good-bye, a greeting, etc. sounds more like “shop, shop”
broekies – underwear
shot – thanks

So, are you ready to communicate with us?

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