ENGLISH IN SOUTH AFRICA

In the South African context, English has been both a highly influential language, and a language influenced, in different ways and to different degrees, by processes of adaptation within the country’s various communities. Recent estimates based on the 1991 census (Schuring, 1993) indicate that approximately 45% of the South African population have a speaking knowledge of English (the majority of the population speaking an African language, such as Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana, or Venda, as home language). The number of individuals who cite English as a home language appears to be, however, only about 10% of the population. Of this figure it would seem that at least one in three English speakers come from ethnic groups other than the white one (in proportionally descending order, from the South African Indian, Coloured, and Black ethnic groups). This figure has shown some increase in recent years. Read the whole article…


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