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Did you know

  • 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"
  • Tsotsitaal spread first as a criminal language, as it had the power of insuring secrecy in the speech
  • Nowadays in Soweto, possibly up to 500,000 youths speak tsotsitaal as their main language or one of their main languages
  • Tsotsitaal, the original variety, is based on Afrikaans, in which were originally added Tswana terms, and later terms from Zulu

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English Translation: matchstick

Language: Tsotsitaal

Echi means “matchstick/matchbox” the short wooden stick of a match, or the match itself; a small box containing matches

English Translation: hey

Language: Tsotsitaal

Ekse means “Hey” used as a way of attracting someone’s attention, sometimes in a way which is not very polite

English Translation: buttock

Language: Tsotsitaal

Ezi means “buttock” Either of the two round fleshy parts of the human body that form the bottom

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