Word for the Travel Wise (02/03/06)

What amazes me more than the wild animals and exotic birds I’ve come across during past guided hikes through the Costa Rican rain forest was always the keen sense of sight and sound possessed by the guides. The moment a twig snaps they stop immediately, head turned instantly in the direction from which the sound came, holding their breath yet whispering the both the Latin name and common term for the rare breed of Coati hiding somewhere nearby. All this happens within seconds at the most and most of which I spend squinting and listening as hard as possible for this sighting that my guide exclaims in quiet animation is one of the best to be had on any hike. I marvel at their years of experience in these tropical rain forests. Anyone who’s ever been on a safari can probably say the same for those game rangers who can smell a cheetah some hundred miles away. Their skills are mind-blowing.

Today’s word is an Afrikaans word used in South Africa:

bly stil – keep quiet

Loud talking certainly won’t aid in spotting some of the wilds most ferocious creatures. If you’ve ever wanted the skill or training of a South African Game Ranger perhaps it’s time you signed up for a few lessons in treating snakebites, interpreting sounds of the bushveld, and though I’m sure the call of the wild isn’t necessarily in Afrikaans it wouldn’t hurt knowing the language. To find out about playing Game Ranger for a day, click here. For learning Afrikaans online check out this Afrikaans.us site and Ominglot guide with additional links. Parties with some knowledge of the language may wish to do some reading over at this blog all in Afrikaans. I haven’t a clue what the content is about, but it could come in handy. Note that the name Afrikaans is simply the Dutch word for African where Afrikaans is the African form of the Dutch Language.