By Tamlyn Canham
Actress Florence Masebe is not happy with the way African languages are being depicted on local soapies.
The former ‘Muvhango’ star shared her views after Women in Music SA founder, Thiwe Ranthimo, complained about the way Sesotho was being spoken on TV.
“I have an issue ka Sesotho se buwang di soapie tsa rona…it’s forced or butchered. Don’t understand why,” Thiwe tweeted.
Florence agreed with her observation but noted that it wasn’t always that way.
“There was a time when we had language advisors on every production. But I guess ke ka nako eane ea nta le tshitshidi when people actually cared. Jwale dintho di fetohile. Re bua seMxit.”
There was a time when we had language advisors on every production. But I guess ke ka nako eane ea nta le tshitshidi when people actually cared. Jwale dintho di fetohile. Re bua seMxit.
— Mme a Masakona (@FloMasebe) February 2, 2021
Actors not speaking proper isiZulu?
An isiZulu teacher weighed in on the discussion. She revealed that she only advises her students to listen to certain characters to learn the language.
“I teach isiZulu. When my students want tv shows they can watch to listen to isiZulu, I have to tell them which specific character they must listen to. Because the others who speak isiZulu aren’t speaking it actually. It’s so sad that they don’t take our languages seriously.”
I want to be able to watch a show and practice my SeSotho well. But the things they say aren’t consistent with what I’m learning. It gets so confusing.
— FibroWarrior ? (@navuyo) February 3, 2021
A melting pot of African languages
Several Twitter users complained that some soapie characters speak multiple African languages in one sentence, which can be confusing.
Some characters, tweeps noted, also talk to each other in different languages.
“Nna I have an issue with the script writers. We see a person speaking SeSotho and the other person responds in TshiVenda or visa versa. That doesn’t happen in real life never. Not even in the Mining industry,” one man commented.
Nna I have an issue with the script writers. We see a person speaking SeSotho and the other person responds in TshiVenda or visa versa. That doesn’t happen in real life never. Not even in the Mining industry.
— Mbulelo Tsoni (@danieltsoni) February 3, 2021
One user noted that Gauteng is a melting pot of languages, which has resulted in African languages becoming diluted.
Gauteng is a melting pot of languages and cultures due to urbanization/migration. We constantly speak to people from different cultures. Languages become diluted. There’s even create township lingo. It honestly won’t stop
— Nombuso (@Nombuso_11) February 3, 2021
Here’s a look at what others had to say.
There few Sesotho actors being shown on tv or those who make an honest efforts. But I think generally there is decay and an effort to dilute Sesotho all over. I was Shocked recently listening to radio drama on @LesediFM. I said to myself Khotso Nkhatho must have been forced.
— Abuti Mosebetsi Mofokeng (@advmofokeng1) February 3, 2021
Their thought processes are in English which get directly translated into vernacular
He will break your heart
O tla go thuba pelo (setswana)
No such grammar in Setswana
— Leo Maine (@maine_leo) February 3, 2021
Another is a family, mom is umXhosa, Dad is VhaVenda, son is umZulu, daughter is BaSotho. How does this make sense?
— Duchess ya ma Mpondomise (@Ntombekhaya_) February 3, 2021