Thursday, August 04, 2011

die taal


dit moes 'n misverstand gewees het, ek weet nie. watookal dit was het dit 'n slegte smaak in my mond gelos.


toe die nuwe regering oorgeneem het het hulle stelselmatig ontslaegeraak van alles wat hulle geassosieer het met die ou regering. een van die dinge wat moes waai was afrikaans. volgens hulle was dit blykbaar sleg vir een of ander rede. ek het nie saamgestem nie. so toe ons afrikaanse prof druk op ons uitgeoefen het om net engels te gebruik by alle amptelike vergaderings het ek hom min of meet geignoreer. ek onthou 'n saalrondte 'n maand of twee daarna.

ek was die senior kliniese assistent in die prof se firma. volgens sy nuwe beleid het hy net engels op die rondte gepraat. tussen die pasiente, as hy net met my gepraat het het hy wel afrikaans gepraat. dit was natuurlik sy moedertaal. ek het al sy engelse vrae in afrikaans geantwoord en al die pasiente in afrikaans voorgedra. hoe meer hy probeer het om vir my die boodskap oor te dra dat ek engels moes praat hoe meer het ek volgehou om afrikaans te praat. by omtrend die derde pasient kon hy homself nie meer inhou nie.

"bongi, speak english. why do you refuse to speak english on rounds?"

"prof, my english is perfect. i don't have any reason to practise it." het ek in engels geantwoord.

hy was kwaad, maar hy het dit redelik goed weggesteek.

'n maand of wat daarna was ons almal by een van ons m&m bespreekings. die was 'n gesamentlike m&m met die vaskulere departement. die prof van vaskuler het ook sterk gevoel oor die taal beleid, maar sy gevoel was presies die teenoorgestelde van die prof s'n. hy het gevoel ons moet aangaan om afrikaans te praat in die universiteit, want engels was klaar so dominant in die land as 'n mens nie moeite gedoen het om afrikaans as 'n taal wat op 'n tersiere vlak goed kon funksioneer op daardie vlak te hou nie, sou dit vinnig agteruitgaan. ek het met hom saamgestem. baie van die afrikaans spreekende studente het klaar gesukkel om pasiente in afrikaans voor te dra, self as hulle aan 'n afrikaanssprekende dokter voorgedra het. hulle het medisyne in engels geleer en kon nie mediese afrikaans praat nie.

die m&m het voortgegaan. toe dit die beurt van die vaskulere kliniese assistent was om sy pasient voor te dra het hy in engels begin. onmiddelik het die vaskulere prof iets op 'n stukkie papier geskryf en dit vir sy kliniese assistent gegee. die kliniese assistent het dit gelees en onmiddelik in afrikaans oorgeslaan. dit was nie nodig om einstein te wees om te weet wat op daardie stukkie papier gestaan het nie. sy prof het duidelik vir hom opdrag gegee om afrikaans te praat en hy het wel so gemaak. die res van die vaskulere gedeelte van die m&m het min of meer gegaan soos my saalrondtes met die prof. die prof het al sy vrae in engels gevra en die vaskulere kliniese assistent en prof het albei alles in afrikaans geantwoord. dit was vir my nogal komieklik. na die m&m het ek maar aangegaan met my lewe.

omtrend 'n uur later het die vaskulere kliniese assistent vir my gebel.

"bongi, daar is groot kak in die land," het hy gese. "die prof het my vaskulere prof ingeroep en ordentlik in sy broek gekak oor die feit dat mense in sy departement weier om net engels te praat by enige bespreking of saalrondte. hy het drie kliniese assistente uitgesonder. dis ek en jy en dr b (ek het al van hom geskryf). natuurlik het my prof vir ons al drie opgekom en toe ek uitgejaag is was hulle amper op die punt om mekaar te lyf te gaan. hoe dit ookal sy dis blykbaar ons drie wat die prof se woede gaan voel. hy het self gese dat as ons volhou om te weier om engels te praat gaan hy bedank as hoof van die departement."

ek kon dit nie glo nie. in een opsig het ek amper trots gevoel dat ek so 'n invloed gehad het oor die prof dat hy 'n persoonlike beroepsbesluit sou maak gebaseer op my doen en late. maar eintlik was dit nooit my plan om soveel aandag van die grootkoppe te lok nie. daardie tiepe aandag was nooit 'n goeie ding nie.

"hy kan seker bedank as hy wil." het ek vir my mede beskuldigde gese, maar toe onthou ek wie in sy plek sou oorneem. ons prof het sy probleme, maar tog was hy beter as die moontlike alternatief. moontlik was die beste ding om maar engels te begin praat.

die volgende week by die m&m was ek 'n bietjie verbaas om te sien dat my vriend en kollega, dr b sy gevalle in afrikaans voorgedra het. dit was weer die geval van die prof wat sy vrae in engels gestel het en my vriend wat alles in afrikaans geantwoord het. tog as dit die prof geirriteer het, het hy dit goed weggesteek.

onmiddelik na die bespreking het ek met my vriend gaan praat.

"b, is jy mal?" vra ek toe. "na verlede week se storie, hoekom weier jy om engels te praat." hy het effens geglimlag toe hy geantwoord het.

"ek weet nie wat die prof se fokken probleem is nie. voor verlede week het ek nooit afrikaans gepraat by al die amptelike besprekings nie. ek het wel engels gepraat. en tog is ek een van die ouens wat in die kak beland het. wel, nou het ek klaar die straf gekry omdat ek afrikaans gepraat het al het ek dit nie eintlik gedoen nie. omdat die straf klaar uitgedeel is moet ek dit darem die moeite werd maak. daarvoor se ek nou vir jou, ek sal nooit weer engels in hierdie plek praat nie!"

en volgens my kennis het hy nie.

14 comments:

rlbates said...

goeie een, bongi

Renate said...

"in een opsig het ek amper trots gevoel dat ek so 'n invloed gehad het oor die prof dat hy 'n persoonlike beroepsbesluit sou maak gebaseer op my doen en late."

Ek moes maar lag vir daai een! :)

Bobby Nations said...

"Bongi, there are big shit in the country," he said. "The Professor, my vascular prof called and properly in his pants shat on the fact that

Google translate is a hoot!

Bongi said...

bobby nation, i too was disappointed by the google translation, but, if it makes you feel better, i looked at a few other translation programs on the net and they were worse.

in the end i suggest you find some lost afrikaaner in your neck of the woods and ask him to translate it. (there are quite a few lost afrikaaners floating around the first world these days.)

Bobby Nations said...

Bongi,

You know, I just might try to look up a South African for a proper translation as the google translation obviously doesn't do justice to the story itself. Though, I must admit that expats are few on the ground here in Memphis, Tennessee. Still, I do happen to know one who serves as a den master in my son's cub scout pack.

Still, it will be hard to beat "properly in his pants shat".

The only other Afrikaaner I have ever met was an opposing scrum half from back in my younger days when I still put on my rugger cleats. He was a neat guy and great fun over a beer after the match and a good buddy in a fight. And, like most scrumhalves, he was a complete douche on the field. ;-). He also taught me my first afrikaans word, which I later found out could never, ever be uttered in polite company.

Good memories!

Bongi said...

bobby nation, i'm hoping you find an afrikaaner for your translation rather than just a south african. sometimes the english speaking south africans are not that good with afrikaans.

it might be interesting to note that boy scouts was started by a british soldier, baden powell who fought against the boers in the anglo boer war (tweede vryheidsoorlog). during the siege of mafeking he apparently organized the youth so they would have something to do. this later was the seed to the scout movement. so the movement developed with the concept that the boers (who later became the afrikaaners) were the enemy. interestinly enough, although the movement is international, afrikaaners generally do not join it here in south africa. there is a similar group called the voortrekkers not associated with the scouts that afrikaans children join. so in all probability that den master is not an afrikaaner (although he may be seeing that he no longer lives here).

the scrum half sounds afrikaans. for some reason there is this tendency to teach the bad words first, although i have noticed this in other cultures too. it may not be unique to afrikaaners.

also, ironically, despite the shortcomings in the google translation, the literal translation (although not really the colloquial meaning) of that particular line does translate more or less to 'shat properly in his pants'.

Sarah Glenn said...

Sadly, the only Afrikaaner I know is the dean of my department. I'm not sure I know him well enough to ask him to translate "properly shat in his pants". :)

Bobby's in Tennessee? I'm in Kentucky! Small world, both of us following Bongi.

Anonymous said...

Ek is 'n egte Suid-afrikaner (albeit a 'rooinek'), en ek het 'die taal' baie geniet!

'bobby nation, i'm hoping you find an afrikaaner for your translation rather than just a south african. sometimes the english speaking south africans are not that good with afrikaans.' - This obviously refers to those like me...

And translating 'rooinek' definitely requires an afrikaner...

Bongi said...

anonymous, thank goodness you didn't refer to yourself as a 'soutie'. that is something that is even more difficult to translate than rooinek

Sarah Glenn said...

Any chance 'rooinek' translates to 'redneck' in English?
:)

Bongi said...

sarah glenn, yes and no. the literal translation is in fact redneck, but the meaning is totally different to the american redneck.

you see, in the war between the british and the boers, the british soldiers were totally unaccustomed and unprepared for the harsh african sun. so when they were here their necks burned badly. they were called rooinekke by the boers because of this. the term carries the implication of soft and puny. these days it is a term used to describe english speakers, a bit tongue in cheek.

soutie, however is still considered far more a derogatory term for south african english speakers and is much worse. i'm not going to go into the meaning. for that you'll have to ask the dean.

PS said...

Bongi!!! Ek het hierdie blog entry vreeslik geniet. Baie dankie!!

Where I studied (Wits) I was the only Afrikaner for about 6 years; I must have been their quota player in a away.

But what I deeply appreciated was that these rooineks tried to speak to me in my language. They did it badly but they tried at least.

They have somehow move beyond the language "thing" faster that in the traditional Afrikaans universities.

Again, many thanks.. And I love your use of the language. The language personfies the Afrikaner / Boer, who is a very unique creature.

Jabulani said...

I'm rather smug (unapologetically so) that I can read an understand this without Google translate! When my parents moved from England to South Africa, I was a very small baby. The first place we lived was Driefontein and our neighbours were Afrikaners. As I grew, I played with these children and (to my blue-blooded English father's utter horror) my first words were Afrikaans!! I've ever been proud of that little effort ;) I continued my time in South Africa utterly fluent in die Taal. My very first job, fresh out of college, was within the Transvaal and South African Rugby fraternity - a more Afrikaans domain you cannot hope to find. I was in heaven.

I left South Africa in 1989 and it's my lament that I'm no longer as Afrikaaner-Afrikaans fluent as I once was. However, I lament even more that any Saffas I come across now, of a younger generation, can barely string an Afrikaans sentence together. Which makes me rather proud that in my chosen exile, I've maintained a language that wasn't even 'mine'!! It is a beautiful language; you can swear so mellifluously and satisfyingly :) And I'm teaching it to my English children, much to the amusement of several folk, who think I should rather teach them a "useful" language. Useful? I think they mean universal... So we're learning Spanish too. That should satisfy the sensibilities of those single-language-speaking-arrogant-ignorant twerps. I will continue to teach and love the language of my soul-homeland. And yes, as far as I'm concerned, Afrikaans IS the language of South Africa. Bite me.

Eben van Renen said...

Ek het die storie geniet. Ek het 'n dokter-vriend wat altyd Afrikaans met my praat hier in Kanada.
Hy het meer Afrikaans met my gepraat as al die Engelse vriende wat ek in SA gehad het.
Buite SA raak Afrikaans miskien 'n sterker merker van identiteit.
Jabulani... RESPEK my broer! En terloops, as jy nog die taal kan praat en jou kinders die Taal leer in die buiteland (soos ek doen) dan IS die Taal JOUNE ook!
Fantasties: Hierdie storie kon getiteld gewees het "Dokters met Leeuballe" (Jammer, maar ek moes net.)