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Comrade-brother Dumisani Makhaye seems to have been reviled in leftist circles as a compromising moderate. In moderate circles, he wasreviled as a 'mumpara'.

"Mompara" appears all over Southern Africa" a a term of abuse. A "mompara" is a despicable, dishonest person; plus, there are connotations of klutziness. A bad thief would be a mompara, say. A possible polite translation is "ne'er-do-well."
It's pretty rude; you prolly don't want to use the word in word of your Mom, although you'd use it freely in recess, in office politics, and so forth.
I fancy you could throw bricks for a long time before hitting someone who could could give you an authoritative take on where it originated. To me, it feels as if it could have come from any one of Southern Africa's many black languages, but it is used and understood by (impolite) speakers of all languages (most definitely including English and Afrikaans) and all race groups from the Cape up to, at least, the Zambezi. That spans the range of dozens of languages.
Tsotsitaal appears to be a lingua franca emerging in South Africa's urban districts. Sophiatown leads.

"Taal" is the Afrikaans for "language," but it's one of those universally-known words that's a loan-word in just about every Southern African language, I would guess. A non-Afrikaans speaker will readily say, "Do you praat die taal (speak the language, i.e. Afrikaans)?" So "taal" is a handy appendix for slang terms equivalent to the English "-speak", as in "Doublespeak.""Tsotsi" is yet again a universally-understood word loaned to all Southern African languages, including English and Afrikaans. I tentatively surmise it comes from Xhosa or Zulu, which are pretty close. It refers to an Artful Dodger type. A cool, hip, idle youth, quite possibly with a boom-box/ghetto-blaster on his shoulder (I've heard these referred to as "township earrings"). He hangs round with his pals outside the malls and in the streets, and they call out obscene suggestions, often illustatrated with gesture, to comely young ladies who pass.

Middle-aged persons regard them with suspicion and wonder aloud why they are not in school. The tsotsi might get into shoplifting, purse-snatching, pocket-picking and a little light burglary as much from boredom and bravado as need and, even if he doesn't, he'd rather like you to think him capable of doing it at the drop of a hat.

So "Tsotsitaal" is cool, hip, young-peoples' slang partly designed to be inpenetrable to old farts and the un-cool and partly designed to be a lingua france for the young and the hip. I am reminded here of "Fanagalo", an artificial language of which we nowadays hear very little, as it was strongly associated with apartheid and exploitation of black labour. Fanagolo, which has been studied by linguists who interest themselves in pidgins and creoles, was (is? the mines are still there) the lingua franca of the mines: speakers of English, Afrikaans and all the many black languages who came together on the mines would all be taught Fanagalo, and many folk of all race groups spoke it from childhood as a sort of second language anyway. But Fanagolo is nowadays desperately un-cool.
The strongly-emergent lingua franca in contemporary South Africa, by the way, is English. I'm even tempted to say, "American English."
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
. And I think I know that we know what we mean when we use the word comrade. We mean ... to serve the people of South Africa. In this context, "brother or...sister may simply mean "fellow Black (or African Black).

OBaue: I think I recall reading some objections to the capitalization of such words. I disagree with these: I am White, but not particularly white (more of a dun pinkish-beige), just as I am a native Canadian though not a Native Canadian.
In discussions of Canadian attitudes towards diversity in my elementary kiSwahili class last Fall, we confined ourselves mostly to the terms "mzungu" and mAfrika", as being less inflammatory. English should, and perhaps will, borrow more from this complex and interesting language. CDB
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In discussions of Canadian attitudes towards diversity in my elementary kiSwahili class last Fall, we confined ourselves mostly to the terms "mzungu" and mAfrika", as being less inflammatory. English should, and perhaps will, borrow more from this complex and interesting language. CDB

Where would you start? Usually English seems to expand by filling holes. Which holes do you want to fill? For example, do the mAfrica lads have a word for "je ne sais quois"? If they have one it would save us a lot of mouth-soaping, eh?
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In discussions of Canadian attitudes towards diversity in my elementary ... will, borrow more from this complex and interesting language. CDB

Where would you start? Usually English seems to expand by filling holes. Which holes do you want to ... word for "je ne sais quois"? If they have one it would save us a lot of mouth-soaping, eh?

And the spell-checker wouldn't have to handle the feelthy thing. I suspect the waSwahili have a word for it, but the closest my elementary course took me is "Nini? Sifahamu." (Quoi? Je ne sais/comprends pas.) I was thinking of substituting for English words like "racial" designations, which have history and connotations now embarrassing to us. CDB
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
(-) Where would you start? Usually English seems ... one it would save us a lot of mouth-soaping, eh?

And the spell-checker wouldn't have to handle the feelthy thing. I suspect the waSwahili have a word for it, but ... thinking of substituting for English words like "racial" designations, which have history and connotations now embarrassing to us. CDB

Naah. We can do the sifahamu easily enough. Anyway, juhnuhsaykwah is probably embedded too deep for extraction by now.
As for history, let bygones be bygones I always say. After all, one cannot for ever continue to despise Boston just because of a few drunken thugs in the employ of the tea merchants, can one?
I've since found "mampara" in an Afrikaans dictionary: "ass, fool; raw Bantu" it says.
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In discussions of Canadian attitudes towards diversity in myelementary kiSwahili ... perhaps will, borrow more from this complex and interesting language.CDB

Where would you start? Usually English seems to expand by filling holes. Which holes do you want to fill? For example, do the mAfrica lads have a word for "je ne sais quois"? If they have one it would

The Xhosa is "ngokuphucukileyo" (where "ph" means "aspirated p-sound" rather than "f-sound", and "c" is the cat-calling click.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
In discussions of Canadian attitudes towards diversity in myelementary kiSwahili class last Fall, we confined ourselves mostly to the terms "mzungu" and mAfrika", as being less inflammatory. English should,and

"Mzungu" and its various regional variations can be plenty inflammatory, if so intended. This is why political correctness keeps disappearing up its own ass: it's not the nomenclature that matters so much as the intention of the speaker.
perhaps will, borrow more from this complex and interesting language.

Why pick that one, when there are so many others? Because it's the source of "Bwana" and "Hakuna Matata"?
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