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Did you know

  • Tsotsitaal spread first as a criminal language, as it had the power of insuring secrecy in the speech
  • Tsotsitaal, the original variety, is based on Afrikaans, in which were originally added Tswana terms, and later terms from Zulu
  • Nowadays in Soweto, possibly up to 500,000 youths speak tsotsitaal as their main language or one of their main languages
  • Only criminals at first could understand Tsotsitaal
  • Tsotsitaal is a variety of mixed languages mainly spoken in the townships of Gauteng province, such as Soweto
  • Tsotsi is a Sesotho slang word for a "thug" or "robber"

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X y Z

English Translation: friend

Language: Tsotsitaal

A’chuz means “Friend” a person who you know well and who you like a lot, but who is usually not a member of your family

English Translation: guy

Language: Tsotsitaal

Authi means “lad/guy/boyfriend/young man” An informal term for a youth or man

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English Translation: big tummy

Language: Tsotsitaal

Air bag means “big tummy /stomach”  a term  used to describe people  with big tummies or stomachs

English Translation: marble

Language: Tsotsitaal

Ali means ” marble”  a small circular stone used by kids as a toy; a children’s game in which small round glass balls are rolled along the floor

English Translation: almost

Language: Tsotsitaal

Ampurr means “almost, about to, close to, nearly”;  slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but

English Translation: sorry

Language: Tsotsitaal

Askies means “sorry” Feeling or expressing sympathy; Feeling or expressing regret or sorrow or a sense of loss over something done or undone

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X y Z