Afrikaans (UK: /ˌæfrɪˈkɑːns, -ˈkɑːnz/, US: /ˌɑːf-/) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It evolved from the Dutch vernacular of South Holland (Hollandic dialect) spoken by the mainly Dutch settlers of what is now South Africa, where it gradually began to develop distinguishing characteristics in the course of the 18th century. Hence, it is a daughter language of Dutch, and was previously referred to as "Cape Dutch" (a term also used to refer collectively to the early Cape settlers) or "kitchen Dutch" (a derogatory term used to refer to Afrikaans in its earlier days). However, it is also variously described as a creole or as a partially creolised language.[n 1] The term is ultimately derived from Dutch Afrikaans-Hollands meaning "African Dutch".
Although Afrikaans has adopted words from other languages, including German and the Khoisan languages, an estimated 90 to 95% of the vocabulary of Afrikaans is of Dutch origin.[n 2] Therefore, differences with Dutch often lie in the more analytic-type morphology and grammar of Afrikaans, and a spelling that expresses Afrikaans pronunciation rather than standard Dutch.[n 3] There is a large degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages—especially in written form.[n 4]
With about 7 million native speakers in South Africa, or 13.5% of the population, it is the third-most-spoken language in the country. It has the widest geographical and racial distribution of all the 11 official languages of South Africa, and is widely spoken and understood as a second or third language.[n 5] It is the majority language of the western half of South Africa—the provinces of the Northern Cape and Western Cape—and the first language of 75.8% of Coloured South Africans (4.8 million people), 60.8% of White South Africans (2.7 million); 4.6% of Asian South Africans (58,000 people), and 1.5% of Black South Africans (600,000 people).
In addition, many native speakers of Bantu languages and English also speak Afrikaans as a second language. It is taught in schools, with about 10.3 million second-language students. One reason for the expansion of Afrikaans is its development in the public realm: it is used in newspapers, radio programs, TV, and several translations of the Bible have been published since the first one was completed in 1933.
In neighbouring Namibia, Afrikaans is widely spoken as a second language and used as a lingua franca,[n 6] while as a native language it is spoken in 10.4% of households, mainly concentrated in the capital Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and the southern regions of Hardap and ǁKaras.[n 7] It, along with German, was among the official languages of Namibia until the country became independent in 1990, 25% of the population of Windhoek spoke Afrikaans at home. Both Afrikaans and German are recognised regional languages in Namibia, although only English has official status within the government.
Estimates of the total number of Afrikaans speakers range between 15 and 23 million.[n 8]
|Native to||South Africa, Namibia|
|Ethnicity||Afrikaners, Cape Coloured|
|7.2 million (2016)|
10.3 million L2 speakers in South Africa (2002)
Official language in
|Regulated by||Die Taalkommissie|
Regions shaded dark blue represent areas of concentrated Afrikaans-speaking communities
The term is ultimately derived from the Dutch term Afrikaans-Hollands meaning "African Dutch".
An estimated 90 to 95% of the Afrikaans lexicon is ultimately of Dutch origin, and there are few lexical differences between the two languages. Afrikaans has a considerably more regular morphology, grammar, and spelling. There is a degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages, particularly in written form.
Afrikaans acquired some lexical and syntactical borrowings from other languages such as Malay, Khoisan languages, Portuguese, and Bantu languages, and Afrikaans has also been significantly influenced by South African English. Dutch speakers are confronted with fewer non-cognates when listening to Afrikaans than the other way round. Mutual intelligibility thus tends to be asymmetrical, as it is easier for Dutch speakers to understand Afrikaans than for Afrikaans speakers to understand Dutch.
In general, mutual intelligibility between Dutch and Afrikaans is better than between Dutch and Frisian or between Danish and Swedish. The South African poet writer Breyten Breytenbach, attempting to visualize the language distance for anglophones once remarked that the differences between (Standard) Dutch and Afrikaans are comparable to those between the Received Pronunciation and Southern American English.
The Afrikaans language arose in the Dutch Cape Colony, through a gradual divergence from European Dutch dialects, during the course of the 18th century. As early as the mid-18th century and as recently as the mid-20th century, Afrikaans was known in standard Dutch as a "kitchen language" (Afrikaans: kombuistaal), lacking the prestige accorded, for example, even by the educational system in Africa, to languages spoken outside Africa. Other early epithets setting apart Kaaps Hollands ("Cape Dutch", i.e. Afrikaans) as putatively beneath official Dutch standards included geradbraakt, gebroken and onbeschaafd Hollands ("mutilated/broken/uncivilised Dutch"), as well as verkeerd Nederlands ("incorrect Dutch").
|ISO 639-3||None (|
Den Besten theorizes that modern Standard Afrikaans derives from two sources:
Thus in his view Afrikaans is neither a creole nor a direct descendant of Dutch, but a fusion of two transmission pathways.
A relative majority of the first settlers whose descendants today are the Afrikaners were from the United Provinces (now Netherlands and Flanders), though up to one-sixth of the community was also of French Huguenot origin, and a seventh from Germany.
African and Asian workers and slaves contributed to the development of Afrikaans. The slave population was made up of people from East Africa, West Africa, India, Madagascar, and the Dutch East Indies (modern Indonesia). A number were also indigenous Khoisan people, who were valued as interpreters, domestic servants, and labourers. Many free and enslaved women married, cohabited with, or were victims of sexual violence from the male Dutch settlers. M. F. Valkhoff argued that 75% of children born to female slaves in the Dutch Cape Colony between 1652 and 1672 had a Dutch father. Some consider this the origin of the ethnic group, the Cape Coloureds, who adopted various forms of speech utilising a Dutch vocabulary. Sarah Grey Thomason and Terrence Kaufman argue that Afrikaans' development as a separate language was "heavily conditioned by nonwhites who learned Dutch imperfectly as a second language."
Beginning in about 1815, Afrikaans started to replace Malay as the language of instruction in Muslim schools in South Africa, written with the Arabic alphabet: see Arabic Afrikaans. Later, Afrikaans, now written with the Latin script, started to appear in newspapers and political and religious works in around 1850.
In 1875, a group of Afrikaans-speakers from the Cape formed the Genootskap vir Regte Afrikaanders ("Society for Real Afrikaners"), and published a number of books in Afrikaans including grammars, dictionaries, religious materials and histories. In 1925, Afrikaans was recognised by the South African government as a real language, rather than simply a slang version of Dutch proper.
Afrikaans was considered a Dutch dialect in South Africa until the early 20th century, when it became recognised as a distinct language under South African law, alongside Standard Dutch, which it eventually replaced as an official language.
Before the Boer Wars (1880–81 and 1899–1902), "and indeed for some time afterwards, Afrikaans was regarded as inappropriate for educated discourse. Rather, Afrikaans was described derogatorily as ‘a kitchen language’ or as ‘a bastard jargon', suitable for communication mainly between the Boers and their servants." 23 years after the Second Boer War ended in 1902, mostly due to the efforts of the Afrikans Language Movement on 8 May 1925, the Official Languages of the Union Act No 8 of 1925 was passed at a joint sitting of the House of Assembly and the Senate, in which 'Dutch' was "declared to include Afrikaans". The Constitution of 1961 reversed the position of Afrikaans and Dutch, so that English and Afrikaans were the official languages and Afrikaans was deemed to include Dutch. The Constitution of 1983 removed any mention of Dutch altogether.
(Afrikaanse Taalmonument) is located on a hill overlooking Paarl, Western Cape Province, South Africa. Officially opened on 10 October 1975, it commemorates the 50th anniversary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa in distinction to Dutch. It was erected in Paarl on the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (Society of Real Afrikaners), an organisation which helped to strengthen Afrikaner identity and linguistic pride.
The linguist Paul Roberge suggested 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 main Afrikaans dictionary is the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (WAT) (Dictionary of the Afrikaans Language), which is as yet incomplete owing 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 Afrikaner religion had stemmed from the Protestant practices of the Reformed church of Holland during the 17th century, later on being influenced in South Africa by British ministries during the 1800s. A landmark in the development of the language was the translation of the whole Bible into Afrikaans. While significant advances had been made in the textual criticism of the Bible, especially the Greek New Testament, the 1933 translation followed the textus receptus and was closely akin to the Statenbijbel. Before this, most Cape Dutch-Afrikaans speakers had to rely on the Dutch Statenbijbel. This Statenvertaling had its origins with the Synod of Dordrecht of 1618 and was thus in an archaic form of Dutch. This was hard for Dutch and Cape Dutch speakers to understand, and increasingly unintelligible for 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, lit. Gospel according to Mark); however, this translation was never published. The manuscript is to be found in the South African National Library, Cape Town.
The first official 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. This monumental work established Afrikaans as 'n suiwer en ordentlike taal, that is "a pure and proper language" for religious purposes, especially amongst the deeply Calvinist Afrikaans religious community that previously had been sceptical of a Bible translation that varied from the Dutch version that they were used to.
In 1983, a fresh translation marked the 50th anniversary of the 1933 version and provided a 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. This translation was influenced by Eugene Nida's theory of dynamic-equavalence which focussed on finding the nearest equavalent in the receptor language to the idea that the Greek, Hebrew or Aramaic wanted to convey. The challenge to this type of translation is that it doesn't take into account that there are shifts in meaning in the receptor language.
A new translation, Die Bybel: 'n Direkte Vertaling is currently under preparation. It will be the first truly ecumenical translation of the Bible in Afrikaans as translators from various churches, including the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches, are involved.
Various commercial translations of the Bible in Afrikaans have also appeared since the 1990s, such as Die Boodskap and the Nuwe Lewende Vertaling. Most of these translations were published by Christelike Uitgewersmaatskappy (CUM).
Afrikaans belongs to its own West Germanic sub-group, the Low Franconian languages. Its closest relative is the mutually-intelligible mother language, Dutch. Other West Germanic languages related to Afrikaans are German, English, the Frisian languages, and the unstandardised languages Low German and Yiddish.
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Some state that instead of Afrikaners, which refers to an ethnic group, the terms Afrikaanses or Afrikaanssprekendes (lit. Afrikaans speakers) should be used for people of any ethnic origin who speak Afrikaans. Linguistic identity has not yet established which terms shall prevail, and all three are used in common parlance. Afrikaans terms like boerseun (farm boy) and boeremeisie (farm girl) became popular among young white Afrikaners for expressing ethnic and cultural pride, regardless of whether or not they actually grew up on a farm.
Afrikaans is also widely spoken in Namibia. Before independence, Afrikaans had equal status with German as an official language. Since independence in 1990, Afrikaans has had constitutional recognition as a national, but not 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, an Apartheid-era Bantustan.
Many South Africans living and working in Belgium, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the United States, the UAE and Kuwait are also Afrikaans-speaking. They have access to Afrikaans websites, news sites such as Netwerk24.com and Sake24, and radio broadcasts over the web, such as those from Radio Sonder Grense, Bokradio and Radio Pretoria.
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"), naartjie ("tangerine"), tekkies (American "sneakers", British "trainers", Canadian "runners"). 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, secondary-school pupils 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. Afrikaans is more widely spoken than English in the Northern and Western Cape provinces, several hundred kilometres from Soweto.
The Black community's opposition to Afrikaans and preference for continuing English instruction was underlined 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. Also, due to Afrikaans being viewed as the language of the white oppressor by some, pressure has been increased to remove Afrikaans as a teaching language in South African universities, resulting in bloody student protests in 2015.
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 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. In addition, a pay-TV channel in Afrikaans called KykNet was launched in 1999, and an Afrikaans music channel, MK (Musiek kanaal) (lit. 'Music Channel'), 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. The Afrikaans film trilogy Bakgat (first released in 2008) caused a reawakening of the Afrikaans film Industry (which has been dead since the mid to late 1990s) and Belgian-born singer Karen Zoid's debut single "Afrikaners is Plesierig" (released 2001) caused a resurgence in the Afrikaans music industry as well as gave rise to the Afrikaans Rock genre.
Afrikaans has two monuments erected in its honour. The first was erected in Burgersdorp, South Africa, in 1893, and the second, nowadays 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. The author of the article, Bronwyn Davies, was an English-speaking South African.
Modern Dutch and Afrikaans share over 90 percent 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.
Post-apartheid South Africa has seen a loss of preferential treatment by the government 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 – than any of the other official languages, except English. More than 300 book titles in Afrikaans are published annually. South African census figures suggest a growing number of speakers in all nine provinces, a total of 6.85 million in 2011 compared to 5.98 million a decade earlier. The South African Institute of Race Relations (SAIRR) project that a growing majority will be Coloured Afrikaans speakers. Afrikaans speakers experience higher employment rates than other South African language groups, though half a million remain unemployed.
Despite the challenges of demotion and emigration that it faces in South Africa, the Afrikaans vernacular remains competitive, being popular in DSTV pay channels and several internet sites, while generating high newspaper and music CD sales. A resurgence in Afrikaans popular music since the late 1990s has invigorated the language, especially among a younger generation of South Africans. A recent trend is the increased availability of pre-school educational CDs and DVDs. Such media also prove popular with the extensive Afrikaans-speaking expatriate communities who seek to retain language proficiency in a household context.
After years of slumber, Afrikaans language cinema is showing signs of new vigour. The 2007 film Ouma se slim kind, the first full-length Afrikaans movie since Paljas in 1998, is seen as the dawn of a new era in Afrikaans cinema. Several short films have been created and more feature-length movies, such as Poena is Koning and Bakgat (both in 2008) have been produced, besides the 2011 Afrikaans-language film Skoonheid, which was the first Afrikaans film to screen at the Cannes Film Festival. The film Platteland was also released in 2011. The Afrikaans Film industry started gaining international recognition via the likes of big Afrikaans Hollywood film stars, like Charlize Theron (Monster) and Sharlto Copley (District 9) promoting their mother tongue.
Afrikaans seems to be returning to the SABC. SABC3 announced early in 2009 that it would increase Afrikaans programming due to 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 television market". In April 2009, SABC3 started screening several Afrikaans-language programmes. Further latent support for the language derives from its de-politicised image in the eyes of younger-generation South Africans, who less and less often view it as "the language of the oppressor". Indeed, there is a groundswell movement within Afrikaans to be inclusive, and to promote itself along with the other indigenous official languages. In Namibia, the percentage of Afrikaans speakers declined from 11.4% (2001 Census) to 10.4% (2011 Census). The major concentrations are in Hardap (41.0%), ǁKaras (36.1%), Erongo (20.5%), Khomas (18.5%), Omaheke (10.0%), Otjozondjupa (9.4%), Kunene (4.2%), and Oshikoto (2.3%).
Afrikaans is offered at many universities outside of South Africa including in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Russia and America.
Following early dialectal studies of Afrikaans, it was theorised that three main historical dialects probably existed after the Great Trek in the 1830s. These dialects are the Northern Cape, Western Cape, and Eastern Cape dialects. Northern Cape dialect may have resulted from contact between Dutch settlers and the Khoi-Khoi people between the Great Karoo and the Kunene, and Eastern Cape dialect between the Dutch and the Xhosa. 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.
The term Kaapse Afrikaans ("Cape Afrikaans") is sometimes erroneously used to refer to the entire Western Cape dialect; it is more commonly used for a particular sociolect spoken in the Cape Peninsula of South Africa. Kaapse Afrikaans was once spoken by all population groups. However, it became increasingly restricted to the Cape Coloured ethnic group in Cape Town and environs. Kaapse Afrikaans is still understood by the large majority of native Afrikaans speakers in South Africa.
Kaapse Afrikaans preserves some features more similar to Dutch than to Afrikaans.
Kaapse Afrikaans has some other features not typically found in Afrikaans.
An example of characteristic Kaapse Afrikaans:
The term Oranjerivierafrikaans ("Afrikaans of the Orange River") is sometimes erroneously used to refer to the Northern Cape dialect; it is more commonly used for the regional peculiarities of standard Afrikaans spoken in the Upington/Orange River wine district of South Africa.
Some of the characteristics of Oranjerivierafrikaans are the plural form -goed (Ma-goed, meneergoed), variant pronunciation such as in kjerk ("Church") and gjeld ("money") and the ending -se, which indicates possession.
Although Afrikaans is mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia, smaller Afrikaans-speaking populations live in Argentina, Australia, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, Lesotho, Malawi, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Eswatini, the UAE, the United Kingdom, Republic of Ireland, the US, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Most Afrikaans-speaking people living outside Africa are emigrants and their descendants. Because of emigration and migrant labour, more than 100,000 Afrikaans speakers may live in the United Kingdom.
Due to the early settlement of a Cape Malay community in Cape Town, who are now known as Coloureds, numerous Classical Malay words were brought into Afrikaans. Some of these words entered Dutch via people arriving from, what is now known as, Indonesia as part of their colonial heritage. Malay words in Afrikaans include:
Some words originally came from Portuguese such as sambreel ("umbrella") from the Portuguese sombreiro, kraal ("pen/cattle enclosure") from the Portuguese curral, and mielie ("corn", from milho). These words have become common in South Africa to an extent of being used in many other South African languages. Some of these words also exist in Dutch, like sambreel "parasol", though usage is less common and meanings can slightly differ.
Some of these words also exist in Dutch, though with a more specific meaning: assegaai for example means "South-African tribal javelin" and karos means "South-African tribal blanket of animal hides".
The revoking of the Edict of Nantes on the 22nd of October 1685 was a milestone in the history of South Africa, for it marked the beginning of the great Huguenot exodus from France. It is estimated that between 250,000 and 300,000 Protestants left France between 1685 and 1700; out of these, according to Louvois, 100,000 had received military training. A measure of the calibre of these immigrants and of their acceptance by host countries (in particular South Africa) is given by H.V. Morton in his book: In search of South Africa (London, 1948). The Huguenots were responsible for a great linguistic contribution to Afrikaans, particularly in terms of military terminology as many of them fought on the battlefields during the wars of the Great Trek.
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||German|
|wees||is||zijn (wezen)||be||sein (gewesen)|
In addition, verbs do not conjugate differently depending on the subject. For example,
|ek is||ik ben||I am||ich bin|
|jy/u is||jij/u bent||you are (sing.)||du bist/Sie sind|
|hy/sy/dit is||hij/zij/het is||he/she/it is||er/sie/es ist|
|ons is||wij zijn||we are||wir sind|
|julle is||jullie zijn||you are (plur.)||ihr seid|
|hulle is||zij zijn||they are||sie sind|
Only a handful of Afrikaans verbs have a preterite, namely the auxiliary wees ("to be"), the modal verbs, and the verb dink ("to think"). The preterite of mag ("may") is rare in contemporary Afrikaans.
|ek is||ek was||ik ben||ik was||I am||I was||ich bin||ich war|
|ek kan||ek kon||ik kan||ik kon||I can||I could||ich kann||ich konnte|
|ek moet||ek moes||ik moet||ik moest||I must||(I had to)||ich muss||ich musste|
|ek wil||ek wou||ik wil||ik wilde/wou||I will||I would||ich will||ich wollte|
|ek sal||ek sou||ik zal||ik zou||I shall||I should||ich werde||ich wurde|
|ek mag||(ek mog)||ik mag||ik mocht||I may||I might||ich mag||ich mochte|
|ek dink||ek dog||ik denk||ik dacht||I think||I thought||ich denke||ich dachte|
All other verbs use the perfect tense (hê + past participle) for the past. Therefore, there is no distinction in Afrikaans between I drank and I have drunk. (Also in colloquial German, the past tense is often replaced with the perfect.) Note that must is quasi-defective in Modern English. It is technically the preterite of mote (as in "so mote it be") but has functionally replaced it except in ritual and poetic contexts. So it is not a fully defective verb (like can, shall or will) because the present tense form of the verb "to mote" still exists but nobody uses it anymore (just as thou still exists but everybody uses the plural you instead).
|ek het gedrink||ik dronk||I drank||ich trank|
|ek het gedrink||ik heb gedronken||I have drunk||ich habe getrunken|
When telling a longer story, Afrikaans speakers usually avoid the perfect and simply use the present tense, or historical present tense instead (as is possible, but less common, in English as well).
A particular feature of Afrikaans is its use of the double negative; it is classified in Afrikaans as ontkennende vorm and is something that is absent from the other West Germanic standard languages. For example,
Both French and San origins have been suggested for double negation in Afrikaans. While double negation is still found in Low Franconian dialects in West-Flanders and in some "isolated" villages in the centre of the Netherlands (such as Garderen), it takes a different form, which is not found in Afrikaans. The following is an example:
* Compare with Ek wil nie dit doen nie, which changes the meaning to "I want not to do this." Whereas Ek wil nie dit doen nie emphasizes a lack of desire to act, Ek wil dit nie doen nie emphasizes the act itself.
The -ne was the Middle Dutch way to negate but it has been suggested that since -ne became highly non-voiced, nie or niet was needed to complement the -ne. With time the -ne disappeared in most Dutch dialects.
The double negative construction has been fully grammaticalised in standard Afrikaans and its proper use follows a set of fairly complex rules as the examples below show:
|Afrikaans||Dutch (literally translated)||More correct Dutch||English|
|Ek het nie geweet dat hy sou kom nie.||Ik heb niet geweten dat hij zou komen.||Ik wist niet dat hij zou komen.||I did not know that he would come.|
|Ek het geweet dat hy nie sou kom nie.||Ik heb geweten dat hij niet zou komen.||Ik wist dat hij niet zou komen.||I knew (did know) that he would not come.|
|Ek het nie geweet dat hy nie sou kom nie.||Ik heb niet geweten dat hij niet zou komen.||Ik wist niet dat hij niet zou komen.||I did not know that he would not come.|
|Hy sal nie kom nie, want hy is siek.||Hij zal niet komen, want hij is ziek.||Hij komt niet, want hij is ziek.||He will not come, as he is sick.|
|Dis (Dit is) nie so moeilik om Afrikaans te leer nie.||Het is niet zo moeilijk (om) Afrikaans te leren.||It is not so difficult to learn Afrikaans.|
A notable exception to this is the use of the negating grammar form that coincides with negating the English present participle. In this case there is only a single negation.
Certain words in Afrikaans arise due to grammar. For example, moet nie, which literally means "must not", usually becomes moenie; although one does not have to write or say it like this, virtually all Afrikaans speakers will change the two words to moenie in the same way as do not shifts to don't in English.
The Dutch word het ("it" in English) does not correspond to het in Afrikaans. The Dutch words corresponding to Afrikaans het are heb, hebt, heeft and hebben.
|het||heb, hebt, heeft, hebben||have, has||habe, hast, hat, habt, haben|
|die||de, het||the||die, der, das, den, dem|
|Starting point||Ending point|
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. Also, 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 (as well as dialectal Dutch writings) to represent this merger. Similarly, the Dutch digraph ĳ, normally pronounced as /əi/, is written as y, except where it replaces the Dutch suffix –lijk which is pronounced as /lœk/ or /lik/, 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 -tjie, whereas in Dutch it is -tje, hence a "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 alphabetising, though they are still important, even when typing the diacritic forms may be difficult. For example, geëet instead of the 3 e's alongside each other: *geeet, which can never occur in Afrikaans, or sê, which translates to "say", whereas se is a possessive form.
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 'k, 't, 'n. The last (the indefinite article) is the only apostrophed word that is common in modern written Afrikaans, since the other examples are shortened versions of other words (ek and het, respectively) and are rarely found outside of a poetic context.
Here are a few examples:
|Apostrophed version||Usual version||Translation||Notes|
|'k 't Dit gesê||Ek het dit gesê||I said it||Uncommon, more common: Ek't dit gesê|
|'t Jy dit geëet?||Het jy dit geëet?||Did you eat it?||Extremely uncommon|
|'n Man loop daar||A man walks there||Standard Afrikaans pronounces 'n as a schwa vowel.|
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.
For more on the pronunciation of the letters below, see Help:IPA/Afrikaans.
|Grapheme||IPA||Examples and Notes|
|a||/a/, /ɑː/||appel ('apple'; /a/), tale ('languages'; /ɑː/). Represents /a/ at word end and before double consonants and /ɑː/ before single consonant-vowel|
|aa||/ɑː/||aap ('monkey', 'ape')|
|ai||/ai/||baie ('many', 'much' or 'very'), ai (expression of frustration or resignation)|
|c||/s/, /k/||Found mainly in borrowed words or proper nouns; the former pronunciation occurs before 'e', 'i', or 'y'; featured in the plural form -ici, as in the plural of medikus ('medic'), medici|
|ch||/ʃ/, /x/, /k/||chirurg ('surgeon'; /ʃ/; typically sj is used instead), chemie ('chemistry'; /x/), chitien ('chitin'; /k/). Found only in loanwords and proper nouns|
|d||/d/||dag ('day'), deel ('part', 'divide', 'share')|
|dj||/d͡ʒ/||djati ('teak'), djihad ('jihad'). Used to transcribe foreign words|
|e||/ɛ/, /ɪə/, /ə/||bed ('bed'; /ɛ/), ete ('meal'; /ɪə/), se (/ə/; indicates possession, for example Johan se boom, meaning 'John's tree')|
|è||/ɛ/||nè ('yes?', 'right?'), dè ('here, take this!' or '[this is] yours!')|
|ê||/eː/, /ɛː/||sê ('to say'). Represents /ɛː/ word-finally|
|ë||-||Diaeresis indicates the start of new syllable, thus ë, ëe and ëi are pronounced like 'e', 'ee' and 'ei', respectively|
|ee||/ɪə/||weet ('to know'), een ('one')|
|eeu||/iːu/||sneeu ('snow'), eeu ('century')|
|ei||/ɛi/||lei ('to lead')|
|eu||/ɪø/||seun ('son' or 'lad')|
|g||/x/||goed ('good'), geel ('yellow')|
|gh||/ɡ/||gholf ('golf'). Used for /ɡ/ when it is not an allophone of /x/; found only in borrowed words|
|h||/ɦ/||hael ('hail'), hond ('dog')|
|i||/i/, /ə/||kind ('child'; /ə/), ink ('ink'; /ə/), krisis ('crisis'; /i/ for first 'i' and /ə/ for second 'i'), elektrisiteit ('electricity'; /i/ for first and second 'i'; third 'i' is part of diphthong 'ei')|
|î||/əː/||wîe (plural of wig; 'wedges' or 'quoins')|
|ï||-||Found in words such as beïnvloed ('to influence'). The diaeresis indicates the start of new syllable, thus ï and ïe are pronounced like 'i' and 'ie' respectively|
|k||/k/||kat ('cat'), kan ('can' (verb) or 'jug')|
|ng||/ŋ/||sing ('to sing')|
|o||/ɔ/, /ʊə/||op ('on' or 'up'; /ɔ/), bote ('boats'; /ʊə/)|
|ö||-||Found in words such as mikroörganisme ('micro-organism'). The diaeresis indicates the start of new syllable, thus ö is pronounced the same as 'o'|
|oe||/u/||boek ('book'), koel ('cool')|
|oo||/ʊə/||oor ('ear' or 'over')|
|ooi||/oːi/||mooi ('pretty', 'beautiful'), nooi ('saying for little girl' or 'invitation')|
|ou||/ɵu/||oupa ('grandpa', 'grandfather'), koud ('cold'). Sometimes spelled ouw in loanwords and surnames, for example Louw.|
|p||/p/||pot ('pot'), pers ('purple' — or 'press' indicating the news media)|
|q||/k/||Found only in foreign words with original spelling maintained; typically k is used instead|
|s||/s/, /z/, /ʃ/||ses ('six'), stem ('voice' or 'vote'), posisie ('position', /z/ for first 's', /s/ for second 's'), rasioneel ('rational', /ʃ/)|
|sj||/ʃ/||sjaal ('shawl'), sjokolade ('chocolate')|
|t||/t/, /ʃ/||tafel ('table'), aktuaris ('actuary'; /ʃ/)|
|tj||/tʃ/, /k/||tjank ('whine like a dog' or 'to cry incessantly'). The former pronunciation occurs at the beginning of a word and the latter in "-tjie"|
|u||/œ/, /yː/||kus ('coast' or 'kiss'), skadu ('shade'). The latter pronunciation is rare and most commonly found as the word u (formal 'you')|
|ü||-||Found in words such as reünie ('reunion'). The diaeresis indicates the start of a new syllable, thus ü is pronounced the same u, except when found in proper nouns and surnames from German, like Müller.|
|v||/f/||vis ('fish'), vir ('for')|
|w||/v/, /w/||water ('water'; /v/), kwart ('quarter'; /w/)|
|x||/z/, /ks/||xifoïed ('xiphoid'; /z/), x-straal ('x-ray'; /ks/).|
|z||/z/||Zoeloe ('Zulu'). Found only in onomatopoeia and loanwords|
Although there are many different dialects and accents, the transcription would be fairly standard.
|Hallo! Hoe gaan dit?||[ɦalœu ɦu χɑːn dət]||Hallo! Hoe gaat het (met jou/je/u)?
Also used: Hallo! Hoe is het?
|[ɦɑloː ɦu ɣaːn ɦət]||Hello! How goes it? (Hello! How are you?)||Hallo! Wie geht's? (Hallo! Wie geht's dir/Ihnen?)|
|Baie goed, dankie.||[baiə χut daŋki]||Heel goed, dank je.||[ɦeːl ɣut dɑŋk jə]||Very well, thank you.||Sehr gut, danke.|
|Praat jy Afrikaans?||[prɑːt jəi afrikɑːns]||Spreek/Praat jij/je Afrikaans?||[spreːk/praːt jɛi̯/jə ɑfrikaːns]||Do you speak Afrikaans?||Sprichst du Afrikaans?|
|Praat jy Engels?||[prɑːt jəi ɛŋəls]||Spreek/Praat jij/je Engels?||[spreːk/praːt jɛi̯/jə ɛŋəls]||Do you speak English?||Sprichst du Englisch?|
Also: Nee. (Colloquial)
|'n Bietjie.||[ə biki]||Een beetje.||[ə beːtjə]||A bit.||Ein bisschen. Sometimes shortened in text: "'n bisschen"|
|Wat is jou naam?||[vat əs jœu nɑːm]||Hoe heet jij/je? / Wat is jouw naam?||[ʋɑt ɪs jɑu̯ naːm]||What is your name?||Wie heißt du? / Wie ist dein Name?|
|Die kinders praat Afrikaans.||[di kənərs prɑːt afrikɑːns]||De kinderen spreken/praten Afrikaans.||[də kɪndərən spreːkən/praːtən ɑfrikaːns]||The children speak Afrikaans.||Die Kinder sprechen Afrikaans.|
|Ek is lief vir jou.
Less common: Ek het jou lief.
|[æk əs lif fər jœu]||Ik hou van jou/je.
Common in Southern Dutch: Ik heb je/jou/u lief.
|[ɪk ɦɑu̯ vɑn jɑu̯/jə], [ɪk ɦɛb jə/jɑu̯/y lif]||I love you.||Ich liebe dich.|
Also: Ich habe dich lieb. (Colloquial; virtually no romantic connotation)
In the Dutch language the word Afrikaans means African, in the general sense. Consequently, Afrikaans is commonly denoted as Zuid-Afrikaans. This ambiguity also exists in Afrikaans itself and is either resolved in the context of its usage, or by using Afrikaner for an African person, and Afrika- in the adjective sense.
A handful of Afrikaans words are exactly the same as in English. The following Afrikaans sentences, for example, are exactly the same in the two languages, in terms of both their meaning and spelling; only their pronunciation differs.
Psalm 23 1983 translation:
Die Here is my Herder, ek kom niks kort nie.
Hy laat my in groen weivelde rus. Hy bring my by waters waar daar vrede is.
Hy gee my nuwe krag. Hy lei my op die regte paaie tot eer van Sy naam.
Selfs al gaan ek deur donker dieptes, sal ek nie bang wees nie, want U is by my. In U hande is ek veilig.
Psalm 23 alternative translation:
Die Here is my Herder, niks sal my ontbreek nie.
Hy laat my neerlê in groen weivelde; na waters waar rus is, lei Hy my heen.
Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.
Al gaan ek ook in 'n dal van doodskaduwee, ek sal geen onheil vrees nie; want U is met my: u stok en u staf die vertroos my.
Lord's Prayer (Afrikaans New Living translation)
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
Lord's Prayer (Original translation):
Onse Vader wat in die hemel is,
laat U Naam geheilig word;
laat U koninkryk kom;
laat U wil geskied op die aarde,
net soos in die hemel.
Gee ons vandag ons daaglikse brood;
en vergeef ons ons skulde
soos ons ons skuldenaars vergewe
en laat ons nie in die versoeking nie
maar verlos ons van die Bose
Want aan U behoort die koninkryk
en die krag
en die heerlikheid
tot in ewigheid. Amen
Afrikaner nationalism (Afrikaans: Afrikanernasionalisme) is a political ideology that was born in the late nineteenth century among Afrikaners in South Africa. It was strongly influenced by anti-British sentiments that grew strong among the Afrikaners, especially because of the Boer Wars.According to historian T. Dunbar Moodie, Afrikaner nationalism could be described as a kind of civil religion that combined the history of the Afrikaners, the formalised language (Afrikaans) and Afrikaner Calvinism as key symbols. A major proponent of the ideology was the secret Broederbond organisation and the National Party that ruled the country from 1948 to 1994. Other organisations aligned with Afrikaner nationalist ideology were the Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Organisations (Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge, FAK), the Institute for Christian National Education and the White Workers' Protection Association.Afrikaners
Afrikaners (Afrikaans: Afrikaners, pronounced [afrəˈkɑːnərs, afri-]) are a Southern African ethnic group descended from predominantly Dutch settlers first arriving in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. They traditionally dominated South Africa's agriculture and politics prior to 1994.Afrikaans, South Africa's third most widely spoken home language, is the mother tongue of Afrikaners and most Cape Coloureds. It evolved from the Dutch vernacular of South Holland, incorporating words brought from the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) and Madagascar by slaves. Afrikaners make up approximately 5.2% of the total South African population based on the number of White South Africans who speak Afrikaans as a first language in the 2011 South African Census.The arrival of Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama at Calicut in 1498 opened a gateway of free access to Asia from Western Europe around the Cape of Good Hope; however, it also necessitated the founding and safeguarding of trade stations in the East. Very rapidly one European power followed another, all eager to trade along this route. The Portuguese landed in Mossel Bay in 1500, explored Table Bay two years later, and by 1510 had started raiding inland. Shortly afterwards the Dutch Republic sent merchant vessels to India, and in 1602 founded the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie (Dutch East India Company; VOC). As the volume of traffic rounding the Cape increased, the Company recognised its natural harbour as an ideal watering point for the long voyage around Africa to the Orient and established a victualling station there in 1652. VOC officials did not favour the permanent settlement of Europeans in their trading empire, although during the 140 years of Dutch rule; many VOC servants retired or were discharged and remained as private citizens. Furthermore, the exigencies of supplying local garrisons and passing fleets compelled the administration to confer free status upon employees and oblige them to become independent farmers.Encouraged by the success of this experiment, the Company extended free passage from 1685-1707 for Hollanders wishing to settle at the Cape. In 1688, it sponsored the emigration of 200 French Huguenot refugees forced into exile by the Edict of Fontainebleau. The terms under which the Huguenots agreed to immigrate were the same offered to other VOC subjects, including free passage and requisite farm equipment on credit. Prior attempts at cultivating vineyards or exploiting olive groves for fruit had been unsuccessful, and it was hoped that Huguenot colonists accustomed to Mediterranean agriculture could succeed where the Dutch had failed. They were augmented by VOC soldiers returning from Asia, predominantly Germans channeled into Amsterdam by the Company's extensive recruitment network and thence overseas. Despite their diverse nationalities, the colonists used a common language and adopted similar attitudes towards politics. The attributes they shared came to serve as a basis for the evolution of Afrikaner identity and consciousness.Afrikaner nationalism has taken the form of political parties and secret societies such as the Broederbond in the twentieth century. In 1914, the National Party was founded to promote Afrikaner economic interests and cut South Africa's ties to the United Kingdom. Rising to prominence after winning the 1948 general election, it has also been noted for enforcing a harsh policy of racial segregation (apartheid) while simultaneously declaring South Africa a republic in 1961 and withdrawing from the British Commonwealth. The NP remained in government until 1994; when ANC leader Nelson Mandela was elected President of South Africa in the country's first free and fair, multi-racial election.Boer
Boer (; Afrikaans: [buːr]) is the Dutch and Afrikaans noun for "farmer". In South African contexts, "Boers" (Afrikaans: Boere) refers to the descendants of the then Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th and much of the 19th century. From 1652 to 1795 the Dutch East India Company controlled this area, but the United Kingdom incorporated it into the British Empire in 1806.In addition, the term "Boeren" also applied to those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State, Transvaal (together known as the Boer Republics), and to a lesser extent Natal. They emigrated from the Cape primarily to escape British rule and to get away from the constant border wars between the British imperial government and the indigenous peoples on the eastern frontier.The term Afrikaner is generally used in modern-day South Africa for the Afrikaans-speaking white population of South Africa, the descendants of boer settlers and the bulk of White Africans.Cape Province
The Province of the Cape of Good Hope (Afrikaans: Provinsie van die Kaap die Goeie Hoop), commonly referred to as the Cape Province (Afrikaans: Kaapprovinsie) and colloquially as The Cape (Afrikaans: Die Kaap), was a province in the Union of South Africa and subsequently the Republic of South Africa. It encompassed the old Cape Colony, and had Cape Town as its capital. Following the end of the Apartheid era, the Cape Province was split up to form the new Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces, along with part of the North West.Dutch language
Dutch (Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 23 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands (where it is the sole official language) and Belgium (as one of three official languages). It is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.
Outside the Low Countries, it is the native language of the majority of the population of Suriname where it also holds an official status, as it does in Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten, which are constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands located in the Caribbean. Historical linguistic minorities on the verge of extinction remain in parts of France and Germany, and in Indonesia, while up to half a million native speakers may reside in the United States, Canada and Australia combined. The Cape Dutch dialects of Southern Africa have evolved into Afrikaans, a mutually intelligible daughter language which is spoken to some degree by at least 16 million people, mainly in South Africa and Namibia.Dutch is one of the closest relatives of both German and English and is colloquially said to be "roughly in between" them. Dutch, like English, has not undergone the High German consonant shift, does not use Germanic umlaut as a grammatical marker, has largely abandoned the use of the subjunctive, and has levelled much of its morphology, including most of its case system. Features shared with German include the survival of two to three grammatical genders—albeit with few grammatical consequences—as well as the use of modal particles, final-obstruent devoicing, and a similar word order. Dutch vocabulary is mostly Germanic and incorporates slightly more Romance loans than German but far fewer than English. As with German, the vocabulary of Dutch also has strong similarities with the continental Scandinavian languages, but is not mutually intelligible in text or speech with any of them.Eastern Cape
The Eastern Cape (Xhosa: iMpuma-Koloni; Afrikaans: Oos-Kaap; Sotho: Kapa Botjhabela) is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bhisho, but its two largest cities are Port Elizabeth and East London. It was formed in 1994 out of the Xhosa homelands or bantustans of Transkei and Ciskei, together with the eastern portion of the Cape Province. It is the landing place and home of the 1820 Settlers. The central and eastern part of the province is the traditional home of the Xhosa people.Free State (province)
The Free State (Sotho: Freistata; Afrikaans: Vrystaat; Xhosa: iFreyistata; Tswana: Foreistata; Zulu: iFuleyisitata; before 1995, the Orange Free State) is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Bloemfontein, which is also South Africa's judicial capital. Its historical origins lie in the Boer republic called Orange Free State and later Orange Free State Province.Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners
The Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (Afrikaans for "Society of Real Afrikaners") was formed on 14 August 1875 in the town of Paarl by a group of Afrikaans speakers from the current Western Cape region. From 15 January 1876 the society published a journal in Afrikaans called Die Afrikaanse Patriot ("The Afrikaans Patriot") as well as a number of books, including grammars, dictionaries, religious material and histories. Die Afrikaanse Patriot was succeeded in 1905 by today's Paarl newspaper.Arnoldus Pannevis, a teacher, is generally considered to be the spiritual father of the society. He had observed that most of the South Africans from Dutch descent could not speak the "pure" form of their original mother tongue anymore. In the course of its (then) 200-year-old history, the language of the immigrants from the Netherlands had been thoroughly changed by the influence of other European immigrants, indigenous tribes such as the Khoikhoi, and especially the Cape Malays. In 1874 Pannevis expressed these views in the journal de Zuid-Afrikaan under the title "Is die Afferkaans wesenlijk een taal?"The eight founding members were Gideon Malherbe, the Dutch immigrant CP Hoogenhout, DF du ToitAF (nicknamed Dokter, i.e. "Doctor"), a journalist coincidentally named Daniel Francois du ToitAF (nicknamed Oom Lokomotief, i.e. "Uncle Locomotive"), his brother Rev SJ du Toit, August Ahrbeck, Petrus Malherbe and SG du Toit. Everybody except Hoogenhout and Ahrbeck were related. Many of these were of Huguenot descent.
On 14 August 1975 the Afrikaans Language Museum was opened in the former house of Gideon Malherbe in Paarl, the building in which the Society was founded. The Afrikaans Language Monument was also opened in Paarl in 1975, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Society.Great Trek
The Great Trek (Afrikaans: Die Groot Trek; Dutch: De Grote Trek) was an eastward migration of Dutch-speaking settlers who travelled by wagon trains from the Cape Colony into the interior of modern South Africa from 1836 onwards, seeking to live beyond the Cape's British colonial administration. The Great Trek resulted from the culmination of tensions between rural descendants of the Cape's original European settlers, known collectively as Boers, and the British Empire. It was also reflective of an increasingly common trend among individual Boer communities to pursue an isolationist and semi-nomadic lifestyle away from the developing administrative complexities in Cape Town. Boers who participated in the Great Trek identified themselves as voortrekkers, meaning "pioneers", "pathfinders" (literally "fore-trekkers") in Dutch and Afrikaans.
The Great Trek led directly to the founding of several autonomous Boer republics, namely the South African Republic (also known simply as the Transvaal), the Orange Free State, and the Natalia Republic. It was also responsible for the displacement of the Northern Ndebele people, and was one of several decisive factors influencing the decline and collapse of the Zulu Empire.Languages of South Africa
At least thirty-five languages indigenous to South Africa are spoken in the Republic, ten of which are official languages of South Africa: Afrikaans, IsiNdebele, Sepedi, SeSotho sa Borwa, SiSwati, XiTsonga, SeTswana, TshiVenḓa, IsiXhosa, and IsiZulu. South African English is also an official language, and is the de facto primary language used in parliamentary and state discourse, though all official languages are equal in legal status, and unofficial languages are protected under the Constitution of South Africa, though few are mentioned by any name. South African Sign Language has legal recognition but is not an official langauge, despite a campaign and parliamentary recommendation for it to be declared one.Unofficial languages include SiPhuthi, SiHlubi, SiBhaca, SiLala, SiNhlangwini ("IsiZansi"), SiNrebele (SiSumayela), IsiMpondro, Khoekhoegowab, !Orakobab, Xirikobab, N|uuki, !Xunthali, Khwedam, KheLobedu, SePulana, HiPai, SeKutswe, SeṰokwa, SiThonga, SiLaNgomane, SheKgalagari, XiRonga and others. Most South Africans can speak more than one language, and there is very often a diglossia between official and unofficial language forms for speakers of the latter.
Dutch and English were the first official languages of South Africa from 1910 to 1925. Afrikaans was added as a part of Dutch in 1925, although in practice, Afrikaans effectively replaced Dutch, which fell into disuse. When South Africa became a republic in 1961, the official relationship changed such that Afrikaans was considered to include Dutch, and Dutch was dropped in 1984, so between 1984 and 1994, South Africa had two official languages: English and Afrikaans.English being the second language of many South Africans is the most widely used lingua franca, and language of secular authority. Many countries from around the world have turned to South Africa for their supply of low cost English and other educators.
Different government departments and official bodies use different terms to denote SeSotho sa Leboa ("Northern Sotho"), which is a standardised language largely based on SeKoni and SePedi. In South Africa, Southern Ndebele is known simply as Ndebele, as most speakers of Northern Ndebele live in Zimbabwe. This Northern Ndebele is thus also known as Zimbabwean Ndebele, as it is the language of the Ndebele of Mzilikazi and assimilated groups, including many Kalanga people. However, a third language known as "Ndebele" is the unofficial language previously called, in English, "Northern (Transvaal) Ndebele". This language was, after the Tomlinson Report, classed together with Southern Ndebele, although it is actually distinct as a Tekela language, spoken by the Ndebele of Gegana (Mthombeni), whereas the official language of IsiNdebele is a Zunda language, spoken by the Ndebele of Ndzundza and Manala.
Since taking power in the 1994 election, the ANC has promoted English as the main language of government, even if South Africans often take pride in using indigenous languages for any purpose. Afrikaans in its Eastern dialects (upon which the standardised form is based, in a process bringing it closer to Dutch) also features prominently in commerce together with English, as these are the languages associated with the racial hegemony.
In terms of linguistic classification, the official languages include these two West Germanic languages (English and Afrikaans) and nine SiNtu languages. Four of these are called Nguni languages (IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, SiSwati and IsiNdebele) and three are Sotho–Tswana languages (Sepedi, SeSotho sa Borwa, and SeTswana). XiTsonga is a Tswa–Ronga language, and TshiVenḓa falls into a group on its own.South African Sign Language is understood across the country, though sometimes sign-language interpreters use manually coded language.
Endangered languages include many of the Tekela Nguni languages, such as SiPhuthi or SiBhaca, northern Sotho languages such as KheLobedu, and the Eastern Sotho languages, such as SePulana and particularly HiPai which may be extinct.
Critically endangered languages include the Nǁng language, currently only represented by the N|uu dialect (N|uuki), which has at most three mother-tongue speakers, as well as the Southern Khoekhoe languages of !Orakobab and Xirikobab (with the third Khoekhoe language spoken in South Africa being Namagowab). The motto of the Northern Cape Province, Sa ǁa !aĩsi 'uĩsi, is in the N|uu language, and was written by !Uiki Elsie Vaalbooi. This language is the closest living relative of the ǀXam language and ǁXegwi language, now both thought to be extinct. The motto on the coat of arms of South Africa, !Ke eː ǀxarra ǁke, is written in the |Xam language.
These so-called "click languages" constitute what was formerly known as the "Khoe-Sān" language family, the members of which are now considered to fall into at least three separate language families: Khoe-Kwadi, Tuu, and Kx'a. The Kx'a language spoken in South Africa, !Xunthali, together with Khwedam (a Khoe-Kwadi language), are the local languages of the population of Platfontein derived from members of the 31 Battalion (SWATF), most of whom were Sān groups originally from Angola, conscripted as trackers during the South African Border War.List of Afrikaans-language poets
This list of Afrikaans language poets includes poets who write, or wrote, in the Afrikaans language.List of South African films
This is a chronology of major films produced in South Africa or by the South African film industry. There may be an overlap, particularly between South African and foreign films which are sometimes co-produced; the list should attempt to document films which are either South African produced or strongly associated with South African culture. Please see the detailed A-Z of films currently covered on Wikipedia at Category:South African films.North West (South African province)
North West (Tswana: Bokone Bophirima; Afrikaans: Noordwes; Southern Sotho: Leboya Bophirima; Xhosa: uMntla-Ntshona; Tsonga: N'walungu-Vupeladyambu; Zulu: iNyakatho Ntshonalanga; Northern Sotho: Leboa-Bodikela) is a province of South Africa. Its capital is Mahikeng. Klerksdorp is the largest city in the province. The province is located to the west of the major population centre of Gauteng.Northern Cape
The Northern Cape (Afrikaans: Noord-Kaap; Tswana: Kapa Bokone; Xhosa: uMntla-Koloni) is the largest and most sparsely populated province of South Africa. It was created in 1994 when the Cape Province was split up. Its capital is Kimberley. It includes the Kalahari Gemsbok National Park, part of the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, an international park shared with Botswana. It also includes the Augrabies Falls and the diamond mining regions in Kimberley and Alexander Bay. The Namaqualand region in the west is famous for its Namaqualand daisies. The southern towns of De Aar and Colesberg, in the Great Karoo, are major transport nodes between Johannesburg, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. In the northeast, Kuruman is known as a mission station and also for its artesian spring, the Eye of Kuruman. The Orange River flows through the province, forming the borders with the Free State in the southeast and with Namibia to the northwest. The river is also used to irrigate the many vineyards in the arid region near Upington.
Native speakers of Afrikaans comprise a higher percentage of the population in the Northern Cape than in any other province. The Northern Cape's four official languages are Afrikaans, Tswana, Xhosa, and English. Minorities speak the other official languages of South Africa, and a few people speak indigenous languages such as Nama and Khwe.
The provincial motto, Sa ǁa ǃaĩsi 'uĩsi ("We go to a better life"), is in the Nǀu language of the Nǁnǂe (ǂKhomani) people. It was given in 1997 by one of the language's last speakers, Ms. Elsie Vaalbooi of Rietfontein, who has since died. It was South Africa's first officially registered motto in a Khoisan language. Subsequently, South Africa's national motto, ǃKe e ǀxarra ǁke, was derived from the extinct Northern Cape ǀXam language.South African braille
Several braille alphabets are used in South Africa. For English, Unified English Braille has been adopted. Nine other languages have been written in braille: Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sesotho, Northern Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu. All print alphabets are restricted to the basic Latin alphabet, with diacritics in some cases; the braille alphabets are likewise basic braille with additional letters to render the diacritics.
The Nguni languages – Ndebele, Swazi, Xhosa, and Zulu – have no diacritics and will not be discussed further. The braille diacritics are shared by South African languages and are described in the sections that follow.
Punctuation for all South African braille alphabets is as in English Braille.South African rand
The rand (sign: R; code: ZAR) is the official currency of South Africa. The rand is subdivided into 100 cents (sign: "c"). The ISO 4217 code is ZAR, from Zuid-Afrikaanse rand (South African rand; the ZA is a historical relic from Dutch and is not used in any current context except the country abbreviation, where it is used because "SA" is allocated to Saudi Arabia. The only correct Afrikaans spelling is Suid-Afrikaanse rand).The rand is legal tender in the Common Monetary Area between South Africa, Swaziland (Eswatini), Lesotho and Namibia, although the last three countries do have their own currencies pegged at par with the rand. When referring to the currency, the abbreviation is usually upper case "R", but the name is spelt "rand" in lower case in both English and Afrikaans.Before 1976, the rand was legal tender in Botswana.Stellenbosch University
Stellenbosch University (Afrikaans: Universiteit Stellenbosch) is a public research university situated in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Stellenbosch is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside the University of Cape Town which received full university status on the same day in 1918. Stellenbosch University (abbreviated as SU) designed and manufactured Africa's first microsatellite, SUNSAT, launched in 1999.Stellenbosch University was the first African university to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.The students of Stellenbosch University are nicknamed "Maties". The term probably arises from the Afrikaans word "tamatie" (meaning tomato, and referring to the maroon sport uniforms and blazer colour). An alternative theory is that the term comes from the Afrikaans colloquialism maat (meaning "buddy" or "mate") originally used diminutively ("maatjie") by the students of the University of Cape Town's precursor, the South African College.
Stellenbosch University is the second-highest ranked African University according to the 2017-2018 QS World University Rankings.Transvaal (province)
The Province of the Transvaal (Afrikaans: Provinsie van die Transvaal), commonly referred to as the Transvaal (; Afrikaans: [ˈtransfɑːl]), was a province of South Africa from 1910 until the end of apartheid in 1994, when a new constitution subdivided it. The name "Transvaal" refers to the province's geographical location to the north of the Vaal River. Its capital was Pretoria, which was also the country's executive capital.Western Cape
The Western Cape (Afrikaans: Wes-Kaap; Xhosa: iNtshona-Koloni) is a province of South Africa, situated on the south-western coast of the country. It is the fourth largest of the nine provinces with an area of 129,449 square kilometres (49,981 sq mi), and the third most populous, with an estimated 6.6 million inhabitants in 2018. About two-thirds of these inhabitants live in the metropolitan area of Cape Town, which is also the provincial capital. The Western Cape was created in 1994 from part of the former Cape Province.
According to contemporary philology
|Other Bantu languages|
mentioned in the