Tour the whole world, but there are words you will only hear in South Africa. The country has meshed its diverse languages uniquely and fitted some words ingenously into its national lingo. Here are several words a tourist will only hear in South Africa:
This is probably the first unusual remark that any visitor will begin to pick up from the friendly South African people. ‘Lekker’ is a general term that is used to loosely refer to something that is nice. If someone says something pleasing, it is common to give them a thumbs up sign and exclaim ‘Lekker’ to mean ‘that’s nice.’
The phrase catches up quickly among tourists and can be used in many instances, including as a response to the greeting ‘How are you?’
‘Robot’ does not sound like a unique word, but South Africans’ use of the same definitely is. Mzansi is one of few countries that still use the term ‘robot’ to refer to traffic lights. A South African giving directions will often mention a turn at a robot as a reference.
Tourists are often confused by this subconscious reference and only then do the residents think of rephrasing to ‘traffic light.’
Dinges is a singular as well as a plural word used to refer to ‘things.’ It’s not ‘dinge’ for singular and ‘dinges’ for the plural; any one of the two can be used in either instance. It is possible to pick the native accent from how people say it, but most tourists pick it up almost perfectly.
The word has found its way into South African lingo having originated from the Afrikaans word ‘Ding’ used to mean ‘thing.’
If a South African says ‘Now-now,’ they mean the action is happening right away. Sooner than just now. But there’s nothing more to this phrase than being uttered. A now-now wait could last anywhere up to an hour. For tourists visiting South Africa, it is always advisable to seek clarification about how many minutes a particular ‘now-now’ refers to.