South Africa 49

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BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

AGE: 81

DATE OF BIRTH (DD/MM/YYYY): 10/10/1936

PLACE OF BIRTH: Napier, Western Cape

GENDER: male

ETHNICITY: white

OCCUPATION: retired farmer

EDUCATION: master’s degree in commerce

AREAS OF RESIDENCE OUTSIDE REPRESENTATIVE REGION FOR LONGER THAN SIX MONTHS:

He and his second wife spent a year in Taiwan teaching English. He has also traveled to other countries for shorter stays.

OTHER INFLUENCES ON SPEECH:

The subject was born and raised on a farm in the Western Cape, like his father before him, and he still resides there. In order to master English, he was sent to Cape Town for his secondary-school education.

The text used in our recordings of scripted speech can be found by clicking here.

RECORDED BY: Nadia Barnard

DATE OF RECORDING (DD/MM/YYYY): 21/04/2018

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF SCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

ORTHOGRAPHIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH:

Now you see the language, it’s rather – it’s rather an interesting question, that, because we have always been interested in the English, and say, the British culture, my family. They also voted for the United Party, which was the party of General Smuts, and they linked well with, um, the UK, and Smuts for instance was on the War Council during the Second World War and all that. And my parents always read an English newspaper, The Cape Times, the – then, and even the magazine was The Outspan. And they never bought the Afrikaans equivalent like Die Huisgenoot and never allowed Die Burger to come into our house. So the thinking was in English, not perhaps, while the spoken word was not so often used, although my dad, with hindsight I know, used many little expressions which came from the English, because his f- father — my grandfather — was English-speaking.

Culture-wise the English culture was perhaps, er, more prominent, but not so much the ability on, on our side of the farm to speak it, and that is why I had to be sent to a different school, to be totally immersed. I like this English language, but I also like the Afrikaans culture, and I think I’m so fortunate that I have a foot in both. The culture and the use of language in these two cultures, er, the use differs so largely. For instance, punning can only be done really well in English. And I enjoy that. And if it’s slightly naughty, why not? But I mean, it must be naughty with style!

This comes from an uncle of mine who was on my mother’s side, and now he was considered to be the black sheep in the family. And he had one rather interesting characteristic: He would bide his time. When there’s – where the people are playing a game, he would make as if he had no ability, and then they would invite him and say, “Come, Jan, come and play!” And he would lose couple of games. You know, that kind of thing. And then when they — they get so excited that they start putting money on the table, then all of a sudden, he would sweep everything away.

Now he was sitting in a bar in the little town of Somerset East, and there people were trying to make limericks, and Jan just sat there. Now what we must understand: It was shortly after the war, and there were still many regulations pertaining to bread, for instance; we weren’t allowed to have white bread in South Africa. And then they had another invention, the, um, the government decided to enrich the bread; they called it Promo bread. And Jan just liste- — now that, that was the background. And they all sort of said their pieces, and it sort of petered out, and then he said, “You guys want a limerick? I’ll make you a limerick:
There was a man from Somerset East
Who always ate enriched vitamin yeast
Said he to oom Jannie:
“ek wil k-a-k maar ek kan nie!” [Afrikaans for “I want to s-h-i-t, but I can’t”]
Said oom Jannie: “I don’t mind in the least.”

TRANSCRIBED BY: Nadia Barnard

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): 25/04/2018

PHONETIC TRANSCRIPTION OF UNSCRIPTED SPEECH: N/A

TRANSCRIBED BY: N/A

DATE OF TRANSCRIPTION (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

SCHOLARLY COMMENTARY: N/A

COMMENTARY BY: N/A

DATE OF COMMENTARY (DD/MM/YYYY): N/A

The archive provides:

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