Definition of Fanakalo in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌfanaɡaˈlɒ/
Pronunciation: /ˈfanaɡalɒ/

Entry from British & World English dictionary

(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.
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'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Fana|kalo

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