'Stick to Hollywood & leave us out of it' — Charlize Theron dragged for calling Afrikaans ‘a dying language’
South African-born Hollywood actress Charlize Theron has faced the Twitter firing squad after claims she made about Afrikaans.
Afrikaans is one of SA's official languages and, according to online stats resource Worlddata, spoken by over 8-million people around the world.
Speaking about her home language in an interview with SmartLess podcast, Theron said she didn't speak English until she was around 19 and only focused on learning the language when she left home.
“That's why it was easy for me to drop the [South African] accent because I was really learning English from scratch,” she added.
Referring to Afrikaans, she joked that “there's about 44 people still speaking it” and called it “a dying language”.
“It's not a very helpful language,” she added.
Her comments did not go down well with many on social media, with her name topping the local Twitter trends list.
Taking to the podcast's Instagram page, South African actor Tim Theron rubbished the suggestion that Afrikaans is a dying language.
“Love the podcast guys. Just one small note after listening to this episode: As South Africans, we're extremely proud of Charlize and everything she has achieved ... but we're also very proud of our diversity and our amazing and beautiful official languages, of which Afrikaans is one.
“It's not a 'dying language', and it's not only spoken by 44 people. It's spoken by millions of people; there are new songs and poems being written every day, movies made etc. It's a language with its roots in several languages and cultures, including Dutch, Malay, Indonesian and our indigenous San languages. Just FYI.”
While some agreed with Charlize's analysis, others urged her to leave the language alone.
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