Language

The language Nelson Mandela uses in his inaugural speech is formal, but easily understandable by a general audience. The language indicates the speech was carefully crafted in advance and helps the speaker convey a solemn tone, appropriate to the occasion of taking office as President of South Africa: “We are both humbled and elevated by the honour and privilege that you, the people of South Africa, have bestowed on…

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Choice of words

The choice of words reflects the celebratory context of the speaker winning the presidential elections in South Africa, after the end of the apartheid regime.

Because the speaker wants to convey a joyful and optimistic mood he uses positive words like: “celebrations”, “glory and hope to new-born liberty”, “proud”, “the nobility of the human soul”  “a glorious life” , “beautiful country”, “joy and exhilaration”, e…

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Sentence structure

The sentences used in the inaugural speech vary in length, according to the speaker’s intentions. When the speaker wants to convey a precise and memorable message he uses short sentences: “Let freedom reign.” 

When he wants to create more complex images and add emphasis to his points, the speaker uses longer sentences, such as when he describes how racial discriminati…

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Tone

The overall tone Nelson Mandela uses is serious and solemn. This is suggested both through the choice of words and the speaker’s manner of talking, which you experience in the video version: “Today, all of us do, by our presence here, and by our celebrations in other parts of our country and the world, confer glory and hope to new-born liberty.” 

When the sp…

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