Showing posts from 2011

Afrikaans in the heart of Berlin

I had to do a double take as I walked in the crowdy Bahnhof Zoo in the heart of Berlin last Friday: There was the front page of the Afrikaans newspaper Beeld prominently displayed among the bustle of one of the busiest train stations in Europe. Up there with the journalism elite of the Washington Post!

Thousands of tourists, locals and visitors passing by were greeted in my mother tongue Afrikaans!

After attending the Festival for Afrikaans in Amsterdam in June, it looks like Afrikaans has truly arrived on the world stage in the most positive way possible. Its is no longer the Pariah language of the apartheid oppressors!

To Copy and Paste or not to Copy and Paste: that is the Question

It has been a week where I was once again confronted with cultural differences in interpreting core social values.
A popular, key Minister in the Cabinet of Chancellor Angela Merkel is caught out: a great chunk of his summa cum laude doctorate of Law was plagiarised. A scandal!

But what shocked me most is not the fact that his doctorate was plagiarised. What shocked me was how the general German public viewed his plagiarism and how they urged him to stay on as a Minister. Worse still how his popularity rose with each passing day of this scandal week.

A Facebook page was set up in support of him and it is growing rapidly day by day; the mass circulation red top newspaper Bild seems to support him. And a political survey shows that nearly 75% of the population thinks he is doing a great job, compared to 68% at the beginning of the month, before the scandal broke.
In my day, when I studied at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, cheating during an exam could certainly see on…