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English vs. Tswinglish:
Five Points to Keep in Mind

Batswana speak English well. They have made some remarkable changes to English as they speak it, and we celebrate those.

However, some Tswanalisations make your writing look wrong.

There are five common mistakes Tswinglish writers make that detract from the elegance, freshness and playfulness of their writing.

  1. The Random R is the "r" that finds its way randomly into and out of words and produces incorrect spelling, e.g., intergrate, potray.
  2. Quotation Marks are not meant to emphasise text, e.g., The "biggest" savings; there are other ways to do that.
  3. Apostrophes are used for possessives and contractions, not for plurals.
  4. Clichés and Hyperbole can sound overblown and empty rather than emphatic, e.g., We had to give up the search for the killer, but we will start early tomorrow because the early bird catches the worm.
  5. Register and Tone that are inappropriate make ideas sound frivolous, e.g., "Four people were killed in the accident," he quipped.

Mafoko Manuscript Services aims to preserve Tswinglish-that form of English that is unique to Setswana-speakers and that makes their writing true to their experience (I can be able to read it by tomorrow; last of last year). At the same time, we would like to help writers of all kinds understand what makes their writing beautiful and authentic and distinguish that from what makes it inelegant and unclear.