Inkanyiso: Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences

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The usage of African languages in three selected contemporary German novels set in Africa

D Jordaan


This paper will focus on the use of indigenous African languages as well as the acquisition of language as a motif in selected contemporary German novels set in Africa. The aim of this paper is to show where the portrayal of indigenous languages fits into the quest for high sale figures as the German contemporary novel set in Africa aims to provide the greatest amount of entertainment to the largest number of readers (cf. Nusser 2000:13; Jordaan 2008:31). The word ‘contemporary’ refers to approximately the last ten years and ‘German’ to novels written in the German language, i.e. novels from Switzerland (for example) are also included. The nature, quantity and function of utterances from three selected contemporary German novels will be presented, in order to show how the use of African languages in these novels can create, perpetuate and resolve suspense in the plot.

Keywords: African languages, German novels, Ein Land das Himmel heißt, Die weiße Jägerin, Afrika mon Amour, Africa

AJOL African Journals Online