Language in the future – Lauren Beukes’ Zoo City

johannesburg_skyline_2 Johannesburg skyline *

Here’s a link to another post I wrote for Oxford Dictionaries in 2011:

The future of language: South African English in Zoo City

– this one on South African author Lauren Beukes‘ use of SA English (SAE) in her Arthur C Clarke award-winning novel Zoo City. (Winning the Clarke award for science fiction is a big deal – take a look at the list of winners.)

In her first two novels Moxyland (2008) and Zoo City (2010) Beukes’ characters make much use of SAE to create a feeling for a near-future alt-Mzansi that nevertheless speaks to a contemporary world.

Words and phrases I examine there include Jozi, fong kong, kwerekwere, (the real) makhoya and moegoe.


* Image by Chris7cn used modified (cropped) from Johannesburg skyline. Some rights reserved by the creator of the image. Use of this photo does not imply endorsement of this blog by the creator of the image.
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