The language barrier in south africa

Essay by manchildHigh School, 11th gradeB, April 2005

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In South Africa, we are fortunate, or maybe unfortunate of having 11 official languages, and five major spoken languages, namely English, Afrikaans, Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho. I say fortunate, because we can celebrate our diverseness, and our wonderful culture, but we also unfortunate, because with diverseness comes confusion, problems and inconveniences.

Having 11 official languages sounds grand, and important, to some. It shows that we are multi-cultured, and accepting of all cultures. South Africa, boasts, and punts that we have such a diverse culture, but I don't think it is something to boast about, or something, which we should be that proud of. It possibly sounds impressive when undecided tourists are choosing their next destination. They may want to experience interesting places, where life is different to their home, and if that is the target people we are aiming for, it is fine to have 11 official languages, but I don't think that is whom we should be looking to attract to our country.

South Africa wants to attract outside, and foreign investment, that is what grows and sustains countries, and the foreign investment will usually come from first world countries. There are very few first world countries, which will have more that two, or even three official languages, because of the logistic problems it will cause. If South Africa wants to be seen as first world, and wants to operate in their hemispheres, we have to start acting like them, and follow their examples. Maybe, our multi-lingual country, scares off prospective business men, because they do not want the stress and hassle of dealing with such diverseness, were they may need to know more than one language to perform correct business trade. I understand that the government wants to try and include every single person into...