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Africa Geographic Travel

Even though many South Africans speak English, that doesn’t mean you’ll always understand us. With a lot of local slang,  South African English has a flavour of its own, borrowing from Afrikaans and the country’s eleven official languages. Even the greeting hello has many layers to it. By MzansiGirl.

Here are 10 ways to say Hello, South African style:

hello
© MzanziGirl

1. Howzit – A traditional South African greeting that translates roughly as “How are you?” or simply “Hello”.

2. Heita – An urban and rural greeting used by South Africans. A cheery slang form of saying “Hello”.

3. Aweh – A South African slang word used to acknowledge something or greet someone and is mainly used in the coloured community.

4. Sawubona (First person singular) – If you meet a South African and you would like to greet them in isiZulu, you can say “Sawubona” meaning “greetings”.

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5. Molo – You can also try to greet a South African in Xhosa by saying “Molo” which means “How are you doing?”

6. Unjani – This is another way you can greet someone in isiZulu meaning “Hello”.

7. Thobela – Thobela means “How are you?” which is a formal way of greeting someone in Pedi.

8. Dumela (Setswana) – Mainly used with the Tswana people, this can also be used to greet a South African.

9. Hoe gaan dit? – Taken from Afrikaans, which means “How are you?”

10. Sharp Fede – South African township greeting meaning “Hello, how are you?”

You may also enjoy An introduction to Maa – the language of the Maasai and Samburu people

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Africa Geographic Travel
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