Weekly Head Voices #72: Ménage à trois.

Welcome to this post, the 72nd edition of The Weekly Head Voices, and a momentous one at that. For the first time, I’m writing the WHV using my favourite operating system with editing function, Emacs. To those of you who don’t know Emacs, this might mean that I’ve finally gone around the bend.

I can report that it is a very happy place.


(there will be more Emacs shenanigans in the near future.)

During this past week, I wrote at least three blog posts (as far as I know):

  • Publish to WordPress with Emacs 24 and org2blog – A super-nerdy post on vxlabs explaining how you too can use Emacs, the operating system with editing function, to write and publish your WordPress blog posts.
  • South Africa, why are you not running Linux? – wherein I explain that it would be much better for the South African national economy and technology ecosystem to kick its proprietary software (Microsoft, Apple, etc.) dependency and standardise on open source.
  • Ernestine teaches Charl isiXhosa Lesson 1 – The first in a new series of posts that I’m super excited about, during which I take you along on my (slow) journey learning isiXhosa, one of our national languages, With Clicks(tm).

I also had time to enjoy a large number of these home-made (grandparents’ home that is) goodies:

Naartjes, aka mandarins, home-grown!

as well as some of this:

Dried sausage (droëwors) and meat (biltong), home-made!

… and then I finally got around to upgrading my main development laptop from Ubuntu version 12.04 to verson 14.04, code-named Trusty Tahr.


Ernestine teaches Charl isiXhosa: Lesson 1

One of my colleagues at Stone Three, Ernestine, is teaching me isiXhosa. I’m a very slow learner, partly because isiXhosa doesn’t fit in any of my existing Germanic or Romantic (I only have a smattering of this, but it’s there) language frameworks. However, it’s loads of fun, so I decided this had to go on my blog.

There will be absolutely no structure to these lessons. I’m planning to put posts up more or less when I think it’s going to be fun to do so. At some point I might even post a sound recording or two, and then you can laugh at my attempt to reproduce the different types of click sounds in isiXhosa.

Yesterday, Ernestine taught me how to talk about the weather!

If it’s warm, one says:


meaning “it’s warm”, pronounced as koo-SHOO-shoo.

When it’s cold (as is currently the case down here, well relatively speaking of course), one could say:


meaning “it’s cold”, and pronounced as koo-yah-BAN-da.

When it’s raining, the phrase is:


meaning “it’s raining”, and pronounced as koo-ya-NET (the a is not pronounced).

That’s everything I acquired yesterday. Have fun practising!

Salani kakuhle!

P.S. Usually these kinds of posts begin with greetings in the new language. These ones don’t. Because.

P.P.S. Check out this fun music clip about learning isiXhosa by Craig Charnock, “Quite a White Ou”: