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Every year, the Pan South African Language Board announces South Africa’s Word of the Year.

With 2020 being a year overshadowed by the worldwide pandemic, the contenders weren’t as well-balanced as previous years.

Board spokesperson, Ntombentle Huluhulu, and Siobhan Canavan from media research company, Focal Points, appeared on eNCA this morning.

The three candidates for South Arica’s Word of the Year were Jerusalema, COVID-19, and Lockdown.

The Master KG track, titled Jerusalema, got the entire world dancing to a South African track. It made a big impression worldwide as thousands of people shared videos of themselves doing the Jerusalema on social media platforms.

But, it wasn’t enough to win the coveted title.

While COVID-19 was definitely on most people’s lips this year, the winner was the word lockdown.

It is believed this word has not only changed our lives, but that our vocabulary has actually grown because of it.

Huluhulu says that, in our indigenous languages, we were forced to do research and see if there are any similar words. In most cases there weren’t any, so new words had to be established.

Canavan said that, while a lot of people had negative comments and references towards the word lockdown, many enjoyed the time at home.

Well, 2020 has been nothing but surprising, and has taught us to come to grips with the new normal, with new words like lockdown.

Watch the eNCA video below of the announcement.

Image credit: YouTube

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