Definition of Fanakalo in English:


Line breaks: Fana|kalo
Pronunciation: /ˌfanaɡaˈlɒ
, ˈfanaɡalɒ/
(also Fanagalo)


[mass noun] South African
A lingua franca developed and used by the southern African mining companies, composed of frequently corrupted elements of the Nguni languages, English, and Afrikaans.
More example sentences
  • I know there's a huge debate around Fanakalo as a language but mineworkers use it.
  • Fanakalo is a linguistic manifestation of the polarisation between authority and subservience, consisting entirely of a set of commands and responses.


1940s: from Nguni fana ka lo, from fana 'be like' + the possessive suffix -ka + lo 'this'.

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