You will be surprised to hear that the title's reference to the Nokia 3310 mobile phone does indeed have a lot to do with the previous post's title. According to an interesting article about South-African languages by Frances Gordon in the current issue of the Royal Over-Seas League's members magazine Overseas (not available online), 3310 is actually a Sowetan reference to a male's sexual strength! How odd is that?! I expect Nokia should make a killing out of it.

The article describes nicely how language evolution and mixing of South Africa's incredible 11 (eleven!) official languages (Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Pedi, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, Zulu) is "proof of the birth of a rainbow nation." And I thought Switzerland with its four official languages is exceptional. Fascinating!

A couple of interesting SA terms: yebo gogo literally means 'yes grandma' in Zulu, but has become a general greeting as a consequence of a mobile phone commercial. Drumsticks are legs, and a Ferrari refers to the Zimbabwean currency, as it moves so fast. Tata ma chance!

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