unknown language: gattes

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New Member

I am currently working on my master's dissertation about self-translation. The corpus I am using for this dissertation consists of one chapter in André Brink's novel: A Dry White Season (1979) (Afrikaans title: 'n Droë wit seisoen (1979)) (Dutch title: Een droog wit seizoen (1980)) The Story is set in South Africa.

However, in the corpus there are certain words of which I do not know the origin. Can anyone identify the word in the following set of sentences?

“You know, your wife didn’t even want to open the door for me.”
“Well, it was very late. She’s never seen you before. You must realise –“
“Don’t apologise, man.” Stanley laughed, spilling some of his coffee into the saucer. “You think my wife would have opened this time of night?” He made a slurping sound as he tested the heat of his cup on his lips. “Except for the gattes, of course. The cops.”

If anyone were able to tell me what language this is, and perhaps tell me what it means, I would be very grateful.

Thank you in advance.
  • MathieuK!

    New Member
    “My vrou sou ook nie oopgemaak het vir ‘n klop dié tyd van die nag nie.” Hy slurp versigtig om die hitte van die koffie te toets en kyk dan oor die rand van sy koppie op: “Behalwe as dit nou die gattes is. Die cops.”

    This is the self-translation by the author in Afrikaans. Given the fact that in the Afrikaans version too, the word is in italics, I believe it is another language that is used for exoticising reasons.
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