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I sometimes mix up phrases between English and Afrikaans. In Afrikaans, there's a question "Het jy reg gekry?" Which literally is "Did you come right?"

It means "Did the situation work out?" or "Did things work out?"

Often, the reply is "Ja, ek het reg gekry", or "yes, I came right (with it)". I hear these phrases often in both English and Afrikaans in my bilingual community, since most people are fluent in both languages.

Since I only hear these phrases at home, I don't know if the English versions are common in the wider English-speaking world. Are they common in British or American English?

I googled and found one entry here, but didn't find a significant number of results that indicate it is very common/normal to hear.

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    Personally, I've never heard the phrase (east coast American English), but perhaps in other English-speaking countries? As you had suggested, we normally address the situation, not the person. If we address the person, we may say, "Were you able to work things out?" "Were you able to resolve your issue?" or something along those lines. – Teacher KSHuang Mar 17 '17 at 8:00
  • @TeacherKSHuang Thanks. I wrote "I came right with it after I figured out..." to a client (he's in CA, USA) and after I'd hit send realised it may be a bit odd to American ears. – user11825 Mar 17 '17 at 8:03
  • Heh, yes, I would understand what you had meant and I would think it was a little weird :D. It would almost sound a little bit like, "I came with it immediately after I figured out...." – Teacher KSHuang Mar 17 '17 at 8:09
  • I would use "Did it come out right?" Using it lowers the focus on the person, especially is if result was unfavorable. To me, using "Did you come out alright?" seems to ask if I grew up to be a good person. – user3169 Mar 17 '17 at 18:07
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“did you come right?”

This is close to acceptable English, a common English version being:

“did you come out alright?”

There is a long time phenomenon involving Low German Languages, which, broadly speaking, both Afrikaans and English are ( even though they are further sub-classed). A native speaker of one, listening to another, sometimes finds the "foreign" language sounding "native". There has not been a proper term devised for this phenomenon. It has happened to me once or twice.
If you were to use:

“did you come right?”

often with a native English speaker, that English speaker would understand it soon enough. But some English speaker unused to hearing it might not. There is a danger here I'm sure you understand about mixing languages. Especially languages which are historically so close. A story is that the so-called Pilgrims in US history left The Netherlands to come to America partially because the Pilgrim children started sounding more Dutch than English.

I think you will take care, now, to be sure you write English when writing English, and not Afrikaans with English form of words. That might be more difficult than it seems to be on the surface .

  • It certainly is more difficult said than done; a lot of these phrases sound like very natural English to me because I grew up hearing them. It's surprising how much South African English to American English translation I have to do when dealing with overseas clients. (Not that I mind! it just takes a bit of experience. ) – user11825 Mar 17 '17 at 9:30
  • @stanri .. If I may make the observation, there are actually two broad categories of South African English. "Afrikaner" English sounds quite different from the variety spoken by English-only South Africans. Curiously, when in the US, the Afrikaner seems comfortable with his form of English....but when in Britain, the Afrikaner tends to sound more like his English-only compatriot. . Just an observation, I don;t think much should be made of it. – J. Taylor Mar 17 '17 at 10:32
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    I grew up speaking English as a first language and Afrikaans as a second, so I probably fall into the "English" category of South African. That said, I speak enough Afrikaans to have my English sufficiently corrupted to the point where I can't tell the difference anymore with these phrases. It's something I've considered quite a bit. In bilingual communities, both languages influence eachother and you end up with (what we call) "Englikaans". – user11825 Mar 17 '17 at 11:07

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