Translating the Rainbow Nation

South Africa has fast become known as \’the Rainbow Nation\’ for the diverse array of races and ethnic groups are found among the country\’s citizens. –

One way in which the country stands out is by its adoption of eleven official languages. New governmental powers saw the need to allow all major ethnic groups in the country to express themselves freely.

It also means that newspapers, exams and other important information must be provided in the relevant official language. Providing news and educational material in a home language often leads to higher pass rates and better educated people.

A myriad of languages, expressions and inflections also poses a host of translation challenges. It also makes using professional translators for your South African translation needs a must!

Mistranslations are easy, African inflections can be challenging to the untrained translator and literal translation errors are all too common in the industry. In fact Afrikaans to English translations are often prone to hilarious literal errors.

We had a look around and found a few hilarious direct Afrikaans translations to show you:

In die Noorde het ons toe volop springbokke, steenbokke, blesbokke, kameelperde en ook meerkatte gesien. – In the North we then saw full-up jumping goats, brick buck, bald buck, Camel horses and also more cats.

In \’n oomblik was ons slaggereed met ons dubbelloop haelgewere. – In an uncle-tin we were slaughter ready with our double walk hail guns.

Toe die luiperd agter die bos roer, skiet ons almal gelyk. – When the lazy-horse mixed behind the bush, we all shot equal.

Langs die pad het ons \’n papwiel gekry. – Along the road we got a porridge wheel.


Here at Bangula a strict quality control process is the foundation of our professional translation service for businesses and government entities. Translators with proven expertise in your industry or subject matter work alongside proofreaders and editors associated with the Professional Editors’ Group (PEG).All our translators are also members of the South African Translators’ Institute (SATI). They deliver material equal to its original form, but adapted to your cultural and intellectual environment. Regulatory and legislative nuances are also incorporated to provide legitimacy and contextual relevance. You receive a translated version specifically adapted to your needs and your current business environment.

Contact us now for a quote and see our translations page for more information.