interesting facts afrikaans

6 Interesting Facts About Afrikaans

(Last Updated On: May 13, 2022)

Afrikaans – Dutch Daughter Language

Afrikaans is a Dutch daughter language and is spoken primarily in South Africa and Namibia and partly in parts of Botswana and Zimbabwe. South Africa is known as the “Rainbow Nation” thanks to its mix of cultures across the country. It actually developed as a language among South Dutch settlers in the southern part of Africa between the 18th and 20th centuries.

It originated in the Dutch Cape Colony through a divergence from European Dutch dialects. It was known as the “Dutch cuisine” up to this point, and was not given a prestigious officially recognized position that had been bestowed on other notable European languages ​​in African countries. Afrikaans lexical and syntactic borrowings are mostly for linguistic reasons, deriving from other languages ​​such as Malay, Portuguese, the Khoisan language, Bantu, and even South African English.

Dialects of the Afrikaans Language

The main dialects of the Afrikaans language include three historical dialects that existed after the great trek in 1830. They are the Northern Cape, a mixture of Dutch and Khoi-Khoi, Eastern Cape (a mixture of Dutch and Xhosa), and the last, Western Cape (with the Great Karoo and Kunene tongues). There are many important grammatical words that are related to the following words, similar to the Dutch language:

  1. J is usually written as /j/ in Kaapse (Cape) Afrikaans and /dz/ in the Dutch language.
  2. I am how pronounced ek is
  3. He/She/It is pronounced as hy/sy/dit is
  4. We are pronounced as is ons
  5. You are (plur.) Pronounced as Julle is
  6. They are pronounced as Hulle’s
afrikaans facts

Geographic Distribution of Speakers

Afrikaans is used as the first or second language by the local populations of much of the country of South Africa and is even taught in the country’s schools. As it was primarily developed in the Cape Town area, it is most widely spoken in that particular part of the country and is respected for its origins.

The features contained in the language are of a South-Dutch Dutch nature and contain the normal grammar of the same. The white Afrikaans community that speaks this language is known as “The Boer”. Aside from South Africa, Afrikaans is spoken in parts of Namibia by a small group of white people in Zimbabwe, and it is widely spoken by the South African communities living abroad.

Notable Afrikaans Literature and Music

The recognition of this language brought Africa’s rich cultural heritage into the limelight and enthusiastic performances by Afrikaans-speaking artists promoted its legacy. There are many short stories, novels and dramas produced by these people since the year 2000.

These include notable literary works such as Afstande, Emma and Nella, Geldwolf, Thula-Thula , and Weerloos . There are many works by famous modern artists and rappers that have influenced this music, to name a few, including Kobus, Valiant Swart and Somerfaan. These notable musical works also include Het magical realism in such pieces as enkele recente Afrikaanse RömerAfrikaans literature , three decades short, and many more.

Official Recognition and Legacy

Afrikaans was officially recognized as the official language of the country of South Africa in the year 1925 and is now among the other 11 official languages ​​in the country. Three different destinations make up South Africa’s capital cities. Hertzog was the man who ensured the official status of the Afrikaans language. He played a leading role in shaping and entrenching Article 137 of the South African Constitution, which gave equal status to the language. The enduring legacy of this language’s official status was also introduced into South Africa in the post-apartheid era.

post apartheid afrikaans

10 Interesting Facts about Afrikaans

1. It’s the youngest official language in the world

Afrikaans is the youngest official language in the world. It is spoken in South Africa and Namibia, and is a recognized minority language in Botswana and Zimbabwe. There are approximately 6 million speakers of Afrikaans. Afrikaans has some unique features that make it distinct from other languages. For example, Afrikaans has no grammatical gender and no articles. It also has a simplified verb system, with only two tenses (present and past).

2. Afrikaans is considered either a Dutch daughter language.

Afrikaans is considered either a Dutch daughter language or a West Germanic language. It is spoken by around 6 million people in South Africa and Namibia. There are three main points to consider when discussing Afrikaans: its history, its similarities to other languages, and its role in South Africa today.

3. Afrikaans-speakers understand Dutch better than Dutch-speakers do Afrikaans

Afrikaans is a language spoken in South Africa that is derived from Dutch. Because of this, Afrikaans speakers often have an easier time understanding Dutch than Dutch speakers have understanding Afrikaans. There are three main reasons for this: Afrikaans has simplified grammar, a closer relationship to Dutch vocabulary, and a more consistent pronunciation.This makes it easier for Afrikaans speakers to understand the basic structure of Dutch sentences.

4. Although based on Dutch, Afrikaans has been influenced by a variety of languages

Although based on Dutch, Afrikaans has been influenced by a variety of languages. This is most evident in its vocabulary, which includes words from English, German, Portuguese, and even Malay. As a result, Afrikaans is a unique language that is rich in history and culture.

One of the most notable influences on Afrikaans is English. This is due to the fact that South Africa was a British colony for many years. As a result, many English words have been adopted into Afrikaans. For example, the Afrikaans word for “computer” is “rekenaar”, which is derived from the English word “computer”.

Another significant influence on Afrikaans is German. This is because many of the early settlers in South Africa were of German descent. As a result, many German words have been adopted into Afrikaans. For example, the Afrikaans word for “wool” is “wol”, which is derived from the German word “wolle”.

Yet another influence on Afrikaans is Portuguese. This is because South Africa was once a Portuguese colony. As a result, many Portuguese words have been adopted into Afrikaans. For example, the Afrikaans word for “banana” is “banan”, which is derived from the Portuguese word “banana”. Read out this blog post to know which countires speaks protuguese?

In conclusion, Afrikaans has been influenced by a variety of languages. This is most evident in its vocabulary, which includes words from English, German, Portuguese, and even Malay. As a result, Afrikaans is a unique language that is rich in history and culture.

afrikaans language facts
afrikaans culture and traditions

5. The Dutch weren’t big fans of Afrikaans

When the Dutch first arrived in South Africa in the 1600s, they were not impressed with the local language, Afrikaans.They thought it was too simplistic and unsophisticated. However, over time, they came to appreciate the beauty and simplicity of Afrikaans, and it eventually became one of the official languages of the Netherlands.

6. For several centuries, Afrikaans was only a spoken language

For several centuries, Afrikaans was only a spoken language. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that it began to be used in writing. Afrikaans is a language that developed from Dutch. It is the third most widely spoken language in South Africa, after English and Zulu.

7. There is a secret prison language based on Afrikaans

There is a secret prison language based on Afrikaans. This language is used by prisoners to communicate with each other without being understood by the guards. The language is made up of Afrikaans words and phrases that have been modified to have different meanings. This language allows prisoners to communicate without being overheard and to plan escapes and other activities without being detected.

The secret prison language is a reminder that even in the most oppressive circumstances, people will find ways to resist and to communicate with each other. The language is a testament to the human spirit and the power of communication.

8. During the Apartheid regime, Afrikaans was a protected language

During the Apartheid regime in South Africa, Afrikaans was a protected language. This meant that it was given preferential treatment over other languages and was used as the language of instruction in schools. However, Afrikaans was also the language of the oppressors, and many black South Africans felt that it was a symbol of their oppression.

After the fall of Apartheid, there was a move to make English the only official language of South Africa, but this was opposed by many Afrikaans speakers. However, Afrikaans was not the only language spoken in the country. There were also many other languages spoken by the different ethnic groups.

9. Afrikaans remains controversial

Afrikaans is one of South Africa’s official languages, but it remains controversial. Some people believe that Afrikaans is a language of oppression, while others argue that it is a key part of South African culture. The controversy surrounding Afrikaans is likely to continue for many years to come.

10. Despite being often connected to RSA, Afrikaans is also spoken elsewhere

Despite being often connected to RSA, Afrikaans is also spoken elsewhere. It is a language that has its roots in Dutch, and is spoken by people in South Africa, Namibia, and Botswana. There are also small pockets of Afrikaans speakers in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States. While it is not one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, it is a language with a rich history and culture.


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