Context: A is a sophomore in university. He grew up in South Africa in a christian family and community. He speaks a mix of Afrikaans and English with his family when he is home.

A: “There is a term that I came up with that I have spread and describe a fairly common thing that happens. ‘Gigantis’. So Afrikaans and English have a lot of fo words that sound similar. And oftentimes people will take a word from English and speak it in an Afrikaans accent, like the word gigantic doesn’t really exist in Afrikaans, but I said the word ‘gigantis’ in our church community and later realized that the word doesn’t exist, and it became a joke. I’ve heard others use the word even though it doesn’t exist in our dictionary. It’s a result of bilingual people using English words in that way and turning it into Afrikaans words. There are other words that exist due to the same reason too.”

Reflection: This is a great example of how languages can influence each other and change over time. When multilingual individuals switch between languages and want to express ideas from one language to another, there is often an intermingling of words that creates new ones.