xhosa

In August, i invited you all to Come and Xhosa with Me.

After two weeks i shared a post called Xhosa and Effect, highlighting some of the things i was thinking about as we were busy with the course.

And last night i was given this… well not so much given as earned…

Xhosa Fundis certificate

That’s right. Six weeks later and our Xhosa Fundis Course number 1 is complete. And i am fluent in isiXhosa. Not everything in the previous sentence is true. We have a long way to go. In fact, last night felt a little overwhelming as all the words were in my head but none of them wanted to come out, at least not in the correct order or on demand.

But tbV and i did it. And four other people who decided to join us from the Facebook campaign. And a couple of others we met in the course. And i am so proud of us all. But now comes the hard work.

If you are a friend of mine i see face to face and you speak isiXhosa, be warned – I’m coming for you…

i am trying to embrace the WOW-I-SUCK-AT-THIS-LANGUAGE experience in a world where most of the time i expect everyone else to converse with me in mine. For those of you who still aren’t able to wrap your head around any of the ‘White Privilege’ conversations we’ve been having, this point alone should be the clincher: i expect people around me who have English as a second or third [and sometimes 8th, let”s not kid ourselves] language to speak to me in my language of choice and comfort.

May i never forget what it feels like to be starting out. To be fumbling for words. To see smiles or outright laughter at my pronounciation [i’m looking at you train guy from Monday!]. To know that even if i get my meaning across it won’t be quite how i was wanting to say it.

May i never take people speaking to me in English for granted. And may i not slacken off now. This is going to be an area where i need my Xhosa speaking friends to help keep me accountable. Nkosi already knows he is in for it. Fezile got pounced on this morning.

YOUR TURN

It was really great seeing people get excited and jump on board when we decided to do this course. i have had conversation with other people this week who are also interested and were wanting to find out how. And i hope if you have been challenged about it, that you will do something. If you’re in another part of South Africa it may be Zulu or one of the other languages. If you’re in another part of the world, it may be Spanish or something else. If you can’t at least to some small extent speak to the majority of the people who live where you live, then that might be the hugest opportunity.

Walala Wasala.

i look forward to more of this journey – this is just the beginning… Hamba Kakuhle.

[For a two blogger conversation i did with Trevor Black on the Importance of Language, click here]

[For some other exciting and challenging posts on South Africa, click here]

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