usflyer msp wrote:
I'm not even sure that is the case in 2022.
There are plenty of Xhosa and Isizulu speaking people that can afford a trip to Europe.
Apartheid and the prominence of Afrikaans ended 32 years ago.
Heck, alot of non-Afrikaner white people under 40 can't speak Afrikaans since it only a school elective.
Shame on Ryanair, I hope someone sues them.
South African here. Pretty much what you said. Afrikaans was certainly the lingua franca in South Africa until 1994, but since then has been entirely displaced by English in most urban areas. It's still common as a lingua franca in some rural areas, but this isn't universal.
All South Africans have to do two languages at school, your home language and a second language. This is from a list of eleven official languages and tends to vary by province. In many cases where one's home language is an indigenous languages, English will be the second language. This also varies by province, for example, in KwaZulu-Natal, the second most populous province, you will find it hard to find Afrikaans speakers with the exception of some farming communities in the far northwest of the province.
Older South Africans will certainly understand and speak Afrikaans although even amongst them it is in decline. My mother, who used to be fluent in Afrikaans, struggles with it now since she hasn't used it much in three decades. I did it at school and was pretty decent, but I looked at the test and would certainly not pass it even though I would know most of the answers if asked in English.
Also, just to make matters worse, the content of the questions is pretty abstract. I'm not sure most South Africans would get most of the answers correct if it were asked in one's home language anyway.