Access-A-Hut's Blog

December 20, 2011

We don’t have Xhosa to English Dictionaries because they don’t want them

Filed under: Uncategorized — by accessahut @ 12:48 pm

Says the antique bookstore owner to me.  I want one for the Jerusalem Center, because English, unfortunately is the language of trade and opportunity.  And the Center wants one.  BUT all I can find are dictionaries going from English to Xhosa.  (And don’t get me started on the 1930s one that ONLY had information for a factory–so you could learn to say, make that widget but not how are you, who are you, what are you thinking!).  So I’ve now looked in several bookstores, and can only find one online.

So this bookstore owner says, nope, Xhosa to English dictionaries don’t exist  because the Xhosa people do not want to learn English and improve their lives.  You will be very very proud of me. I was not politically incorrect at all.  I simply smiled and nodded.  I actually haven’t blogged this because I am still … um… in shock.

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1 Comment »

  1. My friend found the Xhosa Dictionary I was mad at:http://www.amazon.com/Kaffir-English-Dictionary-Xhosa-Albert-Kropf/dp/1143009789/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1324417774&sr=1-2
    Yes! This was the one I was EXTREMELY mad at. The whole bloody thing, reprinted, only allows Xhosa speakers to talk about factory work–from the perspective of the lowest factory hand, and for English speakers to take a very patronizing attitude. You can not look inside, but I did, and I found:

    English Side:

    How much work have you done? Xhosa translation…

    Why are you late? Xhosa translation.

    No, I will not give you the day off. Xhosa translation.

    Xhosa side

    Xhosa words. Where do you want this load put?

    Xhosa words. How many should I make?

    Book Description

    Publication Date: January 6, 2010

    This is a reproduction of a book published before 1923. This book may have occasional imperfections such as missing or blurred pages, poor pictures, errant marks, etc. that were either part of the original artifact, or were introduced by the scanning process. We believe this work is culturally important, and despite the imperfections, have elected to bring it back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide. We appreciate your understanding of the imperfections in the preservation process, and hope you enjoy this valuable book.

    Comment by accessahut — December 20, 2011 @ 9:17 pm |Reply


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