It's a pleasure - In Afrikaans, the response to 'thank you' is 'is 'n plesier'. When Afrikaners speak English, they usually still say 'it's a pleasure', or just 'pleasure'. I think this is a lovely thing to say, so much more genteel than 'you're welcome'. I try to remind myself to say 'it's a pleasure' when someone thanks me.
Lekker - Means awesome, sweet, nifty, cool, clutch, super, great, lovely, etc. Pronounced 'lack-uh'. This is Afrikaans slang, often used with baie (very), so you say 'Is baie lekker.' I like this word and so I have added it to my vocabulary.
Finished and klaar - Klaar means finished in Afrikaans, so this is literally 'finished and finished' but I take it to mean 'over and done' or 'we're through' or 'you're beating a dead horse'.
'Now now' or 'Just now' - Does not mean 'now' AT ALL. Means 'sometime within the next few hours/days/weeks' or 'whenever I feel like it'.
Oma and Oupa - Granny and Grandpa. I hear these two words A LOT, as I work in a hospice. Our carers refer to our patients as 'that Oma' or 'Oupa John', and we often call them that to their faces. It's considered a respectful way of addressing one's elders.
Boot - The car's trunk. That one is British English.
It tastes a bit like a croissant, but the texture is different.
Crisps - Chips
Chips - Fries
Robot - Stoplight
Pudding - Dessert; any type of dessert. The conversation usually goes like this:
Hananja: 'What are you having for pudding?'
Me: 'I'm having cookies for pudding.'
This might really be more of a Hananja thing than a South African thing, but I've picked up the habit somehow.
Mos - A very Hawston word. I'm still not exactly sure what 'mos' means, but I'm pretty sure it's Afrikaans for 'you know'. Used in conversation like 'You know mos, that Oma, she didn't eat her dinner' or 'I was here mos, at that meeting'. This word, or at least the frequency with which it's used, seems to be unique to Hawston. I've never heard my friends from Cape Town or Hermanus say 'mos'.
Hokkie - Another good Hawston word that it took me forever to figure out the meaning of. Usually the conversation went like this:
Carer: 'I'm looking for the keys to the hokkie.'
Me: 'You're looking for the keys to the what?'
Carer: 'The hokkie.'
Me: (blank look) 'Uhhhhh...'
Eventually I figured out through the process of elimination that hokkie means shed, but could also be used for closet.
Hectic - Same meaning in America. I mention hectic because South Africans say hectic a lot more than Americans say hectic. They use it like we use 'busy' and 'difficult' and 'no way!':
'This restaurant is so hectic!' (busy)
'This trail is hectic.' (difficult)
'My family is going on a trip to America.' 'Hectic!' (no way!)
Is it? - Definitely the most annoying phrase on the planet. South Africans say 'Is it?' like we would say 'really?' or 'oh yeah?' Often it will be grammatically incorrect:
Me: 'I saw you in the shop yesterday.'
South African: 'Is it?'
Something about the way this phrase is used absolutely drives me crazy. I think probably it's the grammatical error that annoys me. But I have caught myself saying it, and I'm really trying to stop. Recently, when other people ask me 'Is it?' I have started answering, 'Yes! It is!'
By you/by me: Means with you/with me, or maybe at your place/at my place. Like 'Would you like to have dinner by me?' or 'Let's go for a run by you.'
The suffix -kie or -ie: Afrikaans for small. 'Where is the boxie?' or 'Have you seen that bottlekie? You know mos, the one for the hand wash?' Sort of like how we would say puppy or kitty, except Afrikaners use this suffix A LOT and often for inanimate objects. Somebody once told me (jokingly... I think) that they use it so frequently because Afrikaner men are so big and strong that everything else around them seems little in comparison. (Side note: The actual word for little in Afrikaans is klein, just like in German. For those of you who know me well, you know my maiden name was Klein, so I am Keri Little Geiger. Also, Keri sounds like the Afrikaans word kerrie, which is a type of curry dish. So I guess if you want me, you can ask for a little curry.)
Umm umm umm umm umm - Another uniquely Hawston thing. This means that the Afrikaans speaker is trying to think of the English word for what they want to say. People here in Hawston are usually really outgoing and extroverted. That's just the culture. So I guess it isn't surprising that they fill silences when they're talking by repeating 'umm'. Martin also does this even though he isn't an Afrikaans speaker, and I assume he picked it up from the people we work with. My other friends here who aren't from Hawston are really unlikely to repeat 'umm' in the middle of a sentence. If they're trying to think of a word, they just stop talking for a second or two until it comes to them.
(silence) - Silence is the general response to someone sneezing. Martin and I are the only people who routinely say 'bless you', and neither of us are South African.
On a related note, I was in a shop a couple of weeks ago, and I conducted an entire transaction without giving away that I'm American! How did I do this, you wonder? The trick is to say as little as possible, because as soon as I open my mouth it's all over. My accent gives me away immediately. So I let the clerk greet me in Afrikaans, and then I just smiled. When he told me the total I owed, I looked at the cash register screen so I wouldn't have to ask him to repeat the numbers in English. ('Two' in Afrikaans is 'twee', which sounds almost exactly like 'three' and can be the source of much confusion.) Then I said 'dankie!' and left the shop. Successfully fooled that guy! Look at me! I'm culturally assimilated!