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Learn The Lingo Around The Jozi Streets, Being True South African

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Learn are school you the art of talking like the people on the streets, and by the people on the streets we mean us! Because we are always trying to be the ear on the ground for you to be able to teach you how to speak the true South African way. Some call it Tsotsitaal some call it the lingo, whatever you call you it we can all agree on one thing that it is indeed unique and truly South African. You do need to polish up your lingo because Heritage Day is around the corner and we think you need to know to be cool on the streets.

How To Say Hi

There's a lot of ways to say hi in Mzansi, we are just creative like that and we make words that don't make sense, make sense. Obviously we so use our 11 official languages to communicate, so if we were to write in all our beautiful languages we wouldn't finish so we are going to focus on all the common well known slang words. There's different ways to say hi in South Africa, and here is the list:

  • Howzit
  • Heita
  • Hola
  • Sho sho
  • uGrand?
  • Awe


And It's Not A Pick-Up Truck It's a Bakkie!

If you are a true South African you know that we do not call pick-up-trucks what most people call them. We call it a bakkie, if you want to learn the Mzansi lingo you have to do it the right way. So, if you are a tourist in South Africa and want to connect with the locals how about you start with the basic, gooi a bit of lingo every now and then and you will be everyone's favourite.

After Robot!

A lot of other countries call those red, orange and green light traffic lights. But because we like localising everything to make sure we understand each other, we have decided to call the robots! If you've ever been in a taxi you would know that when you are about to get off before or after the traffic lights, you yell out "after robots" or "before robots".

After Robot

Here are other phrases to familiarise yourself with

  • Aikona - not on your life / never
  • Aita (Pronounced 'ai-tah') - a greeting
  • Akubekuhle (Pronounced 'aako-beck-hoole') - meaning cheers, to cheers a drink or thanks in Zulu
  • Arvie (Pronounced 'rve') - afternoon
  • Bobotie (Pronounced buh-boor-tea) - served with yellow rice and raisins, this is a spicy traditional Malay mince with an egg custard topping.
  • Babbelas (Pronounced 'bub-elaas')- South African Afrikaans for tender the morning after the night before, hangover
  • Bakgat - (Pronounced 'buck-ghat') - when something is done correctly
  • Bakkie - (Pronounced 'buck-key') - a utility / pick-up truck or Tupperware container
  • Biltong - dried, seasoned meat, similar to jerky
  • Bioskoop (Pronounced 'bio - skoowp') - means Cinema - We want to go to the bioskoop tonight
  • Biscuit – South African Afrikaans for cookie, used as a term of affection - Claudia, you biscuit!!
  • Bitter Koud (Pronounced 'bitterr coat') - South African Afrikaans for very cold


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