Language: say 'hello'
Issue 3 (November 2008) The new constitution drawn up at the time of Namibian independence designated English as the official language, even though it was the native tongue of only about two per cent of the population. It was decided that with English, all ethnic groups would be at equal disadvantage. If you want to make friends it pays to know just a few words in the local lingo. Saying ‘hello’ is always a good start….

 

• Afrikaans (the most common lingua franca): Hallo


• Damara/Nama (! denotes a tongue click in this difficult language): !Gai tses


• German (widely spoken): Guten Tag


• Herero/Himba (useful in North Central Namibia): Tjike


• !kung San (more tongue clicking in Northern Namibia): !Kao


• Lozi/Rosti (widely spoken in Caprivi): Eeni, sha


• Owambo (The most common first language): Wa lalapo (morning) Wa tokelwapo (evening)

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