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Quiz about Afrikaans to Zulu
Quiz about Afrikaans to Zulu

Afrikaans to Zulu Trivia Quiz


An epic A to Z tour of the world's languages. We'll be hitting every letter except V and every continent but Antarctica. Enjoy!

A multiple-choice quiz by pu2-ke-qi-ri. Estimated time: 8 mins.
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Author
pu2-ke-qi-ri
Time
8 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
275,873
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
25
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
15 / 25
Plays
21898
Awards
Editor's Choice
Last 3 plays: Guest 107 (18/25), Guest 37 (16/25), Mpproch (17/25).
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Question 1 of 25
1. A

Afrikaans, the language spoken by about 10 million people in South Africa, is descended, with slight simplifications, from the language spoken by the European colonists and traders who settled there. Which language is the parent of Afrikaans ("African")?
Hint


Question 2 of 25
2. B

With 211 million speakers as a first or second language, this is the world's 7th most-spoken language-- after Mandarin, English, Hindi, Spanish, Russian and Arabic, and ahead of Portuguese, Malay-Indonesian, and French. What is this language from the Indian subcontinent?
Hint


Question 3 of 25
3. C

C is for Chinese, but what does that mean? The Chinese government would have you believe that there is a single Chinese language. Linguists would have you believe that that's not the case. Which of these statements about "Chinese" is true?
Hint


Question 4 of 25
4. D

In northern Afghanistan, the major language spoken is Dari. You may know Dari better as a variety of another language, widely spoken in the Near East and Central Asia. Which language is this?
Hint


Question 5 of 25
5. E

English is one of the world's most widely-spoken languages, yet one of the consonant sounds of English is exceedingly uncommon in the world's languages. Which consonant sound would this be?
Hint


Question 6 of 25
6. F

Of what language is it said:
"La langue [...] est une femme. Et cette femme est si belle, si fière, si modeste, si hardie, touchante, voluptueuse, chaste, noble, familière, folle, sage, qu'on l'aime de toute son âme, et qu'on n'est jamais tenté de lui être infidèle."

"The [...] language is a woman. And that woman is so beautiful, so proud, so modest, so bold, so touching, so voluptuous, so chaste, so noble, so familiar, so mad, so wise, that one loves her with all one's soul, and is never tempted to be unfaithful to her."

Answer: (One Word (starts with F!))
Question 7 of 25
7. G

The Greek language's most valuable contribution to the rest of the world was surely its alphabet. Now, other civilizations had writing systems and alphabets of various sorts. What made the Greek alphabet different? What gives it its importance in the history of the world's writing systems?
Hint


Question 8 of 25
8. H

Soles occidere et redire possunt:
Nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux
Nox est perpetua una dormienda

Suns can set and return again,
For us, when the short light has set once,
There is one eternal night to be slept.

So wrote the Roman poet Catullus in Latin, a language whose light has set and is now sleeping its one eternal night. Most languages are like that. Once they're dead, that's it. One, and only one, language has been successfully revived from the dead to become a widely spoken language once again. Which language is this?

Answer: (One Word. Think Old Testament, Israel...)
Question 9 of 25
9. The language of Iceland is (surprise, surprise) Icelandic, and it's probably most closely related to Norwegian of all the major modern-day languages. Which of the following is true of the Icelandic language? Hint


Question 10 of 25
10. J

Japanese uses three-- count 'em, three-- writing systems. Which of these is NOT one of them?
Hint


Question 11 of 25
11. K

Speakers of which language celebrate "Alphabet Day" every October 9th?
Hint


Question 12 of 25
12. L

Lithuanian, Latvian, and Lao share a phonological feature which is common in the world's languages (but strangely absent in English and most European languages). What is it?
Hint


Question 13 of 25
13. M

Before the 1800s, only one language was spoken in New Zealand. Since European colonization, the number of speakers has dropped precipitously, and it is now considered an endangered language. The language of which people is this?
Hint


Question 14 of 25
14. N

During World War II, these Native Americans served as US Marines in the Pacific, using their own native language as a code the Japanese could never break.
Hint


Question 15 of 25
15. O

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow incorporated words from which Native American language in his famous poem, "The Song of Hiawatha"?
Hint


Question 16 of 25
16. P

Portuguese seafarers and merchants spread the Portuguese language worldwide. Which of these countries or provinces DOES NOT use Portuguese as an official language?
Hint


Question 17 of 25
17. Q

Which Spanish conquistador would have found people speaking Quechua when he came to conquer this empire from the Andes of South America?
Hint


Question 18 of 25
18. R

It is impossible to think of Russia without the Russian language, yet one of Russia's most famous rulers did not grow up speaking Russian. Who was this?
Hint


Question 19 of 25
19. S

You may think that Sanskrit, the classical Indian language, is as dead as Latin, the stereotypical dead language. That is completely untrue! How could you encounter Sanskrit in modern India?
Hint


Question 20 of 25
20. T

This Indian language has inspired unbelievable loyalty from its followers. The Indian government's attempt in 1965 to impose Hindi as the national language provoked extensive rioting and a number of the faithful immolated themselves in protest.
Hint


Question 21 of 25
21. U

The language of the Central Asian nation Uzbekistan is, naturally, Uzbek. To which of these better-known languages is Uzbek most closely related?
Hint


Question 22 of 25
22. W

Welsh is notorious for its seemingly unpronounceable words, like "llosgwn." How would you pronounce that "ll"?
Hint


Question 23 of 25
23. X

X is for Xhosa, a Bantu language from South Africa. What sound does the "Xh" stand for? Come on, it's what makes the language so famous!
Hint


Question 24 of 25
24. Y

Yiddish, originally the language of Ashkenazi Jews in Germany, has contributed some memorable vocabulary to the English language. Which of these words originally came from Yiddish?
Hint


Question 25 of 25
25. Z

As per our title, Z, of course, stands for Zulu. Is it true that you could hear Zulu spoken in the same country as our other title language, Afrikaans?



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quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. A Afrikaans, the language spoken by about 10 million people in South Africa, is descended, with slight simplifications, from the language spoken by the European colonists and traders who settled there. Which language is the parent of Afrikaans ("African")?

Answer: Dutch

The Netherlands-based United East India Company (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie, or VOC) founded its first colony in South Africa at Cape Town (Kaapstad) in 1652. Unlike other Dutch colonies, the settlers that this colony attracted were mostly farmers, which provided the base for Dutch to take root and grow. Even after the English had taken control of South Africa, Afrikaans remained the language of the ruling elite-- there were just more Afrikaans-speakers than English-speakers. Today, Afrikaans is one of the official languages of South Africa, and is spoken by about 13% of the population.
2. B With 211 million speakers as a first or second language, this is the world's 7th most-spoken language-- after Mandarin, English, Hindi, Spanish, Russian and Arabic, and ahead of Portuguese, Malay-Indonesian, and French. What is this language from the Indian subcontinent?

Answer: Bengali

Bengali also has a rich literary tradition. It begins with the Caryapada, a set of Buddhist hymns written in Old Bengali in the 11-13th centuries AD. For comparison, the oldest written records in English and German go back to the 5th century AD. More recently, the Bengali poet and author Rabindranath Tagore won the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature.
3. C C is for Chinese, but what does that mean? The Chinese government would have you believe that there is a single Chinese language. Linguists would have you believe that that's not the case. Which of these statements about "Chinese" is true?

Answer: Very different spoken varieties of Chinese are often mutually intelligible when written.

There are many different "varieties" of "Chinese." Some of these are more or less mutually intelligible when spoken. Others are more or less completely mutually incomprehensible. You've probably heard of Mandarin, which has the most clout in politics and sheer number of speakers (about 836 million), and Cantonese, the variety most similar to Classical Chinese. There are many, many more varieties, but the exact number is a matter of some debate.

The structure of the Chinese writing system appeals to the basic syntactic and morphological similarities between all of these varieties, and so a text written by a literate speaker of one variety should be reasonably clear to a speaker of any other variety.

As a whole, "Chinese" forms a distinct entity, and is not very similar even to its closest relatives. Is Chinese a language family, a language with many dialects, or some combination of the two? This is where linguistics leaves off and politics begins. A common language implies cultural, ethnic, and political unity; naming separate languages invites fragmentation. The Chinese government has opted for the former.
4. D In northern Afghanistan, the major language spoken is Dari. You may know Dari better as a variety of another language, widely spoken in the Near East and Central Asia. Which language is this?

Answer: Persian

Persian has a long and cultured history. It was the language Xerxes and Darius spoke when they invaded Greece in the 5th century BCE, and our earliest attestation of Persian comes from the cuneiform inscriptions in Persepolis, the capital of the Persian Empire. The Scythians, those nomads of the Eurasian steppes, spoke a language closely related to Persian. Persian was the prestige and court language of the Mughal empire in India from the 13th century CE until the British took over in the 19th.

Today, Persian and its relatives are spoken in Turkey (in the form of Kurdish), Iran (Farsi and others), Afghanistan (Dari, Pashto, and others), Tajikistan (Tajik), and Pakistan (Bactrian). Persian also has a rich literary tradition. If you've read E. M. Forester's novel "A Passage to India," you'll notice that Dr. Aziz enjoys passing his evenings quoting Persian poetry with his friends. If you've ever read any poetry by Rumi, he wrote in Persian.
5. E English is one of the world's most widely-spoken languages, yet one of the consonant sounds of English is exceedingly uncommon in the world's languages. Which consonant sound would this be?

Answer: R

Most native English speakers produce an "r" sound which is known by phoneticians as a "voiced alveolar approximant," and is represented in the International Phonetic Alphabet by an upside-down "r". The way people pronounce it is extremely variable. The tip of the tongue is bent back, the body of the tongue is raised near the hard palate, and the root of the tongue bulges out into the pharynx, but a speaker can "trade-off" among these features and still produce the same sound.

A far more common way of producing the "r" sound, which is also found in the Scottish dialect of English, is a trill with the tip of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, that bony ridge behind your teeth.

The only other major language that uses the English "r" is, I think, Mandarin Chinese.
6. F Of what language is it said: "La langue [...] est une femme. Et cette femme est si belle, si fière, si modeste, si hardie, touchante, voluptueuse, chaste, noble, familière, folle, sage, qu'on l'aime de toute son âme, et qu'on n'est jamais tenté de lui être infidèle." "The [...] language is a woman. And that woman is so beautiful, so proud, so modest, so bold, so touching, so voluptuous, so chaste, so noble, so familiar, so mad, so wise, that one loves her with all one's soul, and is never tempted to be unfaithful to her."

Answer: French

That quotation was written by Anatole France, 1844-1924. As long as there has been a consciousness of "proper French" (and that started in 1539, when King François I decreed that all official documents be written "en langage maternel fronçois et non autrement," "in the French mother tongue, and not otherwise"), "proper French" has meant Parisian French.

Its prestige probably began because that region, Île-de-France, was at the convergence of many navigable rivers, and so provided a melting pot for speakers of many dialects.

Its dominance continued because Paris quickly became the cultural and political capital of France and the French-speaking world.
7. G The Greek language's most valuable contribution to the rest of the world was surely its alphabet. Now, other civilizations had writing systems and alphabets of various sorts. What made the Greek alphabet different? What gives it its importance in the history of the world's writing systems?

Answer: It had letters for vowels.

This is not to say that earlier writing systems didn't have ways to write out vowels. Many varieties of cuneiform, along with two earlier Greek writing systems, Linear B and the Cypriot Syllabary, did represent vowels. But, they were syllabaries-- each "letter" represented a syllable: either a pure vowel, one or more consonants plus a vowel, or (for cuneiform) a consonant plus a vowel plus and another consonant.

This is also not to say that there weren't earlier alphabets. The Phoenician alphabet, the parent of the Greek alphabet, was one. The Ugaritic Alphabet was another, and Egyptian Hieroglyphs could, debatably, be called an alphabet. But, these were consonantal alphabets-- they only had letters to represent consonants, and the reader was left to supply the vowels.

The consonantal alphabetic system worked for the Semitic languages the Phoenician and Ugaritic alphabets represented. But it didn't work for Greek, for a number of reasons. First, Greek has some words which consist entirely of vowels, for example, the word "ou," "not." Second, changing the vowels can radically change the meaning of a word. Who is to say whether the consonant string "p-th-n" means "pithon" (pot), "pothon" (desire), "python" (a mythical serpent), "epython" (I/they found out) or "epeithon" (I/they persuaded)?

And so, the Greeks invented vowels, so they could write their language.
8. H Soles occidere et redire possunt: Nobis cum semel occidit brevis lux Nox est perpetua una dormienda Suns can set and return again, For us, when the short light has set once, There is one eternal night to be slept. So wrote the Roman poet Catullus in Latin, a language whose light has set and is now sleeping its one eternal night. Most languages are like that. Once they're dead, that's it. One, and only one, language has been successfully revived from the dead to become a widely spoken language once again. Which language is this?

Answer: Hebrew

Hebrew died out as a spoken language in ancient times. It was resurrected in the 20th century to become the official language of Israel. People have tried to resurrect other languages at other times, like Irish and Cornish, but these efforts have never produced such a large and thriving community of speakers.
9. The language of Iceland is (surprise, surprise) Icelandic, and it's probably most closely related to Norwegian of all the major modern-day languages. Which of the following is true of the Icelandic language?

Answer: The language hasn't changed much since 870 AD, when Vikings settled the island, so an Icelandic speaker can read Old Norse without too much difficulty

Indeed, over a thousand-year period, Icelandic has retained 97% of its basic vocabulary. English, by contrast, has only retained about 60%. This fact has thwarted the plans of many a linguist to date splits between languages by coming up with a rate for the replacement of vocabulary terms over time!
10. J Japanese uses three-- count 'em, three-- writing systems. Which of these is NOT one of them?

Answer: Ohayou-- Alphabetic characters used for writing loan-words phonetically.

Japan adapted writing from China. It was not a straightforward process, because Chinese and Japanese are such different languages. In Chinese, it works to have a language where one symbol represents one word. Japanese, on the other hand, changes the endings of words to convey grammatical information.

This crucial grammatical information was lost in the "one symbol = one word" system of Chinese. The three writing systems used today for Japanese reflect the complicated development of the writing system as it was adapted to become more suited to the Japanese language.
11. K Speakers of which language celebrate "Alphabet Day" every October 9th?

Answer: Korean

Hangul, the Korean alphabet, was a remarkable accomplishment. Hangul is a perfect alphabet-- it distinguishes all distinct sounds in Korean, and is completely unambiguous to the reader. The shapes of the letters represent the position of the mouth producing that sound, and some features of the letters correspond to the phonology of the sounds.

Hangul was also a great humanitarian accomplishment. Before King Sejong invented Hangul in 1446, Korean was written, if it was written at all, in Chinese characters, which are just as badly suited for Korean as they are for Japanese, and which only the aristocracy could afford to learn. King Sejong introduced Hangul specifically so everyone, elite or common, rich or poor, could become literate, because he knew the liberating effect of mass literacy on society.

Today, King Sejong's image appears on money and stamps, and countless streets and institutions are named after him. Sejong's essay on the alphabet holds as central a place in the Korean education system as the Declaration of Independence does in the US. Hangul is more than just an alphabet-it is the incarnation of the Korean language itself, and a symbol of national pride.
12. L Lithuanian, Latvian, and Lao share a phonological feature which is common in the world's languages (but strangely absent in English and most European languages). What is it?

Answer: Tone accent

Some languages, like Chinese, are tone languages, where pitch can be the sole difference between two words. An imperfect analogy would be how the English word "com-BINE" (verb, "put together") and "COM-bine" (noun, "type of harvesting machinery")have different meanings and are only distinguished by the stress of the word.

Other languages, like Japanese, simply have tone accents, which do not distinguish words. An analogy with English is how the words "CAR-bon mon-OX-ide" have a certain stress pattern which doesn't affect the meaning of the word, but that stress pattern is still inherent to your conception of the word. Exotic as tone seems, it is one of the first aspects of language that children master-- children learn to say tones even before consonants and vowels.
13. M Before the 1800s, only one language was spoken in New Zealand. Since European colonization, the number of speakers has dropped precipitously, and it is now considered an endangered language. The language of which people is this?

Answer: Maori

The Te Reo Maori language has followed the fortunes of the Maori people. After the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi opened New Zealand to British colonization, the Maori were simply out-immigrated and out-bred. By 1900, the Maori population had dropped by a half.

Their culture and language were similarly engulfed and swept aside. Now, there are perhaps 70,000 Te Reo Maori speakers, 1.8% of the population, almost all of whom are bilingual in English. Despite efforts to revitalize Maori, its future is uncertain.
14. N During World War II, these Native Americans served as US Marines in the Pacific, using their own native language as a code the Japanese could never break.

Answer: Navajo Code Talkers

The idea of the Navajo Code Talkers was developed by Philip Johnston, one of the very, very few non-Navajos who could speak and understand the language. He reasoned that Navajo would fulfill the military's desire for an unbreakable code -- it is spoken only in the American Southwest, there were no Japanese who knew it, and its complicated phonology and syntax would make it impossible to learn without extensive training. That proved to be true -- the Japanese, who were expert code breakers and regularly deciphered Army and Navy transmissions, never broke the Navajo code.

The soldiers who served as Navajo Code Talkers were known for their unbelievable speed and accuracy. A Navajo Code Talker could encrypt and send a three-line English message in 20 seconds, a job that took a machine 30 minutes. During the first two days of the Battle of Iwo Jima, six Code Talkers working around the clock sent and received 800 messages, with absolutely no errors. Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, later said, "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima."
15. O Henry Wadsworth Longfellow incorporated words from which Native American language in his famous poem, "The Song of Hiawatha"?

Answer: Ojibwe

"Should you ask me,
whence these stories?
Whence these legends and traditions,
With the odors of the forest
With the dew and damp of meadows,
With the curling smoke of wigwams,
With the rushing of great rivers,
With their frequent repetitions,
And their wild reverberations
As of thunder in the mountains?

I should answer, I should tell you,
'From the forests and the prairies,
From the great lakes of the Northland,
From the land of the Ojibways,
From the land of the Dacotahs,
From the mountains, moors, and fen-lands
Where the heron, the Shuh-shuh-gah,
Feeds among the reeds and rushes.
I repeat them as I heard them
From the lips of Nawadaha,
The musician, the sweet singer.'"

For instance, "Shuh-shuh-gah" comes from the original Ojibwe word "zhashagi," "Great Blue Heron." Longfellow used words from other Native American languages as well, but the bulk of his words are Ojibwe.
16. P Portuguese seafarers and merchants spread the Portuguese language worldwide. Which of these countries or provinces DOES NOT use Portuguese as an official language?

Answer: Quebec, Canada

Of all of Portugal's former colonies, Brazil is the only place where the Portuguese language has really taken root, for the reason that Brazil was the only colony which attracted settlers in any significant numbers. Now it is Brazil, not Portugal, which is mainly responsible for the status of Portuguese as the world's seventh most spoken language (by number of speakers as a first or second language).
17. Q Which Spanish conquistador would have found people speaking Quechua when he came to conquer this empire from the Andes of South America?

Answer: Francisco Pizarro, Inca

Quechua was not the original language of the Incan empire. The Inca homeland was originally the southern shores of Lake Titicaca, and the earliest Inca spoke Puquina. When the Inca moved to the northern shore of the lake, they adopted Aymara, one of the local languages, as their official language. Later in Inca history, prince Tupac Yupanqui married a princess from the neighboring Chincha kingdom, the two kingdoms merged, the Inca adopted Quechua as their official language!

Quechua is still alive and well; it is spoken by over 10 million people in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and Colombia.

I would be amiss not to quote the Quechua play, "The Tragedy of the End of Atawallpa." An Inca tells Pizarro, before the battle of Cajamarca:

Red man who blazes like fire
and on the chin raises thick wool,
it is quite impossible for me
to understand your weird language.
I do not know what you are saying to me,
I cannot know in any way.
18. R It is impossible to think of Russia without the Russian language, yet one of Russia's most famous rulers did not grow up speaking Russian. Who was this?

Answer: Catherine the Great

Catherine the Great, ruler of the Russian empire, was born Sophia Augusta Frederika of Anhalt-Zerbst, an obscure German princess, and grew up speaking German and French. It was only during her adolescence, when she was betrothed to her future husband, the future Tsar Peter III, that she began learning Russian. Needless to say, she mastered it well enough to rule an empire-- encouragement for anyone trying to learn a second language later in life!
19. S You may think that Sanskrit, the classical Indian language, is as dead as Latin, the stereotypical dead language. That is completely untrue! How could you encounter Sanskrit in modern India?

Answer: All of these

Believe it or not! Sanskrit, of course, is still used in religious ceremonies and taught in school. You can see performances of Sanskrit literature and drama in the original language. Sanskrit is also one of the official languages of India.
20. T This Indian language has inspired unbelievable loyalty from its followers. The Indian government's attempt in 1965 to impose Hindi as the national language provoked extensive rioting and a number of the faithful immolated themselves in protest.

Answer: Tamil

How does Tamil inspire such devotion? As always, language is tied up in ethnicity and nationality. Tamil, a Dravidian language, is completely unrelated to the North Indian languages like Hindi and Sanskrit. Dravidian languages define the South; Indo-Aryan languages define the North. So, imposing an Indo-Aryan language "means" that the North Indians are trying to subjugate the South Indian way of life. Skillful propaganda also helped.

The Tamil language is often personified as the goddess Tamilttay, at once a chaste maiden, a mother to all Tamil speakers, and a sex symbol.
21. U The language of the Central Asian nation Uzbekistan is, naturally, Uzbek. To which of these better-known languages is Uzbek most closely related?

Answer: Turkish

Uzbek is part of a linguistic spread zone covering the whole of the Eurasian steppes, from western China down into Turkey and the plains of the Danube. Over thousands of years, language families from the eastern part of the spread zone sweep across it, in a matter of centuries completely replacing the previous language family.

The first language family (or, the first we're aware of) was Indo-European, back in the mists of prehistory. Indo-European was followed by Iranian. Iranian was replaced by the Turkic language family, which left Uzbek in central Asia and Turkish in Turkey.

This pattern of languages sweeping across the steppes from the east held until agriculture replaced pastoralism, and Russian began taking over the steppes from the west.
22. W Welsh is notorious for its seemingly unpronounceable words, like "llosgwn." How would you pronounce that "ll"?

Answer: An alveolar lateral fricative, sort of like "shl."

And if you want to hear any of these pronounced, check out the IPA chart at http://hctv.humnet.ucla.edu/departments/linguistics/VowelsandConsonants/course/chapter1/chapter1.html The "o" is the so-called open "o," the sound in "caught" if you pronounce that differently from the word "cot." "w" is a vowel, pronounced like the "u" in "lush." "g," "s," and "n" are the same as English.
23. X X is for Xhosa, a Bantu language from South Africa. What sound does the "Xh" stand for? Come on, it's what makes the language so famous!

Answer: A Tongue Click

Clicks are a highly unusual feature in the world's languages. Click consonants are only used in a limited number of African languages. During language acquisition, children learn to make clicking sounds with their tongue almost as soon as they learn to make sounds with their mouth at all. However, click consonants take a long time for children to learn. This probably accounts for the rarity of clicks-- if one generation of children failed to learn how to produce click consonants, the sound would be lost from the language.

The best example of Xhosa's clicks must be the famous "Click Song," sung by Miriam Makeba. Go listen to a clip on YouTube, I absolutely insist!
24. Y Yiddish, originally the language of Ashkenazi Jews in Germany, has contributed some memorable vocabulary to the English language. Which of these words originally came from Yiddish?

Answer: All of these

"Schmooze," to have a long and intimate talk with someone, comes from Yiddish "shmuesn," meaning "to talk or converse." The word "klutz" comes from Yiddish "klotz," literally a wooden block. Yiddish "Beygel" is the same food item as an English "bagel," but is ultimately traceable to the Middle High German word for "bracelet." Other Yiddish words in English? Shtick, kibitz, maven. Want to nosh lox on a bagel?
25. Z As per our title, Z, of course, stands for Zulu. Is it true that you could hear Zulu spoken in the same country as our other title language, Afrikaans?

Answer: Yes

Zulu is spoken by about 9 million people in southern Africa. It is a Bantu language, like Xhosa. And, also like Xhosa, it has click consonants-- 18 of them!
Source: Author pu2-ke-qi-ri

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