SOUTH AFRICA: Bilingual by the Month

The Union of South Africa has long had language trouble. Of its citizens, 1,226,382 speak Afrikaans (a simplified version of Dutch); 875,541 speak English; only 35,889 speak both. Since the country was officially declared bilingual in 1925, all official communications were supposed to be written in both Afrikaans and English; but in bureaucratic practice, a letter written in English was answered in English, a petition phrased in Afrikaans answered in Afrikaans. Last week the Department of Defense decided to end this haphazard arrangement. Setting a fashion which the whole government is expected to follow soon, the Department decreed that henceforth...

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