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Charlize Theron sparks debate for claiming that her first language, Afrikaans, is ‘dying’

Charlize Theron has faced some backlash for claiming that her first language, Afrikaans, is dying out.

The 47-year-old actor opened up about growing up in South Africa while appearing on Monday’s episode of The smartless Podcast. After revealing that she didn’t start speaking fluent English until the age of 19, when she moved to the US, she noted that it was easy for her to “drop” her South African “accent”.

She then said that her first language, Afrikaans, was not very popular and that there were “about 44 people still speaking”.

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“It’s definitely a dying language,” she said of her mother tongue, which is derived from vernacular Dutch. “It’s not a very useful language.”

On social media, many listeners were quick to lash out The School of Good and Evil star. Some have claimed that she hasn’t spent time in South Africa recently and expressed how important Afrikaans is.

“Afrikaans have a strong association with apartheid. This statement was made by Charlize Theron to appease Hollywood,” one wrote. “I don’t agree with it. As with all other languages, Afrikaans must be preserved.”

Another added: “What a disrespectful comment to the millions of South Africans of all ages, races, and stations of life who speak Afrikaans as their first language.” “You probably need to spend ‘real’ time in all areas [South Africa]not just Street Glitz.”

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On a video from the podcast posted on Less cleverInstagram Tim Theron, a South African film director, shared why he disagreed with the actor’s point of view.

He wrote, “We are incredibly proud of Charlize and all that she has achieved…but we are also very proud of our diversity and our wonderful and beautiful official languages, of which Afrikaans is one.” It’s not a “dying language,” and only 44 people don’t speak it. Millions of people speak it, new songs and poems are written every day, films are made, and so on.

On Thursday, the All South African Language Council (PanSALB), an organization that promotes multilingualism in the country, shared a statement calling Theron’s remarks “frustrating”, “disturbing” and “inaccurate”.

“These comments by Ms. Theron perpetuate the persistent misconception that Afrikaans is only spoken by white South Africans, which cannot be further from the truth as 60 per cent of people who speak this language are black,” the statement read. “. .

On the other hand, some Twitter users defended Theron.

Someone wrote that Charlize Theron’s “Only 44” Still Speaking Afrikaans “isn’t naivety or stupidity, it’s literally just a quiet reiteration of white Afrikaners’ fear that they are dying, outnumbered, and overcome by the black masses.”

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Another added: “Charlize Theron has a point of view that Afrikaans is not a useful language.” In it, we are forced to learn it in school instead of sign language. We are more likely to run into a deaf person than an Afrikaans speaker. Therefore, we are ignorant of sign language.”

In spite of bomb Star point, the data showed that Afrikaans is a fairly common language in South Africa. According to the 2018 Community Survey by Stats South Africa, Afrikaans is the third most spoken language by household members, with 12.2 percent of people speaking it in their homes.

The Independent Contact Theron’s representation for comment.

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