Research Article

Analysing linguistic stereotypes in Cell C and King Price’s multilingual South African television advertisements

Published in: South African Journal of African Languages
Volume 41, issue 2, 2021 , pages: 131–138
DOI: 10.1080/02572117.2021.1948212
Author(s): Zakeera Docrat, South Africa, Karien Brits, South Africa


This article highlights the role of television advertisements in raising awareness of the importance of being multilingual in the current transformational and technological age in South Africa, where social cohesion is the end goal. This article focuses on Cell C and King Price advertisements, where parallels are drawn, highlighting the important role of language in multilingual settings and how through speaking another language, cultural barriers can be avoided. This article illustrates the stereotypical perceptions of South Africans and how through language these stereotypes are removed. The authors engage in a contemporary analysis of linguistic, racial, cultural and gender stereotypes, considering South Africa’s discriminatory past. The advertisements highlight the important role of African languages (including Afrikaans) in the transformational agenda and debunks the myth that English creates unity in diversity. The key focus of this article is the media’s role in implementing the constitutional imperative of language equality for all, where the nine African languages are developed, used and promoted in high-status domains. These advertisements are pivotal, where English is being adopted across society as evidenced most recently by the English-only language of record policy for courts. The article concludes with recommendations for future advertisements that can be used as tools to promote the use of African languages.

Get new issue alerts for South African Journal of African Languages