This really is your last call for action before Valentine’s Day, guys. If the date has slipped your mind or if you’ve put plans on the back-burner, consider this a final warning. The most romantic day of the year is fast approaching, and you’ll need something to pull out the bag to impress your sweetheart.
So how does a crash-course in all 11 official languages of South Africa sound? It’s educational, fun and will certainly show that special someone you went to a bit of effort to impress them. However, as impressive as learning these phrases would be, make sure you’ve got a back-up plan – flowers and chocolates never go amiss!
What languages are spoken in South Africa?
There are a few crossovers and similarities here. Xhosa and Zulu both have the same term for showing affection. About 17.6 million people speak these languages in South Africa, and we’ll be hoping that everyone has someone they can say “Ndiyakuthanda” to on Thursday.
Meanwhile, Sesotho and Setswana tongues share the same expression for “I love you”. The languages are most commonly used in Free State and North West respectively, given their proximity to the nations that use them the most (Lesotho and Botswana).
Last month, we worked out how many people abroad spoke Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu as a result of it being a national language of instruction. In total, there will be an estimated 585 000 people using their native language of South African origin overseas this Valentine’s Day.
Valentine’s Day: How to say “I love you” in all 11 official languages of South Africa:
- Afrikaans: Ek is lief vir jou or ek het jou lief.
- English: I love you (for those who were struggling).
- Ndebele: Niyakutanda.
- Sepedi: Ke a go rata.
- Sesotho: Ke a go rata.
- Siswati: Ngiyakutsandza.
- Tshonga: Ndzakurhandza.
- Setswana: Ke a go rata.
- Venda: Ngiyakutsandza or Ndi a ni funa
- Xhosa: Ndiyakuthanda.
- Zulu: Ndiyakuthanda.
- And finally… How to say “I love you” in South African Sign Language (SASL):
If you’d like to know more about where these languages are most popular and how many people are estimated to speak them fluently, check out this piece we published in late 2017 – it has all the information you need to know about our rich linguistic culture.