And then shortly on the Nu or N/u (inserting the click) language.
While tragic, it should be noted that Afrikaans is not a wholly imposed European language.
It has words of Khoisan languages and Cape Malay, and the first Afrikaans was in fact written in Arabic.
Also in other parts of South Africa, the Khoisan (Bushman and Hottentot languages) were replaced or merged with Bantu languages like Xhosa (the
eastern Cape) and Sotho (Lesotho and the interior) which still have millions of speakers today.
So this language shift of the indigenous people wasn't just imposed by "whites" or Afrikaans.
It's a complex story, and the Khoisan languages left their trace on almost all the local languages.
In fact, South African English is more akin to the truly imposed language.
And, while hunter-gatherer lifestyles may seem romantic in retrospect, these were not necessarily comfortable or easy lifestyles, and despite
colonialist land dispossession and genocide being factors, sometimes people also left traditional lifestyles by choice, for more comfortable or
I recall speaking to a Northern Cape Bushman in the 1980's (he worked at a holiday resort as a handyman), and I asked him why despite this "beautiful
lifestyle" shown in television documentaries he didn't stay in the Kalahari Desert, and he said you try living in a grass hut in sub-zero temperatures
at night with lions roaming about, and you look all wrinkled at 25. The current narrative isn't the whole story. What is sad though is that the
Bushmen in particular were framed as "primitive people" at the time, which is why they never got any development aid or housing, and they could live
neither traditionally nor enjoy the benefits of modernization, largely due to misleading anthropologists and documentaries. Nobody ever made it clear,
you can keep this aspect of your culture, like language, and still modernize. Yeah, till the late 1980's. So, many felt they had to give up on their
entire identities, and they ended up living in squalor, on the margins of society.
Of course this only applies to some Bushmen nations in South Africa, much larger groups remain in especially Namibia and Botswana.
18-8-2021 by halfoldman because: (no reason given)