Afrikaans: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Pronunciation [ɐfrəˈkɑ̃ːs]
Spoken in South Africa South Africa
Namibia Namibia
Botswana Botswana
Malawi Malawi
Zambia Zambia
Region Southern Africa
Total speakers 5.98 million (as first language)[1]
Ranking 99
Language family Indo-European
Official status
Official language in  South Africa
Regulated by Die Taalkommissie
(The Language Commission of the South African Academy for Science and Arts)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 af
ISO 639-2 afr
ISO 639-3 afr

Afrikaans is a Germanic language originating from the Dutch spoken by settlers in Africa in the seventeenth century[2] and thus is classified as Low Franconian West Germanic. Aside from English, Afrikaans deviates the farthest from the grammars of the other Germanic languages.[3] It is mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia, with smaller populations of speakers living in Australia, Botswana, Canada, Lesotho, Malawi, New Zealand, Swaziland, the United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe [4] Due to emigration and migrant labour, there are possibly over 100,000 Afrikaans speakers in the United Kingdom,[citation needed] It is the primary language used by two ethnic groups in South Africa: the Afrikaans people (Afrikaners) and the Coloureds (in Afrikaans: kleurlinge or bruinmense–including Basters, Cape Malays and Griqua).

Afrikaans is the majority language of the western third of South Africa (Northern and Western Cape, in which it is spoken at home by 68% and 55% of the population, respectively[5]). It is also the most common first language in the adjacent southern third of Namibia (Hardap and Karas, where it is the first language of 44% and 40% of the population, respectively).[citation needed]



Vowels of Afrikaans[6]
Front Central Back
plain lab.
Close i u
Mid ɛ, ɛː œ ə ɔ, ɔː
Open ɐ ɑː


There are many parallels to the Dutch orthography conventions and those used for Afrikaans. There are 26 letters.

In Afrikaans, many consonants are dropped from the earlier Dutch spelling. For example, slechts ('only') in Dutch becomes slegs in Afrikaans. Part of this is because the spelling of Afrikaans words is considerably more phonemic than that of Dutch. For example, Afrikaans and some Dutch dialects make no distinction between /s/ and /z/, having merged the latter into the former; while the word for "south" is written ‹zuid› in Dutch, it is spelled ‹suid› in Afrikaans to represent this merger. Similarly, the Dutch digraph‹ij› is written as ‹y›, except where it replaces the Dutch suffix –lijk, as in waarschijnlijk > waarskynlik.

Another difference is the indefinite article, 'n in Afrikaans and een in Dutch. 'A book' is 'n boek in Afrikaans, whereas it is either een boek or 'n boek in Dutch. This 'n is usually pronounced as just a weak vowel, [ə].

The diminutive suffix in Afrikaans is ‹-jie›, whereas in Dutch it is ‹-je›, hence "a little bit" is bietjie in Afrikaans and beetje in Dutch.

The letters ‹c›, ‹q›, ‹x›, and ‹z› occur almost exclusively in borrowings from French, English, Greek, and Latin. This is usually because words that had ‹c› and ‹ch› in the original Dutch are spelled with ‹k› and ‹g›, respectively, in Afrikaans. Similarly original ‹qu› and ‹x› are spelt ‹kw› and ‹ks› respectively. For example ‹ekwatoriaal› instead of ‹equatoriaal›, and ‹ekskuus› instead of ‹excuus›.

The vowels with diacritics in non-loanword Afrikaans are: ‹á, é, è, ê, ë, í, î, ï, ó, ô, ú, û, ý›. Diacritics are ignored when alphabetizing, though they are still important, even when typing the diacritic forms may be difficult.


Initial apostrophes

A few short words in Afrikaans take initial apostrophes. In modern Afrikaans, these words are always written in lower case (except if the entire line is uppercase), and if they occur at the beginning of a sentence, the next word is capitalised. Three examples of such apostrophed words are 't, 'k, 'n. The last, an indefinite article, is the most common.[citation needed]

'k Het hom lief ('I love him')

similar to Dutch words: ik heb hem lief

'n Man loop daar ('a man walks there')

similar to Dutch words: een man loopt daar

Daar is 'n man ('there is a man')

similar to Dutch words: daar is een man

The apostrophe and the following letter are regarded as two separate characters, and are never written using a single glyph, although a single character variant of the indefinite article appears in Unicode, ʼn.

Table of characters

Afrikaans letters and pronunciation
Grapheme IPA Examples
a /ɐ/ kat ('cat')
aa /ɑː/ aap ('monkey')
aai ɑːi/ draai
aie /aj/ baie ('many')
b /b/ bom
ch /ʃ/ (found only in words borrowed from French; typically 'sj' is used instead)
c /s/, /k/ (found only in borrowed words; the former pronunciation occurs before 'e', 'i', or 'y')
d /d/ dae ('days')
dj /d͡ʒ/ (used to transcribe foreign words)
e /ɛ/, /iˑe/, /ə/ se (indicates possessive, for example 'Jan se boom', meaning 'John's tree')
ê /ɛː/ ('say' or 'says')
ë /i/ ('eyes')
ee /eə/ weet ('know' or 'knows')
eeu /iu/ sneeu
ei /ɛi/ wei
eu /eø/ seun ('boy')
f /f/ Frans ('France')
g /x/ goed ('good')
gh /ɡ/ used for /ɡ/ when it is not an allophone of /x/; found only in borrowed words
h /ɦ/ hael ('hail')
i /i/ kind ('child')
ie /i/ iets ('something')
ieu /iu/
j /j/ jonk ('young')
k /k/ kat ('cat')
l /l/ lae ('layers')
m /m/ man ('man')
n /n/, nael ('nail')
ng /ŋ/ sing ('sing')
o /ɔ/, /uˑo/
oe /u/ boek ('book')
oeie /ui/ koeie ('cows')
oi, oy /oj/ "mooi" ('pretty' or 'beautiful')
oo /oə/ brood ('bread')
ooi /ɔːi/ nooi
ou /ɵw/ koud ('cold')
p /p/ pot ('pot')
q /k/ (found only in foreign words with original spelling maintained; typically ‹k› is used instead)
r /r/ rooi ('red')
s /s/ ses ('six')
sj /ʃ/
t /t/ tafel ('table')
tj /tʃ/, /k/ (the former pronunciation occurs at the beginning of a word and the latter in ‹-tjie›)
u /œ/ kus
uu /y/ suutjies
û /œː/ rûe
ui, uy /œj/ huis ('house')
v /f/ vis ('fish')
w /v/ water ('water')
x /ks/
y /ɛi/ byt ('bite')
z /z/ found only in borrowed words


Afrikaans developed among the Dutch-speaking Protestant settlers, and the indentured or slave workforce of the Cape area in southwestern South Africa that was established by the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie — VOC) between 1652 and 1705. A relative majority of these first settlers were from the United Provinces (now Netherlands), though there were also many from Germany, a considerable number from France, and some from Norway, Portugal, Scotland, and various other countries. The indentured workers and slaves were Asians, Malays, and Malagasys in addition to the indigenous Khoi and Bushmen.

Afrikaans also remains akin to other West-Germanic languages (except English) in that it remains a V2 language which features verb-final structures in subordinate clauses, just like Dutch and German.


Following early dialectical studies of Afrikaans, it was theorised that three main historical dialects probably existed before the Great Trek in the 1830s. These dialects are defined as the Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape dialects. Remnants of these dialects still remain in present-day Afrikaans although the standardising effect of Standard Afrikaans has contributed to a great levelling of differences in modern times.

There is also a prison cant known as soebela, or sombela which is based on Afrikaans yet heavily influenced by Zulu. This language is used as a secret language in prison and is taught to initiates.

Expatriate geolect

The geolect of Afrikaans spoken outside South Africa in predominantly English-speaking countries have been referred to as "soutmielie".[7][8][9][10]


The linguist Paul Roberge suggests that the earliest 'truly Afrikaans' texts are doggerel verse from 1795 and a dialogue transcribed by a Dutch traveller in 1825. Printed material among the Afrikaners at first used only standard European Dutch. By the mid-19th century, more and more were appearing in Afrikaans, which was very much still regarded as a set of regional dialects.

In 1861, L.H. Meurant published his Zamenspraak tusschen Klaas Waarzegger en Jan Twyfelaar ("Conversation between Claus Truthsayer and John Doubter"), which is considered by some to be the first authoritative Afrikaans text. Abu Bakr Effendi also compiled his Arabic Afrikaans Islamic instruction book between 1862 and 1869, although this was only published and printed in 1877. The first Afrikaans grammars and dictionaries were published in 1875 by the Genootskap vir Regte Afrikaners ('Society for Real Afrikaners') in Cape Town.

The First and Second Boer Wars further strengthened the position of Afrikaans. The official languages of the Union of South Africa were English and Dutch until Afrikaans was subsumed under Dutch on 5 May 1925.

The main Afrikaans dictionary is the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (WAT) (Dictionary of the Afrikaans Language), which is as yet incomplete due to the scale of the project, but the one-volume dictionary in household use is the Verklarende Handwoordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (HAT). The official orthography of Afrikaans is the Afrikaanse Woordelys en Spelreëls, compiled by Die Taalkommissie.

The Afrikaans Bible

A major landmark in the development of Afrikaans was the full translation of the Bible into the language. Prior to this most Cape Dutch-Afrikaans speakers had to rely on the Dutch Statenbijbel. The aforementioned Statenvertaling had its origins with the Synod of Dordrecht and was thus in an archaic form of Dutch. This rendered understanding difficult at best to Dutch and Cape Dutch speakers, moreover increasingly unintelligible to Afrikaans speakers.

C. P. Hoogehout, Arnoldus Pannevis, and Stephanus Jacobus du Toit were the first Afrikaans Bible translators. Important landmarks in the translation of the Scriptures were in 1878 with C. P. Hoogehout's translation of the Evangelie volgens Markus (Gospel of Mark), however this translation was never published. The manuscript is to be found in the South African National Library, Cape Town.

The first official Bible translation of the entire Bible into Afrikaans was in 1933 by J. D. du Toit, E. E. van Rooyen, J. D. Kestell, H. C. M. Fourie, and BB Keet.[11][12] This monumental work established Afrikaans as a suiwer and oordentlike taal, i.e. a "pure" and "suitable language" for religious purposes, especially amongst the deeply Calvinist Afrikaans religious community that had hitherto been somewhat sceptical of a Bible translation out of the original Dutch language to which they were accustomed.

In 1983 there was a fresh translation in order to mark the 50th anniversary of the original 1933 translation and provide much needed revision. The final editing of this edition was done by E. P. Groenewald, A. H. van Zyl, P. A. Verhoef, J. L. Helberg, and W. Kempen.

Afrikaans Version of the Lord's Prayer. Onse Vader.[13]

Onse Vader wat in die hemele is, laat U naam geheilig word. Laat U koninkryk kom, laat U wil geskied, soos in die hemel net so ook op die aarde. Gee ons vandag ons daaglikse brood, en vergeef ons ons skulde, soos ons ook ons skuldenaars vergewe. En lei ons nie in versoeking nie, maar verlos ons van die bose. Want aan U behoort die Koninkryk en die krag en die heerlikheid, tot in ewigheid. Amen.

'Classic Dutch Protestant version of the Lord's Prayer. Onze Vader'.[14]

Onze Vader die in de hemelen zijt, Uw Naam worde geheiligd; Uw koninkrijk kome; Uw wil geschiede, gelijk in de hemel alzo ook op de aarde. Geef ons heden ons dagelijks brood; en vergeef ons onze schulden, gelijk ook wij vergeven onze schuldenaren; en leidt ons niet in verzoeking, maar verlos ons van de boze. Want van U is het koninkrijk en de kracht en de heerlijkheid tot in eeuwigheid. Amen.


In Afrikaans grammar, there is no distinction between the infinitive and present forms of verbs, with the exception of the verbs 'to be' and 'to have':

infinitive form present indicative form Dutch English
wees is zijn be
het hebben have

In addition, verbs do not conjugate differently depending on the subject. For example,

Afrikaans Dutch English
ek is ik ben I am
jy/u is jij/U bent you are (sing.)
hy/sy/dit is hij/zij/het is he/she/it is
ons is wij zijn we are
julle is jullie zijn you are (plur.)
hulle is zij zijn they are

The preterite looks exactly like the present but is indicated by adverbs like toe, the exception being 'to be'.

Afrikaans Dutch English
ek was ik was I was

The perfect tense is sometimes preferred over the preterite in literature where the preterite would be used in Dutch or English, for example, in the case of the verb to drink:

Afrikaans Dutch English
ek het gedrink. ik dronk. I drank.

In other respects, the perfect tense in Afrikaans follows Dutch and English.

Afrikaans Dutch English
ek het gedrink ik heb gedronken. I have drunk.

Afrikaans phrases

This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Afrikaans is a very centralised language, meaning that most of the vowels are pronounced in a very centralised (i.e. very schwa-like) way. Although there are many different dialects and accents, the transcription should be fairly standard.

Afrikaans IPA Dutch English
Hallo! Hoe gaan dit? [ɦaləu ɦu xaˑn dət] Hallo! Hoe gaat het? Hello! How is it going (Hello! How are you?)
Baie goed, dankie. [bajə xuˑt danki] Heel goed, dank je. Very well, thank you.
Praat jy Afrikaans? [prɑˑt jəi afrikɑ̃ˑs] Spreek je Afrikaans? Do you speak Afrikaans?
Praat jy Engels? [prɑˑt jəi ɛŋəls] Spreek je Engels? Do you speak English?
Ja. [jɑˑ] Ja. Yes.
Nee. [neˑə] Nee. No.
'n Bietjie. [ə biki] Een beetje. A little.
Wat is jou naam?
Uncommon: Hoe heet jy?
[vat əs jəu nɑˑm] Wat is jouw naam?
More common: Hoe heet je?
What is your name?
Die kinders praat Afrikaans. [di kənərs prɑˑt afrikɑˑns] De kinderen praten Afrikaans. The children are speaking Afrikaans.
Ek het jou lief.
More common: Ek hou van jou.
[ɛk hɛt jo lif] Ik heb je lief.
More common: Ik hou van jou.
I love you.

Note: The word Afrikaans means African (in the general sense) in the Dutch language. Although considered incorrect, the word Zuid-Afrikaans, lit. "South African", is sometimes used to avoid confusion when referring specifically to the Afrikaans language. This problem also occurs in Afrikaans itself, resolved by using the words Afrika and Afrikaan to distinguish from Afrikaans(e) and Afrikaner respectively.

A sentence having the same meaning and written identically (but pronounced more closely to Dutch) in Afrikaans and English is:

  • My pen was in my hand. ([məi pɛn vas ən məi hɑnt])

Closely in Dutch: Mijn pen was in mijn hand.

Similarly the sentence:

  • My hand is in warm water. ([məi hɑnt əs ən varəm vɑˑtər])

Closely in Dutch: Mijn hand is in warm water has almost identical meaning in Afrikaans and English although the Afrikaans warm corresponds more closely in meaning to English hot and Dutch heet (Dutch warm corresponds to English warm, but is closer to Afrikaans in pronunciation).

Sample text in Afrikaans

Psalm 23. 1983 Translation:

  1. Die Here is my Herder, ek kom niks kort nie.
  2. Hy laat my in groen weivelde rus. Hy bring my by waters waar daar vrede is.
  3. Hy gee my nuwe krag. Hy lei my op die regte paaie tot eer van Sy naam.
  4. Selfs al gaan ek deur donker dieptes, sal ek nie bang wees nie, want U is by my. In U hande is ek veilig.

The Lord is my shepherd I shall not be in want: He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters: He restores my soul. he guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are with me; your rod and staff they comfort me''

Lord's prayer (Dutch Traditional translation) Lord's prayer (Afrikaans New Living translation) Lord's prayer (Dutch Living and literal translation of Afrikaans version)
Onze Vader die in de hemele zijt, uw naam worde geheiligd.

Uw Koninkrijk kome. Uw wil geschiede in de hemel, alzo ook op de aarde. Geef ons heden ons dagelijks brood. En vergeef ons onze schuld, gelijk wij vergeven onze schuldenaren. En leid ons niet in verzoeking, maar verlos ons van den boze. Want van U is het koningkrijk, en de kracht, en de heerlijkheid, tot in de eeuwigheid. Amen

Ons Vader in die hemel, laat U Naam geheilig word.

Laat U koningsheerskappy spoedig kom. Laat U wil hier op aarde uitgevoer word soos in die hemel. Gee ons die porsie brood wat ons vir vandag nodig het. En vergeef ons ons sondeskuld soos ons ook óns skuldenaars vergewe het. Bewaar ons sodat ons nie aan verleiding sal toegee nie; en bevry ons van die greep van die Bose. Want van U is die koninkryk, en die krag, en die heerlikheid, tot in ewigheid. Amen

Onze vader in de hemel, laat uw naam geheiligd worden.

Laat uw koninkrijk spoedig komen. Laat uw wil op aarde uitgevoerd worden zoals in de hemel. Geef ons de portie brood die wij voor vandaag nodig hebben. En vergeef ons onze zonde(schuld) zoals ook wij onze schuldenaars vergeven hebben. Bescherm ons zodat we niet aan de verleiding zullen toegeven; en bevrijd ons van de greep van het kwade. Want van u is het koninkrijk, en de kracht, en de heerlijkheid, tot in de eeuwigheid. Amen


Geographical distribution of Afrikaans in South Africa: proportion of the population that speaks Afrikaans at home.
     0–20%      20–40%      40–60%      60–80%      80–100%      No population
Geographical distribution of Afrikaans in South Africa: density of Afrikaans home-language speakers.
     <1 /km²      1–3 /km²      3–10 /km²      10–30 /km²      30–100 /km²      100–300 /km²      300–1000 /km²      1000–3000 /km²      >3000 /km²

Afrikaans is the first language of over 80% of Coloured South Africans (3.1 million people) and approximately 60% of White South Africans (2.5 million). Around 200,000 black South Africans speak it as their first language.[15] Large numbers of Bantu-speaking and English-speaking South Africans also speak it as their second language.

Some state that the term Afrikaanses should be used as a term for all people who speak Afrikaans, without respect to ethnic origin, instead of "Afrikaners", which refers to an ethnic group, or "Afrikaanssprekendes" (lit. people that speak Afrikaans). Linguistic identity has not yet established that one term be favoured above another and all three are used in common parlance.[16]

Geographical distribution of Afrikaans in Namibia.

It is also widely spoken in Namibia, where it has had constitutional recognition as a national, but not official, language since independence in 1990. Prior to independence, Afrikaans had equal status with German as an official language. There is a much smaller number of Afrikaans speakers among Zimbabwe's white minority, as most have left the country since 1980. Afrikaans was also a medium of instruction for schools in Bophuthatswana Bantustan.[17]

Many South Africans living and working in Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, Kuwait, and the United Kingdom are also Afrikaans-speaking. There are Afrikaans websites, among them, news sites such as, and radio broadcasts over the web, such as those from Radio Sonder Grense and Radio Pretoria. New Zealand has an Afrikaans club based in Auckland which organises Afrikaans dances and meetings <>.

Afrikaans has been influential in the development of South African English. Many Afrikaans loanwords have found their way into South African English, such as 'bakkie' ("pickup truck"), 'braai' ("barbecue"), 'tekkies' ("sneakers"). A few words in standard English are derived from Afrikaans, such as 'aardvark' (lit. "earth pig"), 'trek' ("pioneering journey", in Afrikaans lit. "pull" but used also for "migrate"), "spoor" ("animal track"), "veld" ("Southern African grassland" in Afrikaans lit. "field"), "commando" from Afrikaans "kommando" meaning small fighting unit, "boomslang" ("tree snake") and apartheid ("segregation"; more accurately "apartness" or "the state or condition of being apart").

In 1976, high school students in Soweto began a rebellion in response to the government's decision that Afrikaans be used as the language of instruction for half the subjects taught in non-White schools (with English continuing for the other half). Although English is the mother tongue of only 8.2% of the population, it is the language most widely understood, and the second language of a majority of South Africans.[18] Afrikaans is more widely spoken than English in the Northern and Western Cape provinces, several hundred kilometers from Soweto. The Black community's opposition to Afrikaans and preference for continuing English instruction was underscored when the government rescinded the policy one month after the uprising: 96% of Black schools chose English (over Afrikaans or native languages) as the language of instruction.[19]

Under South Africa's Constitution of 1996, Afrikaans remains an official language, and has equal status to English and nine other languages. The new policy means that the use of Afrikaans is now, in effect, often reduced in favour of English, or to accommodate the other official languages. In 1996, for example, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reduced the amount of television airtime in Afrikaans, while South African Airways dropped its Afrikaans name Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens from its livery. Similarly, South Africa's diplomatic missions overseas now only display the name of the country in English and their host country's language, and not in Afrikaans.

In spite of these moves, the language has remained strong, and Afrikaans newspapers and magazines continue to have large circulation figures. Indeed, the Afrikaans-language general-interest family magazine Huisgenoot has the largest readership of any magazine in the country.[citation needed] In addition, a pay-TV channel in Afrikaans called KykNet was launched in 1999, and an Afrikaans music channel, MK, in 2005. A large number of Afrikaans books are still published every year, mainly by the publishers Human & Rousseau, Tafelberg Uitgewers, Struik, and Protea Boekhuis.

Afrikaans has two monuments erected in its honour. The first was erected in Burgersdorp, South Africa, in 1893, and the second, better-known Afrikaans Language Monument (Afrikaanse Taalmonument) was built in Paarl, South Africa, in 1975.

When the British design magazine Wallpaper described Afrikaans as "one of the world's ugliest languages" in its September 2005 article about the Monument, South African billionaire Johann Rupert (chairman of the Richemont group), responded by withdrawing advertising for brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill from the magazine.[20] The author of the article, Bronwyn Davies, was an English-speaking South African.

Modern Dutch and Afrikaans share 85-plus per cent of their vocabulary. Afrikaans speakers are able to learn Dutch within a comparatively short time. Native Dutch speakers pick up written Afrikaans even more quickly, due to its simplified grammar, whereas understanding spoken Afrikaans might need more effort. Afrikaans speakers can learn Dutch pronunciation with little training. This has enabled Dutch and Belgian companies to outsource their call centre operations to South Africa.[21]

Future of Afrikaans

Post-apartheid South Africa has seen a loss of government support for Afrikaans, in terms of education, social events, media (TV and Radio), and general status throughout the country, given that it now shares its place as official language with ten other languages. Nevertheless, Afrikaans remains more prevalent in the media - radio, newspapers and television[22] - than all the other official languages, except for English. More than 300 titles in Afrikaans are published per year.[23]

Through all the problems of depreciation and migration that Afrikaans faces today, the language still competes well, with Afrikaans DSTV channels (pay channels) and high newspaper and CD sales as well as popular internet sites. The incredible resurgence in Afrikaans popular music (from the late 1990s) has added new momentum to the language especially among the younger generations in South Africa. The latest contribution to building the Afrikaans language is the availability of pre-school educational CDs and DVDs. These are also popular with large Afrikaans-speaking expatriate communities seeking to retain the language in family context. After years of inactivity, the Afrikaans language cinema is also starting to reactivate. With the 2007 film "Ouma se slim kind", the first full length Afrikaans movie since Paljas from 1998, a new era for Afrikaans cinema started. Several short-films have been created and more feature-length movies such as Poena is Koning and Bakgat, both from 2008 have been produced.

Afrikaans also seems to be returning to the SABC. SABC3 stated in the beginning of 2009 that it will increase Afrikaans programming because of the needs of the "growing Afrikaans-language market and their need for working capital as Afrikaans advertising is the only advertising that sells in the current South African TV market". In April 2009, SABC3 started showing several Afrikaans-language programmes.[24]

Further latent support for the language is the de-politicised view of younger-generation South Africans: it is less and less viewed as "the language of the oppressor" and this is supported to a large extent by new-generation Afrikaans youths openly supporting change and rejecting the old racial policies.

See also


  1. ^ "Census 2001 - Home language". Statistics South Africa. Retrieved 2 February 2010. 
  2. ^ Niesler, Louw & Roux (2005:459)
  3. ^ Harbert (2007:16)
  4. ^ Lewis (2009)
  5. ^ "1 - The Land and its People". SA Yearbook 2008/2009. ISBN 9780621384123. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  6. ^ Lass (1984:93)
  7. ^ "vetweet - Chilapalapa". 2009-01-12. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  8. ^ "Major League Baseball". Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  9. ^ "Afrikaanse Taalmuseum open in Pretoria". LitNet. 2008-09-24. Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  10. ^ The term comes from sout ('salt') and mielie ('corn'), likely in reference to soutpiel, derogatory term for white English-speaking South Africans. The metaphor is that such a person has one foot in England and one foot in South Africa, with his "corn" or penis hanging in the sea.
  11. ^ Bogaards, Attie H.. "Bybelstudies" (in af). Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  12. ^ "Afrikaanse Bybel vier 75 jaar" (in af). Bybelgenootskap van Suid-Afrika. 2008-08-25. Retrieved 2008-09-23. 
  13. ^ Onse Vader : Afrikaans.
  14. ^ Onze Vader.
  15. ^ "South African Census" (PDF). Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  16. ^ Die dilemma van ‘n gedeelde Afrikaanse identiteit: Kan wit en bruin mekaar vind?.
  17. ^ "Armoria patriæ - Republic of Bophuthatswana". Archived from the original on 2009-10-25. 
  18. ^ Govt info available online in all official languages - South Africa - The Good News.
  19. ^ Black Linguistics: Language, Society and Politics in Africa and the Americas, by Sinfree Makoni, p. 120S.
  20. ^ Afrikaans stars join row over 'ugly language' Cape Argus, December 10, 2005.
  21. ^ "SA holds its own in global call centre industry", eProp Commercial Property News in South Africa.
  22. ^ Oranje FM, Radio Sonder Grense, Jacaranda FM, Radio Pretoria, Rapport, Beeld, Die Burger, Die Son, Afrikaans news is run everyday; the PRAAG website is a web-based news service. On pay channels it is provided as second language on all sports, Kyknet
  23. ^ "Hannes van Zyl". Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  24. ^ SABC3 “tests” Afrikaans programming, Screen Africa, April 15, 2009


  • Harbert, Wayne (2007), The Germanic Languages, Cambridge Language Surveys, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 
  • Lass, Roger (1984), "Vowel system universals and typology: prologue to theory", Phonology Yearbook 1: 75-11 
  • Lewis, M. Paul, ed (2009). "Ethnologue: Languages of the World". SIL International. p. Afrikaans. 
  • Niesler, Thomas; Louw, Philippa; Roux, Justus (2005), "Phonetic analysis of Afrikaans, English, Xhosa and Zulu using South African speech databases", Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 23 (4): 459-474 

Further reading

  • Roberge, P. T., 2002. Afrikaans - considering origins, in Language in South Africa, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom. ISBN 0-521-53383-X

External links

Afrikaans edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Afrikaans phrasebook article)

From Wikitravel

Afrikaans is spoken throughout South Africa and Namibia. The language is mainly derived from Dutch. However most Afrikaans speakers in the workplace have some knowledge of English.

as in sun
as in met but also pronounced meet or angel
as in apple
usually pronounced the same as 'e' but when it is accented due to grammar, for example in words like 'geëet' which means 'to have eaten', then it can be pronounced in further 3 ways such as: meet or fear or wet
as in bit
as in fort but also mood or boy
as in cauldron
sounds very similar to 'i' to a none Afrikaans speaker, but is in fact pronounced very differently. Sounds similar to British sin but not exactly
Speakers of Dutch should note, Afrikaans 'y' is a replacement of the Dutch 'ij'. Sounds similar to 'ey' in hey but not exactly the same.
The Afrikaans Indefinite Article, a very unique letter. Pronounced the same way as the English 'a' as in 'a dog' or 'a song'. 'n Is never written in upper case if used at the start of a sentence, instead the word that follows will receive an upper case letter.

Note that Afrikaans pronunciation is extremely difficult and can be a challenge, even for speakers of Dutch.

as in bat
as in king or celebrity
as in dance but sometimes pronounced as English 't' usually at the end of words
as in fan
similar to the 'ch' in bach but a lot harder and more glottal. Also on occasion pronounced the same as the english 'g'
as in hat but sometimes is a silent letter, usually when followed by a vowel for example the word 'huur' which when spoken, no trace of an 'h' can be heard. Which explains why the plural of 'huur' is 'ure'
as in yak
as in king
as in lamp
as in man
as in nap
as in pet
as in rant but the sound is rolled
as in set
as in tale
pronounced same as English 'f' but on rare occasions is also pronounced like the English 'v'
pronounced the same as the English 'v' as in vet but also pronounced the same as English 'w' in some words
same as English but extremely rare and usually found in scientific terms or loanwords.
Also extremely rare but pronounced exactly as the German 'z' meaning bits or the same as the English 'z'
as in father
Produces two sounds one after another, and pronounced quite quickly. First sound is the same as 'aa' and is quickly finished off with the Afrikaans 'a' as in dust
can be pronounced in three ways: loch or shine or king
as in cane
as in man
as in machine
as in fear
as in fear but pronounced as two separate sounds. Sounds almost like 'ee-ye'
same as eë
as is sale
pronounced two ways: as in ear or as in mew
same as english 'gh'. For example ghost
as in lamp
as in mend
pronounced either as long 'ee' like in breed or as 'i' in sick
as in pick 'n pay
as in s

ff9 ing

pronounced either as the long 'oo' as in loot or as a short 'oo' as in foot
as in English doer
same as German "ü", make your lips into the position of "o" but say "ee" instead.
as in coat
like farse but the 'r' is rolled
as in chunk
also a unique sound. Sounds like play but with pouted lips. The name shane is the closest english equivalent
very unique sound. Sounds similar to German über but pronounced with more emphasis and much longer. Identical to the finnish 'yy' sound
like the 'y' in shy but a pronounced a lot longer.
A unique trigraph. The closest English equivalent is the English word ewe. Try blending the sounds 'ew' and 'oo'
similar to phooey but pronounced with a rapid 'w' in it
similar to oil but pronounced with a rapid 'w' in it
similar to player but pronounced much longer

Note on Afrikaans

Note that although Afrikaans digraphs and trigraphs contain mostly vowels and sound as though they contain many syllables, they in fact are seen as a single syllable.

For example the word 'Goeie' sounds as if it contains 3 syllables but in fact contains only two: 'goei' and 'e' are the 2 syllables.

From this you can see Afrikaans pronunciation, like English for a foreigner, can be rather irregular. Pronunciation can be hard and the accent is extremely difficult to master, but when spoken correctly, Afrikaans is the most melodical Germanic language.

However, one should not be daunted. Afrikaans grammar is really quite simple and bears more grammatical resemblance to English than any other Germanic language. Verbs are even simpler than English: there is no am or are or were, but only is and was.

One who is learning Afrikaans will probably catch onto it rather quickly and will have no problem with speaking Dutch or understanding German.

Important differences between Dutch and Afrikaans

A rukkie in Afrikaans is a short period of time, not a sexual act performed on oneself. Common use examples are: Ek gaan 'n rukkie slaap or Ek sal oor 'n rukkie daar wees

Baie means veel (many), however the word veel also exists in Afrikaans and has the same meaning.

Common signs

Hello. (formal
Goeie dag.
Hello. (informal
How are you? 
Hoe gaan dit?
Fine, thank you. 
Goed, dankie.
What is your name? 
Wat is jou naam?
My name is ______. 
My naam is ______.
Nice to meet you. 
Aangename kennis.
Thank you. 
You're welcome. 
Dis 'n plesier.
Excuse me. (getting attention
Verskoon my.
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Verskoon my / Jammer.
I'm sorry. 
Ek is jammer.
Goodbye (informal
I can't speak Afrikaans [well]. 
Ek kan nie [ goed ] Afrikaans praat nie.
Do you speak English? 
Praat jy Engels?
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Is hier iemand wat Engels praat?
Look out! 
Good morning. 
Goeie môre.
Good evening. 
Goeie naand.
Good night. 
Goeie nag.
Good night (to sleep
Goeie nag.
I don't understand. 
Ek verstaan nie.
Where is the toilet? 
Waar is die toilet?
I am wearing jeans. 
Ek dra 'n denim broek.
Leave me alone. 
Laat my met rus./Los my uit. (...)
Don't touch me! 
Moet nie aan my vat nie!/Moet nie aan my raak nie (...)
I'll call the police. 
Ek sal die polisie roep/bel. (...)
Polisie! (...)
Stop! Thief! 
Stop! Dief! (...)
I need your help. 
Ek het u hulp nodig. Ek benodig u/jou hulp (...)
It's an emergency. 
Dit is 'n noodgeval. (...)
I'm lost. 
Ek is verdwaald. (...)
I lost my bag. 
Ek het my sak verloor. (...)
I lost my wallet. 
Ek het my beursie verloor. (...)
I'm sick. 
Ek is siek. (...)
I've been injured. 
Ek is beseer. (...)
I need a doctor. 
Ek het 'n doktor nodig. (...)
Can I use your phone? 
Mag ek u(formal)/jou(informal) telefoon gebruik? (...)
ag / agt




een miljoen
een miljard
Note the difference with American English numbers.
een biljoen

Ordinal Numbers





nou (...)
later (...)
voor (...)
oggend (...)
middag (...)
aand (...)
nag (...)

Clock time

What time is it?
Hoe laat is dit?
one o'clock (when AM/PM are obvious)
een uur (...)
two o'clock (when AM/PM are obvious)
twee uur (...)
one o'clock AM
een uur in die oggend (...)
two o'clock AM
twee uur in die oggend (...)
middag (...)
one o'clock PM
een uur in die middag (...)
two o'clock PM
twee uur in die middag (...)
middernag (...)


_____ minute(s)
_____ minuut(e) (...)
_____ hour(s)
_____ uur (...) / ure (...)
_____ day(s)
_____ dag (...) / dae (...)
_____ week(s)
_____ week (...) / weke (...)
_____ month(s)
_____ maand (...) / maande (...)
_____ year(s)
_____ jaar (...) / jare (...)


vandag (...)
gister (...)
the day before yesterday 
eergister (...)
môre (...)
the day after tomorrow 
oormôre (...)
this week 
die week (...)
last week 
verlede week (...)
next week 
volgende week (...)



Writing time and date

Leap Year 
Skrikkel jaar
1:00 PM 
13:00 / 13h00
2:00 PM 
14:00 / 14h00
3:00 PM 
15:00 / 15h00
12:00 PM 
24:00 / 24h00 / 00:00 / 00h00
Rooi (Intensive form: bloed rooi, blood red)
Groen (Intensive form: gras groen, grass green)
Blou (Intensive form: hemel blou, sky blue)
Swart (Intensive form: pik swart, pitch black)
Wit (Intensive form: spier wit)


Bus and train

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Hoeveel kos 'n kaartjie na _____? (...)
One ticket to _____, please. 
Een kaartjie na _____, asseblief. (...)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Waarheen gaan hierdie trein/bus? (...)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Waar is die trein/bus na _____? (...)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Stop die/hierdie trein/bus in _____? (...)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
Hoe laat vertrek die trein/bus na _____? (...)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Hoe laat sal die trein/bus in _____ arriveer? (...)


How do I get to _____ ? 
Hoe kom ek tot in _____ ? (...)
...the train station? 
...die trein stasie? (...)
...the bus station? 
...die bus stasie? (...)
...the airport? 
...die lughawe? (...)
...middedorp? (...)
...the youth hostel? 
...die jeug hostel? (...)
...the _____ hotel? 
...die _____ hotel? (...)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...the Amerikaanse/Kanadese/Australiese/Britse konsolaat? (...)
Where are there a lot of... 
Waar is daar baie... (...) (...)
...restaurante? (...)
...kroeë ? (...)
...sites to see? 
...besienswaardighede? (...)
Can you show me on the map? 
Kan jy dit vir my op die kaart aandui? (...)
straat (...)
Turn left. 
Draai links. (...)
Turn right. 
Draai regs. (...)
links (...)
regs (...)
straight ahead 
reguit vorentoe (...)
towards the _____ 
in die rigting van _____ (...)
past the _____ 
verby die _____ (...)
before the _____ 
voor die _____ (...)
Watch for the _____. 
Wees op die uitkyk vir die _____. (...)
kruising (...)
noord (...)
suid (...)
oos (...)
wes (...)
go uphill 
gaan op teen die heuwel (...)
go downhill 
gaan af van die heuwel (...)
it is uphill 
dit is opdraaende (...)
it is downhill 
dit is afdraaende (...)


Taxi! (...)
Take me to _____, please. 
Vat my asseblief na _____ toe. (...)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
Hoeveel kos dit om na _____ toe te gaan? (...)
Take me there, please. 
Vat my soontoe, asseblief. (...)
Do you have any rooms available? 
Het u enige kamers beskikbaar? (...)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Hoeveel kos 'n kamer vir een/twee persone? (...)
Does the room come with bedsheets 
Is daar lakens in die kamer? (...)
Does the room come with... 
Het die kamer... (...)
...a bathroom? 
...'n badkamer? (...)
...a telephone? 
...'n telefoon? (...)
...a TV? 
...'n TV? (...)
May I see the room first? 
Mag ek die kamer eers sien? (...)
Do you have anything quieter 
Het u enige iets stiller? (...)
Do you have anything... 
Het u enige ... kamer? (...)
...groter... (...)
...skoner (...)
...goedkoper... (...)
OK, I'll take it. 
Goed, ek sal dit neem/vat. (...)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
Ek sal ____ aand(e) bly. (...)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Kan u 'n ander hotel aanbeveel? (...)
Do you have a safe? 
Het u 'n kluis? (...)
... (...)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
Is ontbyt/aandete ingesluit? (...)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
Hoe laat is ontbyt/aandete? (...)
Please clean my room. 
Maak asseblief my kamer skoon. (...)
Can you wake me at _____? 
Kan u my wakker maak teen _____? (...)
I want to check out. 
Ek wil uitteken. (...)
Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Aanvaar u Amerikaanse/Australiaanse/Kanadese dollars? (...)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Aanvaar u Britse ponde? (...)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Aanvaar u krediet kaarte? (...)
Can you change money for me? 
Kan u geld wissel vir my? (...)
Where can I get money changed? 
Waar kan ek geld verwissel? (...)
Can you change a traveler's cheque for me? 
Kan u 'n resigers tjek wissel vir my? (...)
Where can I get a traveler's cheque changed? 
Waar kan ek 'n reisigers tjek verwissel? (...)
What is the exchange rate? 
Wat is die wisselkoers? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
Waar is 'n autobank/ATM? (...)
A table for one person/two people, please. 
'n Tafel vir een/twee person(e) asseblief. (...)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Mag ek 'n spyskaart sien, asseblief? (...)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Mag ek in die kombuis kyk? (...)
Is there a house specialty? 
Is daar 'n huis spesialiteit? (...)
Is there a local specialty? 
Is daar 'n lokale spesialiteit? (...)
I'm a vegetarian. 
Ek's 'n vegetariër (...)
I don't eat pork. 
Ek eet nie varkvleis nie. (...)
I only eat kosher food. 
Ek eet slegs kosher kos (...)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Kan u dit asseblief olie-vry voorberei?(...)
fixed-price meal 
Vaste prys ete (...)
à la carte 
à la carte (...)
ontbyt (...)
middag ete (...)
tea (meal
aandete (...)
I want _____. 
Ek wil _____ hê . (...)
I want a dish containing _____. 
Ek wil 'n gereg met _____ hê. (...)
hoender (...)
beesvleis (...)
vis (...)
ham (...)
wors (...)
kaas (...)
eiers (...)
slaai (...)
(fresh) vegetables 
(vars) groente (...)
(fresh) fruit 
(vars) vrugte (...)
brood (...)
roosterbrood (...)
rys (...)
bone (...)
May I have a glass of _____? 
Mag ek a glas _____ kry? (...)
May I have a cup of _____? 
Mag ek 'n koppie _____ kry? (...)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
Mag ek 'n bottel _____ kry? (...)
koffie ('...)
tea (drink
tee (...)
sap (...)
(bubbly) water 
vonkelwater (...)
water (...)
bier (...)
red/white wine 
rooi/wit wyn (...)
May I have some _____? 
Mag ek _____ kry? (...)
sout (...)
black pepper 
swart peper (...)
botter (...)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Verskoon my? (...)
I'm finished. 
Ek is klaar. (...)
It was delicious. 
Dit was heerlik. (...)
Please clear the plates. 
Kan u assebleif die tafel skoonmaak. (...)
The check, please. 
Die rekening, asseblief. (...)
Do you serve alcohol? 
Bedien u alkohol? (...)
Is there table service? 
Is daar tafel diens? (...)
A beer/two beers, please. 
'n Bier/twee biere, asseblief. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
'n Glas rooi/wit wyn, asseblief. (...)
A pint, please. 
'n Pint, asseblief. (...)
A bottle, please. 
'n Bottel, asseblief. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ ( ) en _____ ( ), asseblief. (...)
whiskey (...)
vodka (...)
rum (...)
water (...)
club soda 
soda (...)
tonic water 
tonic (...)
orange juice 
lemoensap (...)
Coke (soda
Coke (koeldrank)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
One more, please. 
Nog een, asseblief. (...)
Another round, please. 
Nog 'n rondte, asseblief. (...)
When is closing time? 
Hoe laat is toemaaktyd? (...)
Do you have this in my size? 
Het u dit in my mate/grote? (...)
How much is this? 
Hoeveel kos dit? (...)
That's too expensive. 
Dit is te duur. (...)
Would you take _____? 
Sal u _____ aanvaar? (...)
duur (...)
goedkoop (...)
I can't afford it. 
Ek kan dit nie bekostig nie. (...)
I don't want it. 
Ek wil dit nie hê nie. (...)
You're cheating me. 
Jy verneuk my. (...)
I'm not interested. 
Ek stel nie belang nie. (..)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, ek sal dit vat. (...)
Can I have a bag? 
Kan ek 'n sakkie kry? (...)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Verskeep u (oorsee)? (...)
I need... 
Ek het ... nodig (...)
...tandepaste. (...)
...a toothbrush. 
...'n tandeborsel. (...)
...tampons. (...)
...seep. (...)
...shampoo. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...pyn tablet (...)
...cold medicine. 
...verkoue medisyne. (...)
...stomach medicine. 
...maag medisyne. (...)
...a razor. 
...'n skeermes. (...) umbrella. 
...'n sambreel. (...)
...sunblock lotion. 
...sonbrand olie. (...)
...a postcard. 
...'n poskaart. (...)
...postage stamps. 
...seëls. (...)
...batterye. (...)
...writing paper. 
...skryfpapier. (...)
...a pen. 
...'n pen. (...)
...English-language books. 
...engelse taalboeke. (...)
...English-language magazines. 
...engelse tydskrifte. (...) English-language newspaper. 
...'n engelse koerant. (...) Afrikaans-English dictionary. 
... 'n Afrikaans-Engelse woordeboek. (...)
I want to rent a car. 
Ek wil 'n motor huur. (...)
Can I get insurance? 
Kan ek assuransie kry? (...)
stop (on a street sign
stop (op 'n straat teken)
one way 
een rigting (...)
gee toe (...)
no parking 
geen parkering (...)
speed limit 
spoed beperking (...)
gas (petrol) station 
petrol stasie/vul stasie (...)
I haven't done anything wrong. 
Ek het niks verkeerd gedoen nie.
It was a misunderstanding. 
Dit was 'n misverstand.
Where are you taking me? 
Waar heen vat jy my?
Am I under arrest? 
Is ek onder arres?
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
Ek is 'n Amerikaanse/Australiaanse/Britse/Kanadese burger.
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
Ek wil met die Amerikaanse/Australiaanse/Britse/Kanadese ambassade praat.
I want to speak to a lawyer. 
Ek wil met 'n prokureur praat.
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Kan ek onmiddelik 'n boete betaal?


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also afrikaans



Wikipedia has an article on:



Proper noun




  1. A Germanic language descending from Dutch; the primary language of the descendants of Dutch and other European settlers, as well as many mixed-race (e.g. Rehoboth Basters) living in South Africa and in Namibia. Also, one of the eleven official languages of South Africa and until 1990 one of three official languages of Namibia.
  2. A term sometimes used of people from South Africa and Namibia (who speak Afrikaans), more properly called "Afrikaans people" or Afrikaners.



The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.


Afrikaans (not comparable)


not comparable

none (absolute)

  1. Of or pertaining to the Afrikaans language.


See also



  • IPA: /aːfrɪkaːns/

Proper noun


  1. The Afrikaans language.


Dutch Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia nl


From Afrika, ‘Africa’ + -aans.


  • Hyphenation: Afri‧kaans


Afrikaans, Afrikaanse ( not comparable)

  1. African

Proper noun

Afrikaans n.

  1. Afrikaans (language)

Usage notes

Because "Afrikaans" is ambiguously "African" as well as referring to the language, Zuid-Afrikaans is often used instead.


Related terms


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

I This is a Category I Language.

Flag of South Africa.svg Flag of Namibia.svg

Afrikaans ~ English
Afrikaans ~ Engels
Wikibook Development Stages
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Simple English

Spoken in South Africa
Region Southern Africa
Total speakers about 6.45 million (first language)
6.75 million (second or third language)
12 to 16 million (basic language knowledge) estimated in October 2007[needs proof].
Language family Indo-European
Official status
Official language in South Africa
Regulated by Die Taalkommissie
(The Language Commission of the South African Academy for Science and Arts)
Language codes
ISO 639-1 af
ISO 639-2 afr
ISO 639-3 afr

Afrikaans is a West Germanic language mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia. It was originally the dialect that developed among the Afrikaner Protestant settlers, the unfree workers, and slaves brought to the Cape area in southwestern South Africa by the Dutch East India Company (Dutch language: Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie - VOC) between 1652 and 1705. Most of these first settlers were from the United Provinces (now Netherlands), though there were also many from Germany, some from France, a few from Scotland, and various other countries. The unfree workers and slaves were Malays, and Malagasy in addition to the native Khoi and Bushmen.

Research by J. A. Heese says that until 1807, 36.8% of the ancestors of the White Afrikaans speaking population were Dutch, 35% were German, 14.6% were French and 7.2% non-white (of African and/or Asian origins). Heese's figures are questioned by other researchers, however, and especially the non-white component quoted by Heese is very much in doubt.

A sizeable minority of those who spoke Afrikaans as a first language were not white. The dialect became known as "Cape Dutch". Later, Afrikaans was sometimes called "African Dutch" or "Kitchen Dutch". Afrikaans was considered a Dutch dialect until the early 20th century, when it began to be widely known as a different language. The name Afrikaans is simply the Dutch word for African, and the language is the African form of Dutch.

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krc:Африкаанс тил


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