Charlize Theron faces backlash after saying Afrikaans, her mom tongue, is dying out.


Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron is going through fierce criticism in South Africa after saying her mom tongue, Afrikaans, is “a dying language.”

The “Monster” and “Tully” star made the feedback on Monday’s episode of the “Smartless” podcast, saying that the language that she grew up talking was fading out.

Theron, 47, who revealed she solely realized to talk English fluently when she moved to the USA at 19, mentioned there’s “about 44 folks nonetheless talking” Afrikaans.

“It’s positively a dying language, it’s not a really useful language,” she informed hosts Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes and Will Arnett.

Theron’s remarks quickly sparked a social media debate in South Africa. Whereas some branded her ill-informed, others agreed that Afrikaans was a “lifeless language.”

“Charlize Theron is a legend!” one Twitter commentator wrote. “Certainly Afrikaans is a lifeless language. It belongs previously. It’s a software as soon as used to oppress Africans.”

One other Twitter person mentioned: “This assertion was made by Charlize Theron to appease Hollywood. I don’t concur together with her. As with all different languages, the Afrikaans language must be preserved.”

Tim Theron, a South African actor and director of no relation to Theron, commented beneath a clip of the podcast shared on Instagram: “We’re extraordinarily happy with Charlize and all the pieces she has achieved … however we’re additionally very happy with our variety and our superb and exquisite official languages, of which Afrikaans is one.

“It’s not a ‘dying language’, and it’s not solely spoken by 44 folks. It’s spoken by thousands and thousands of individuals, there are new songs and poems being written daily, motion pictures made and so forth.”

CNN has contacted Theron’s representatives for additional remark.

On Thursday, the Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), which was set as much as promote multilingualism within the nation, responded with a statement calling Theron’s feedback “disturbing,” including that stats present Afrikaans is the third most spoken language within the nation.

“These feedback made by Ms Theron perpetuate the persistent false impression that Afrikaans is barely spoken by white ‘boere’ South Africans, which couldn’t be farther from the reality as 60% of the folks that talk the language are black,” the assertion mentioned.

The PanSALB went on so as to add that Theron was held in excessive regard by South Africa and wanted to “proceed the commendable work of utilizing her platform to focus on a number of the important socioeconomic points that have an effect on the continent together with the significance of taking part in public life utilizing one’s mom tongue.”

Afrikaans, a language first launched by Dutch colonial settlers and imposed on non-whites by the apartheid regime, is considered one of 11 official languages acknowledged in South Africa. It contains phrases from Asian Malay, Malagasy, Khoi, San, Xhosa, French and Portuguese.

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