Charlize Theron faces backlash after saying Afrikaans, her mom tongue, is dying out | CNN


Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron is dealing with fierce criticism in South Africa after saying her mom tongue, Afrikaans, is “a dying language.”

The “Monster” and “Tully” star made the feedback on Monday’s episode of the “Smartless” podcast, saying that the language that she grew up talking was fading out.

Theron, 47, who revealed she solely realized to talk English fluently when she moved to the US at 19, mentioned there’s “about 44 folks nonetheless talking” Afrikaans.

“It’s undoubtedly a dying language, it’s not a really useful language,” she informed hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett.

Theron’s remarks quickly sparked a social media debate in South Africa. Whereas some branded her ill-informed, others agreed that Afrikaans was a “lifeless language.”

“Charlize Theron is a legend!” one Twitter commentator wrote. “Certainly Afrikaans is a lifeless language. It belongs previously. It’s a instrument as soon as used to oppress Africans.”

One other Twitter person mentioned: “This assertion was made by Charlize Theron to appease Hollywood. I don’t concur together with her. As with all different languages, the Afrikaans language have to be preserved.”

Tim Theron, a South African actor and director of no relation to Theron, commented beneath a clip of the podcast shared on Instagram: “We’re extraordinarily happy with Charlize and every thing she has achieved … however we’re additionally very happy with our variety and our superb and delightful official languages, of which Afrikaans is one.

“It’s not a ‘dying language’, and it’s not solely spoken by 44 folks. It’s spoken by thousands and thousands of individuals, there are new songs and poems being written every single day, motion pictures made and so on.”

CNN has contacted Theron’s representatives for additional remark.

On Thursday, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), which was set as much as promote multilingualism within the nation, responded with an announcement calling Theron’s feedback “disturbing,” including that stats present Afrikaans is the third most spoken language within the nation.

“These feedback made by Ms Theron perpetuate the persistent false impression that Afrikaans is simply spoken by white ‘boere’ South Africans, which couldn’t be farther from the reality as 60% of the folks that talk the language are black,” the assertion mentioned.

The PanSALB went on so as to add that Theron was held in excessive regard by South Africa and wanted to “proceed the commendable work of utilizing her platform to spotlight a few of the important socioeconomic points that have an effect on the continent together with the significance of taking part in public life utilizing one’s mom tongue.”

Afrikaans, a language first launched by Dutch colonial settlers and imposed on non-whites by the apartheid regime, is one in all 11 official languages acknowledged in South Africa. It consists of phrases from Asian Malay, Malagasy, Khoi, San, Xhosa, French and Portuguese.

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