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Pronunciation of "ou", as in "jou", should be added to the table in the Orthography section. Lfh (talk) 18:33, 15 January 2010 (UTC)

As far as I can tell the pronounciation of 'ou' in 'jou' is exatly the same as it is for 'koud' as described in the article. payxystaxna (talk) 13:02, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

Too many flags in the infobox[edit]

The number of countries listed in the infobox is IMHO excessive. There may be expat communities in those countries but are they really that significant? Roger (talk) 09:11, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't seem excessive. I believe those are the countries listed at the Afrikaans entry at ethnologue. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 19:22, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Do we have to blindly follow Ethnologue's editorial practices? Take a look at articles about truly worldwide languages such as English and Spanish - they don't use any flags at all. To me it actually looks a bit pathetic. Its as if "arme ou jammergat Afrikaans" is trying too hard to look significant, like a teenager on his first "real" date using too much aftershave. The chip on the shoulder is showing. This is just my own opinion - I don't know if the there is a style guide for language infoboxes. Roger (talk) 21:04, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I would suggest reducing it to just South Africa and Namiba, where Afrikaans is commonly spoken. --NJR_ZA (talk) 21:09, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
English isn't a good example since it's a very widespread international language and actually listing all the places that have English-speaking communities would be so large that it would be meaningless. Some other language articles that do use the flags include Portuguese, Swahili, and Chinese--all languages that are spoken in more than one country but not too many countries.
Ethnologue mentions "Australia, Botswana, Canada, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, New Zealand, Swaziland, United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe" but only gives population sizes for Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia. If we only want "significant" population sizes (whatever that means) then I suppose the latter list is the one we want. Just having South Africa and Namibia would be misrepresenting the distribution. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 21:48, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
OK but please lose the flags - The infobox shouldn't try to look like Idi Amin's jacket! Roger (talk) 22:00, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I thought this was an issue of the number mentioned. There's nothing wrong with using flags in the infobox.
I've reduced the number of languages mentioned to just that short list. If people think that this is misrepresentative, then the longer ethnologue list is the best choice unless there's another source that we can use to determine which countries Afrikaans is spoken in. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 19:00, 4 February 2010 (UTC)
I think NJR_ZA's suggestion to use only the flags of SA and Namibia makes sense. They are the only countries where significant national media publish/broadcast in Afrikaans. I have no objection to listing other countries, without flags, as long as their inclusion is justified - they really do have significant Afrikaans speaking communities. My initial objection that started this discussion is more about style than content per se. Roger (talk) 07:07, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
That's not the meaning behind the flag usage. If we do it differently than it's done elsewhere on Wikipedia, it's going to be confusing. I'm not sure where we draw the line between enough speakers to include and not enough, but media presence is definitely not the measure we should be using. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 07:26, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

The Future of Afrikaans[edit]

I read an article of an Afrikaans speking student, He studied in Belgium and came to the conclusion that for the future of Afikaans it would be best that Afrikaans as written language would adopt Dutch although it differs a bit from Dutch. He studied that nearly half of the dialects spoken in the Netherlands and in Flemish Belgium differ more from Dutch than Afrikaans does. And all these areas have adopted Dutch as the official language.

Afrikaans is diminishing in South Africa.

In his sight (and I agree) is Afrikaans a Dutch dialect. And if it would adopt Dutch as official writing language it would have many advantages for the Afrikaans speaking community in South-Africa and Namibia, think for instance about: - a better economic situation: more books could be sold or buyed, video's, television programms, etc... from and to the Netherlands, Belgium and Surinam and Dutch antilles. - a better political stand: Dutch is more accepted than Afrikaans, and can better stand against English - a better cultural exchange with its roots: music for instance..., broader public: Belgium and netherlands and Surinam

Why don't the Dutch try Afrikaans? Afrikaans is much easier and more beautiful? If all the Dutch speak Afrikaans then foreigners will be more inclined to learn it as it is one of the easiest languages in the world, therefore improving all your points stated above. By the way Afrikaans is NOT a dialect of Dutch. My Aunt lives in Belgium (but works in Holland) and when she brings her Dutch friends over to us we can only speak English as their Dutch is too complicated for Afrikaans speakers. Yes to Dutch people Afrikaans may seem like an easy language, but the understanding is asymmetric. Bezuidenhout (talk) 11:15, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
It is unlikely that either Afrikaans speaking or Dutch speaking communities will ever convert to the other, and I cannot see any reason why either groups would want to. It is true that Afrikaans has it's roots in dutch, but it has evolved to become more than a mere dialect of Dutch. Saying such a thing is tantamount to calling Dutch a dialect of German. Dutch has evolved since Afrikaans broke away from it, just as German has evolved since Dutch broke away from High German Dialects. Afrikaans is at least a pidgin with dutch roots. A dialect is distinguished by its vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, but not its writing. Afrikaans definitely needed it's own writing system, when the changes occurring in the language created a disconnect from the philosophies of Dutch. Often Afrikaans and Dutch are mutually unintelligible to the average man in the street. The fact that some Afrikaans people understand Dutch fairly easily and vice versa, does not mean that the languages are the same. Italian used to be spoken, but all writing was in Latin until Dante changed that. Would it be fair to ask the Italians to return to Latin as their official language. The cultures of the Afrikaans (developing country & Africa) and Dutch (developed country & EU) just differ to such an extent that cultural exchange via books and music and the like is severely limited. Even as Afrikaans is diminishing in South Africa, so are many of the other native languages, and Afrikaans is in no way unique. There is no tried and tested way to save a local language threatened by the increasing use of English, the effects are seen worldwide, and not just in Africa. Adopting Dutch as an official language would just change the problem to Dutch replacing Afrikaans. As a native speaker of Afrikaans and of English, I accept that Afrikaans is the language of home, and English is the language of the world. Among my family and Afrikaans speaking friends, Afrikaans is alive and well, and spoken every day. English though is the only language that belongs in schools, universities and large business, because that is the Lingua Franca of South Africa, and there is nothing that can (or should, in my opinion) be done about that, short of the absurdity of having every person in the country fluent in every one of the official languages. As long as there are Afrikaans mothers and fathers speaking Afrikaans to their children, Afrikaans will continue to exist. payxystaxna (talk) 14:24, 11 July 2012 (UTC)
I regret that you think like that. Contrary to you, I believe Afrikaans can and should be used as a language of culture, science and media alongside English, just as other European languages with a similar number of native speakers like Catalan, Swedish or Danish are. There is no reason why it should be confined to home use. In particular, in areas like the Western Cape, where over 50 % of the population speak Afrikaans as first language, Afrikaans should be the dominant language used by government agencies/departments. BTW, I am not an Afrikaans speaker and not even a citizen of South Africa. (talk) 17:37, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I think this section only tells half the story.

The details of where the use of Afrikaans is expanding and that it is perceived now not only as the language of the former oppressor (there are many native speakers of Afrikaans who are not white) are no doubt true, but it is clear that the position of English is strengthening in South Africa at the expense of Afrikaans, let alone the other eight official languages, in the public and academic sphere. Take a look at the ongoing 'Taaldebat' on LitNet ( and especially the discussion on the use of Afrikaans in traditionally Afrikaans-language Universities - Stellenbosch - in particular. The spread of English is a world-wide phenomenon, but the position in South Africa is particularly curious because it is quite definitely a minority language, while the majority language in the country - Zulu - has nowhere near the same status. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:05, 5 February 2010 (UTC)

Just a nitpick: Zulu is not the majority language, there isn't one at all. No single language is spoken by anywhere near 50% of the population, thus in SA all languages are minority languages. See Languages of South Africa. Roger (talk) 21:07, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
But Zulu has a plurality of speakers, right? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 22:56, 5 February 2010 (UTC)
In terms of first languages, yes Zulu is at the top of the list but it tends to be limited to the Zulu ethnic group and is also not as popular as as second language with non-Zulus as English or Afrikaans is. The issue with English is much wider than just the Afrikaans vs. English debate. Many commentators blame the dismal high school graduation statistics of particularly black students on the fact that they tend to be taught in English rather than their mother-tongue. The almost exclusive use of English in government communications is also an issue that many critics address. The failure of the government as a whole to address the development of particularly the 9 official Bantu languages in the sphere of education and government communication is a sore point for many. A simple example is that most forms and other documents that the public have to use in the course of obtaining govermnment services (anything from registering a car to applying for a social pension) are only available in English (and sometimes Afrikaans). Roger (talk) 11:08, 7 February 2010 (UTC)
Mea culpa, yes, I used the term "majority" inaccurately. I did actually mean that Zulu speakers form the largest linguistic group (and I can't count either, sorry!) Roger's comment above seems to support my view that this section of the article paints too rosy and simplistic a picture AlOgrady (talk) 23:50, 9 February 2010 (UTC)
I think the "picture" is a lot more complicated than the scope of an encyclopedia article anyway. And the assumption that "official government support" of a language is dispositive strikes me as unsound. The social cohesion of Afrikaners would seem to be a better indicator of the future of the language. The socio-political changes of the past two decades and the dangerous and uncertain future of South Africa probably work to the benefit of Afrikaans' survival among the communities where it is spoken. (talk) 22:52, 7 July 2010 (UTC)
That may be what you meant, but the reality makes that comment make little sense as there is no reason to devote most of a countries attention to a language that is the first language of only 24% percent of the population and is not the most widely understood language. Any effort to devote more attention to Zulu language in public life would only seem like the best choice if coupled with increased attention to the other African languages which have large (though not quite as many) numbers of speakers. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:37, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
Are we talking about the article or something else? I'm confused now. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 20:45, 21 February 2010 (UTC)
I think that we should at least add something about the current decline of Afrikaans as a tertiary education language.00m (talk) 22:53, 8 November 2010 (UTC)
Based on Census figure alone, Afrikaans as a domestic language is not declining in South Africa. In fact, the percentage of South Africans who claim to speak Afrikaans most often at home remained virtually unchanged (around 13.5 %) both in the 2001 and 2011 Census surveys. The use of Afrikaans as a public language, i.e in the media, schools/universities and public administration is, however, declining compared to the apartheid era and the ANC is not the only one to blame. The Western Cape province for example is mostly Afrikaans-speaking and is governed by the opposition Democratic Alliance party. Nevertheless, most websites of the Western Cape government and most speeches by provincial ministers, including the Premier herself, are in English only. (talk) 17:26, 3 August 2013 (UTC)


I doubt if the accents of Gautengers vs Capetonians have anything to do with the fact that there were two dialects of Afrikaans (a western and and eastern one, not counting the northern one). With the advent of rail and the automobile, the speakers of these "dialects" have moved around quite a bit and the boundaries of accents based on the dialects may be indistinguishable by now. This is just my opinion. -- leuce 18:15, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I guess so, it does say in the Boer article that the two ethnic groups have been dispersed around the country in lots of cases, however there is still specifically Boer communities and I'm quite sure that their accent and pronunciation will differ greatly from that of a Cape Afrikaner. In the way that Cape Malay Afrikaans- speakers add -jie to the end of almost every word (or at least according to Leonard Van Os), the Boer and Afrikaner accents will, in those ethnicity defined communities, vary. 09:57, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

I’d like to see the “Dialects” section expanded; specifically, what are the differences, and are there significant differences between black and white speakers in the same region, à la AAVE? I would assume so, given the historical separation between the two groups; I recently saw on a TV show (I don’t speak Afrikaans) black speakers and white speakers interviewed, and their accents didn’t sound the same, to my ears. Then again, maybe Afrikaans wasn’t the blacks’ first language (I know it was the whites’), although then wouldn’t they be interviewed in English, most likely?
Would other Afrikaans speakers be able to pick out the ethnicity of someone over the phone, the way an American would be unlikely to peg someone from Harlem as being a white Brooklynite or Southerner? —Wiki Wikardo 20:56, 6 February 2010 (UTC)
Some background so you can place my comments in context. I grew up in Natal and have been Afrikaans/English bilingual from a very early age. The town only had one white highschool (Apartheid era) and it had to cater for both Afrikaans and English speakers. Due to the small number of students for some of the classes, they were combined and presented either alternatively in Afrikaans and English or both languages during the same session.
I some cases it is possible to pick up on the ethnicity or region of the caller. If someone from the Western Cape should call me, I will probably be able to identify that they are from that region. Regarding the fist comment in this discussion, I have noted that limited physical movement of people have little effect on dialects. People tend to adapt their use of a language to how the majority of people around them use it. Someone that moves from the Western Cape to Gauteng will most likely adapt their use of the language and after a year or two speak the same as those around them. The younger the person in question, the faster they tend to adapt.
Picking up on ethnicity can be a lot harder. In my previous job I worked closely with two coloured coworkers. It was in the IT industry, so we would mostly speak English in the work environment because nobody can be bothered trying to translate technical terms to Afrikaans. Social interactions however were often in Afrikaans when there was no non-Afrikaans speakers in the group. It would be easy to tell over the phone that one was not a white caller, but it would be impossible to do so with the other. Both of them were from the same region (Eastern Cape) and had very much the same background and education level, so why the difference should exist is unclear. As a further example, last week I placed an order over the phone and when I went to collect I expected to meet a boere tannie (a large, older, white lady, think Nanny Ogg), but was greeted with a coloured version of the same. Black people are generally a lot easier to identify since the majority do not have Afrikaans as a first/home language, but every here one will find exceptions to the rule. One of the advisors at my bank is a black male and from just a phone conversation most people will probably assume that he is white. --NJR_ZA (talk) 08:35, 7 February 2010 (UTC)

Found a Source[edit]

Hey I found a source on Afrikaans [1] which say that 13,000 speak Afrikaans as a primary language in the USA, but I guess that isn't notable enough to make it into the article? It does have a useful list of stats though. Invmog (talk) 03:59, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

It doesn't look like a reliable source, but it doesn't mean it's wrong. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 07:49, 13 February 2010 (UTC)

something seems missing[edit]

it says at the end of the article that the younger generation sees it less as "the language of the oppressor", but the article never talked about it being seen as that to begin with. It seems like some elaboration on that issue is called for. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:39, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

We could incorporate some material and sources from the Soweto uprising article as education in Afrikaans was a major cause of the uprising. Roger (talk) 21:33, 21 February 2010 (UTC)

Dutch comparisons[edit]

Are all the Dutch comparisons really necessary and do they add anything? I don't believe they do, and simply confuse the article. Other Wikipedia language articles don't tend to make such comparisons with closely related languages, eg every phrase on the Dutch article doesn't have a German equivalent next to it, Portuguese doesn't have Spanish next to it etc. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:55, 27 March 2010 (UTC)

Literature I've seen on Afrikaans does compare it to Dutch more frequently than that of other languages. This article could do with some expansion, though, so perhaps with that expansion we'll find less per capita comparison with Dutch. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 02:01, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

I also question this. The history of Afrikaans also seems to have been "white washed" in this article. Afrikaans used to be known as "kombuis Dutch" (kitchen Dutch) and it started out as a language spoken by black slaves, and between black slaves and their white masters. It was in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries that the Afrikaanertaalbeweging (Afrikaans Language Movement) was formed as part of the White Nationalist project. This movement Anglicised the language, removing many African words and structures and replacing them with a more Dutch-like language. The main dialects that you find today in Afrikaans are not between a "Northern" and a "Southern" Afrikaans (although there may be some minor differences in the white communities that can be characterised like this). The main dialects are between rural Cape Afrikaans, street Afrikaans and standard Afrikaans. I'm pleased to see that other articles on Afrikaans in Wikipedia have a better understanding: "Afrikaans, a language whose modern version is more than simply a Dutch derivative as some would suggest, due to the large amount of new words introduced regularly, and the large amount of unique slang words used, shares roughly a 75 - 85% similarity rate of its vocabulary with Dutch[1][2][3]. Despite this, there are many examples which indicate that the two languages are actually quite distinct. Afrikaans tends to take a rather significant amount of its vocabulary and language characteristics from other languages such as Malay, Portuguese, Bantu languages, Khoisan languages and to a lesser extent, French.[4][5] Afrikaans has also been significantly influenced by South African English, particularly since the end of Apartheid in 1994." (from (talk) 17:22, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Your assertion is quite controversial and in parts just incorrect. It's controversial because academic sources do not agree on exactly how Afrikaans originated - some emphasise a direct evolution from the Dutch and others Dutch-non European interaction. So to say that "it started out as a language spoken by black slaves, and between black slaves and their white masters" is not just controversial, it strikes me as folk-linguistics with a political flavour. That is the other problem - the different theories tend to have different political colourations: the former an Afrikaner nationalist one and the latter a leftist, anti-apartheid one.
As for "anglicising" that would just be incorrect: if this process took place (and there doesn't seem much evidence for it) it would be a process of "Duchification". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:42, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

wrong quote[edit]

The article reads: Aside from English, Afrikaans deviates the furthest from the grammars of the other Germanic languages.[3] It gives as a source: Harbert, Wayne (2007), The Germanic Languages, Cambridge Language Surveys, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. One can access that source here, but I could not find such a claim. I therefore removed it.--Hooiwind (talk) 00:53, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect IPA pronounciation in the InfoBox[edit]

I am not an IPA pronounciation specialist, but I am fairly certain that as far as standard pronounciation of the word Afrikaans goes that it would be [ɐfriˈkɑːns] rather than [ɐfrəˈkɑ̃ːs]. Since the /i/ is in a location of secondary stress, it would not be weakened to schwa(/ə/) as it would have been in an unstressed position. I also think that the nasalisation is overaccented, and that the /n/ is definitely audible and pronounced seprately from the vowel. payxystaxna (talk) 13:37, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

I agree, there is no schwa in the word and nasalisation of the /n/ is not current standard Afrikaans, In my experience such nasalisation is either archaic or "low class", sorry I can't quote any sources. Roger (talk) 17:52, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

IPA symbols[edit]

There seems to be problems with stransription of graphemes to IPA symbols. I think the section should be updated. For example the two separate phonemes of the grapheme i in afrikaans are [ə] (more common pronounciation) and [i] in some words (i.e. Afrikaans and mite), but the table shows only [i] which is incorrect for the example since kind is pronounced [kənd] not like the german [kind]. I would make the changes myself, but I do not have a reliable reference work to start from. payxystaxna (talk) 13:37, 14 July 2010 (UTC)

does this mean what I think it means?[edit]

"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 a reformation of old Afrikaner nationalist racial policy."

This seems to me to be saying that young South Africans support a return to apartheid?!? If true, it is hardly complimentary, and needs a reference! If that is not what it is saying, it needs re-writing so the meaning is clearer. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:08, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

It is a very confusing statement. The reference to "old Afrikaner nationalist racial policy" is at best a non-sequiter and at worst simply wrong. There is no significant support for a return to Apartheid - least of all among the young. It also does not match up with "the de-politicised view" at the start of the sentence. On the other hand it is not really clear that "a reformation of" means "a return to", it could in fact mean "a move away from". I'd support simply deleting the confused section from "and this is supported..." Roger (talk) 16:00, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Seconded and done. --Pgallert (talk) 18:10, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

My hand is in warm water[edit]

There seems to be a duplicate statement in the section Afrikaans phrases section:

A sentence having the same meaning and written identically in Afrikaans and English is:
  • My hand is in warm water. ([məi hand is ən varem water])

Similarly the sentence:

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

has almost identical meaning in Afrikaans and English although the Afrikaans warm corresponds more closely in meaning to English hot.

The IPA is not the same in either one, but both sentences seem to mean the same thing, or could be combined in one sentence, no? (It's like saying "This sentence means the same in both languages. And this same sentence means ALMOST the same thing in both languages too.") I recommend removing either one, but since I don't speak Afrikaans, I don't know which one should be removed! Any ideas? AirOdyssey (Talk) 04:12, 25 September 2010 (UTC)

Okay, I see it's changed. Baie Dankie, Plasmic Physics! AirOdyssey (Talk) 14:51, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
Dis geen probleem.--Plasmic Physics (talk) 20:58, 26 September 2010 (UTC)
4/12/2012...The sentence has been completely removed...but the reason given does not comply with English. Warm is NOT hot. Warm is a comfortable temperature for water usage (washing hands, etc.). Hot begins where comfortably warm ends. The sentence should not have been removed. [[2]]


In the "Orthography" section it says "[t]his 'n is usually pronounced as just a weak vowel..."

It should read, "[t]his 'n is correctly pronounced as a weak vowel..." In my experience, most Afrikaans speakers incorrectly pronounce the "'n" as like an "n" are even taught to at school, although it is incorrect. This is a remnant of the Dutch equivalent "een" which is pronounced like the "in" in "shin," but it should basically be pronounced like a schwa. (talk) 18:15, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

I agree. I speak Afrikaans fluently. It is in fact a perfect homophone of the English indefinite article "a" - the sound is definitely a schwa. Roger (talk) 21:51, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
Wouldn't it be a better comparison to say, 'n sounds like a, and een sounds like an? I sometimes hear the word een pronounced as hin when a was meant, is this correct --Plasmic Physics (talk) 21:57, 28 October 2010 (UTC)
The "hin" pronounciation is used for saying the word as a word or for emphasis, such as to stress the singularity of the noun it refers to. The vowel sound of the word "een" (meaning "one") is the same as the vowel in "beer". Roger (talk) 22:24, 28 October 2010 (UTC)

Native speakers[edit]

All over wikipedia it states that there are 6 million native speakers of Afrikaans. Just to try and figure this figure out (haha): We have:

  • 60% of 5.2 million white people (this includes Afrikaans people who immigrated abroad) - So that's 3.12 million?
  • About 90% 4.5 million of coloured South Africans - So thats 4.02 million.
    • Some say that only 80% of the coloureds speak Afrikaans, so if you want we can make this figure 3.6 million?

Either way this addes up to 6.7-7.2 million, which is already (when rounded) closest to 7 million in both cases.

  • In South Africa there are 400,000 black people who speak Afrikaans as a first language!
  • As well as in Neighboring Namibia: 60% of the white people there (coincidently) also speak Afrikaans as first lang. So out of a possible 80,000 in Namibia, that makes about 50,000, and then PLUS the coloured population of Namibia, so around 8% of the population: So this makes 170,000? In actual fact, Namibian government said that 11% of the pop. Speaks Afrikaans as a first lang. So that makes up around the correct figure of 230,000? So add this and we are well beyond 7 million, even at the lowest figure! Thanks for your time :) Bezuidenhout (talk) 16:44, 30 March 2011 (UTC)
According to the 2001 census there are 6 million (well, 5 983 420) first-language Afrikaans-speakers in South Africa. (That breaks down by race as 3.2 million coloureds (79% of all coloureds), 2.5 million whites (59% of all whites), 0.3 million blacks, and a negligible number of Indians.) But of course this does not account for any Afrikaans-speakers in the neighbouring countries or overseas. The Namibian census (also done in 2001) does indeed say that 11% of Namibians speak Afrikaans as first language, which comes out as 200 000 people, given that the population of Namibia is reckoned as 1.8 million. Of course, neither of these account for changes in population since 2001. - htonl (talk) 19:53, 1 April 2011 (UTC)

For obvious reasons (intermarriage, work) most Anglo population in Western and Northern Cape will end speaking Afrikaans as their first language, so being assimilated by Afrikaners and Coloureds.-- (talk) 02:08, 4 April 2011 (UTC)

Issue with the lead of the "History" section[edit]

For quite some time now, I have an issue with the lead of the "History" section in this article. Somehow, I haven't had the guts to edit it, as it is heavily sourced... (the sources do not confirm what's written there by the way, but I'm quite sure someone will revert me for deleting unsourced information). This is the section I'm talking about:

The Afrikaans language originated mainly from Dutch[5][6] and developed in South Africa. The Afrikaans language was also known as the Kitchen Language (Kombuistaal) nearly sixty years ago.[7] It is commonly said that Dutch and Afrikaans are mutually intelligible; however, this is often not true[8][9] as Afrikaans tends to have inherited a lot of its vocabulary and language characteristics from other languages such as Portuguese, Malay, Bantu languages and Khoisan languages.[10][11] A large number of unique slang words are present in Afrikaans as well. Despite this, it is still possible for a Dutch person to reasonably understand an Afrikaans person. It was considered a Dutch dialect in South Africa up until the late 19th century when it became recognised as a distinct language.[12] A relative majority of the first settlers whose descendants today are the Afrikaners were from the United Provinces (now Netherlands and Belgium), though there were also many from Germany, a considerable number from France, and some from Norway, Portugal, Scotland, and various other countries.

Statements I have an issue with:

  • "however, this is often not true[8][9] as Afrikaans tends to have inherited a lot of its vocabulary and language characteristics from other languages such as Portuguese, Malay, Bantu languages and Khoisan languages": As a Dutchman, I can assure you that this is not true. I have no training in Afrikaans, but apart from the word baie, I haven't come across a word in Afrikaans that is not used in Dutch. Reading Afrikaans should be no problem for any Dutchman (listening to an Afrikaner is a different thing, as Afrikaans has a lot more diphthongs than Dutch), and certainly not because there are so many Portuguese, Malay, Bantu, and Khoisan loanwords! This is consistent with the claim the article itself makes that 90%-95% of Afrikaans vocabolary is ultimately derived from Dutch.
  • "A large number of unique slang words are present in Afrikaans as well.": Afrikaans is not unique in using slang, and from reading the article about those slang terms, I can say that many of those slangs are used in Dutch as well. It is a bit strange to include slang in this mutual intelligibility thing though. You don't expect an American to understand Cockney rhyming slang, but that doesn't mean British English and American English are less mutually intelligible.

I think the lead should be rewritten. Any other opinions? Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 17:10, 19 May 2011 (UTC)

Nobody else has an opinion on this? Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 15:24, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I would also take issue with the "a lot" bit, because the non-Germanic element of Afrikaans can be greatly exaggerated, especially when considering the core vocabulary and excluding the names of native plants, animals, things etc and words that are not used in strictly formal Afrikaans. It should also be noted that Afrikaans has escaped a lot of the French borrowings that have made their way into Dutch. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:32, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
As a Dutch speaker who reads Afrikaans, I can confirm what Fentener is saying. Besides a handful of exceptions, all Afrikaans words have cognates in Dutch. I still have to encounter the Portuguese, Malay, Bantu and Khoisan influences. The few words that Afrikaans did take from Malay, Dutch reined in as well (like amok 'amuck', bakkelei 'to bicker' and soebat 'to beg'). Baie is indeed a notable exception. (talk) 22:53, 13 March 2012 (UTC)
How about 'piesang' (borrowed from Malay) opposed to 'banaan'? What can also confuse a Dutch speaker, is our use of 'het' - when we use it, it means have or had. 'Ek het niks verkeert gedoen nie.' (I have nothing incorrect done not: I have done nothing wrong.) Plasmic Physics (talk) 00:44, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
'Pisang' is also used in Dutch (although rarely nowadays). 'Het' may be confusing in isolation, but in a context, it poses no problem. I think there is hardly any Dutch person who would not understand the example you gave: 'Ek het niks verkeert gedoen nie.' And besides, some Dutch dialects use 'het' in the same way. -- Lindert (talk) 10:25, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
It seems that Pisang entered Dutch in the 17th century, about the time that the Cape was settled, and it did indeed come from Malay, so did baadje, bakeleien, soebatten and many others.Winkel, J (1901). Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche taal.  --NJR_ZA (talk) 19:59, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
There are indeed false friends and words that have had a strong shift in spelling, pronounciation or meaning. But that's not the point; the point made here is that the non-Dutch influences are less important than the article currently implies. Examples of core words coming from other sources than Dutch are scant. One could even argue that standard Afrikaans is more Dutch than standard Dutch (standard Dutch borrowed more words from other languages than Afrikaans did). Morgengave (talk) 16:53, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Oh, OK. Just out of interest - why is the Afrikaans words for orange, lemon, and potatoe: 'lemoen', 'suurlemoen', and 'aardappel', where did that come from? Plasmic Physics (talk) 11:09, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
'Aardappel' is simply Dutch; why an orange is called 'lemoen', I have no idea ('limoen' in Dutch means lime), but 'suurlemoen' is of course a logical derivation of the former, seeing that the lemon is very 'zuur' (sour). -- Lindert (talk) 11:31, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
One must remember that Afrikaans derived from 17th century Dutch, not 21st century Dutch. What did lamoen mean in Dutch back then? 2. Dit was gewone Hollands om te se: qardyn vir qordvn , lamoen vir lemoen en ravier vir rivier.Polenis, Fritz (1999). Die Oorsprong van Afrikaans. 
Additionally, oranges probably only reached the Netherlands in the late 1500's or early 1600's; at the time the Cape was settled they may have used limoen for both oranges and limes due to the similarities. --NJR_ZA (talk) 19:05, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I thought that 'kartoffel' was Dutch for potatoe, maybe I am confused with German? I can't speak either, but I have an interest in my heritage. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:09, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Please excuse my spelling of Afrikaans words - it's been over a decade since I studied the language at school. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:16, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
As I don't speak Afrikaans, I have no idea if your spelling is off ;)
"Kartoffel' is indeed German. By the way, I found that the Sotho term for orange is 'lamune' or 'lamunu'. Maybe Afrikaans got 'lemoen' from there? -- Lindert (talk) 14:28, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
No Sotho got it from Afrikaans.
A few observations: I find it interesting that the "concerns" raised here all come from Dutch speakers. I believe it's fairly safe to assume that these people have fairly limited exposure to Afrikaans and then it would practically always be only formal "Standaard Afrikaans" and little or no exposure to the wider variety of colloquial varieties. "Standaard Afrikaans" is by far the most conservative variety as far as staying close to its Dutch roots is concerned - it is after all tightly regulated by the Taalkomissie. Other varieties tend to be far more richly endowed with borrowings from a wide variety of "donor" languages. So far none of the participants in this conversation have identified themself as a native Afrikaans speaker either. Roger (talk) 14:43, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
Indeed, it would be nice to have more Afrikaans speakers here. In my experience we Dutch are always heavily overrepresented in internet discussions. By the way, my purpose was not to raise any 'concerns', only to answer some questions. I have no issue with the current form of the history section (which by the way has changed significantly since this discussion was started). -- Lindert (talk) 15:24, 14 March 2012 (UTC)
I will try to find an apropriate page at the Afrikaans Wikipedia to post a note requesting participation in this discussion. Roger (talk) 17:06, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Indeed the amount of non-dutch in Afrikaans has been exaggerated because we like to think Afrikaans is a unique language rather than a creole. It is definitely not a creole because Afrikaans people cannot understand Dutch people very well (although vice versa it's a different story). There are a number of things in Dutch that differ such as "Piesang" (mentioned above), Baadjie (coat), Baie (mentioned above), the double negative (ek het geen idee nie; from french?). If you are unsure about the differences between Afrikaans and Dutch, please see the actual article here, and maybe even see the same article on Afrikaans wikipedia via the wikilinks. As for slang words, however, I must disagree, there is an ENORMOUS vocabulary outside of standaard-afrikaans which Dutch people just WON'T understand. Can a Dutch person for example understand this video on youtube? Baie Dankie, Groete :) Bezuidenhout (talk) 18:18, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I grew up using both English and Afrikaans in about equal amounts; High School was dual language with some classes presented in Afrikaans and others in English. For a comparison of how similar Dutch and Afrikaans is I did a quick google translation of the first paragraph from nl:Afrikaans to Afrikaans. Google did quite a good job and delivered quite passable Afrikaans with just a couple of small exceptions.

The Dutch

Het Afrikaans is een West-Germaanse taal die hoofdzakelijk in Zuid-Afrika en Namibië wordt gesproken. De taal is de dochtertaal van het Nederlands, ontstaan uit zeventiende-eeuwse Nederlandse dialecten, en werd historisch Kaap-Hollands genoemd. Waarschijnlijk is 90 tot 95% van de woordenschat van Nederlandse origine. Daarnaast is de taal, zowel grammaticaal als in woordenschat, door het Portugees, het Frans, het Maleis, de Bantoe-talen, de Khoisan-talen en tegenwoordig ook door het Engels beïnvloed. De grootste verschillen tussen het Afrikaans en Nederlands zijn dan ook de spelling, morfologie en grammatica.

Translated Afrikaans with my recommended changes in italics or striken

Die Afrikaans is 'n Wes-Germaanse taal wat hoofsaaklik in Suid-Afrika en Namibië gepraat word. Die taal is die 'n dochtertaal dogtertaal van die Nederlands, ontstaan ​​uit sewentiende-eeuse Nederlandse dialekte, en is histories Kaap-Hollands genoem. Waarskynlik is 90 tot 95% van die woordeskat van Nederlandse oorsprong. Daarbenewens is die taal, sowel grammaties as in woordeskat, deur die Portugees, Franse, het die Maleis, die Bantoe-tale, die Khoisan-tale en deesdae ook deur die Engels beïnvloed. Die grootste verskille tussen Afrikaans en Nederlands is dan ook die spelling, morfologie en grammatika. --NJR_ZA (talk) 18:26, 20 March 2012 (UTC)

There are indeed many words that are different between the two languages. I don't know Dutch very well, but the following are for example only a few everyday Afrikaans word (most taken from the Afrikaans article on the subject) that you probably won't find in Dutch: Baadjie (jacket), mandjie (basket), baklei (fight), blatjang (chutney), amper (nearly), kraal (pen, also an Afrikaans loanword in English), mielie (mealie), gogga (insect), assegaai (used in English as assegai), kierie (walking stick), dagga (marihuana), fundi (expert), tjaila (go home), tjips (chips), tjommie (chum or friend), tjop (chop), veld (an Afrikaans loanword in English), aardvark (an Afrikaans loanword in English), bobotie (a dish with curried mincemeat), sambreel (umbrella)
Some words also have different meanings in Afrikaans and Dutch: vaak – Afrikaans sleepy, Dutch often
  • Wat is jou naam? – Hoe heeft jij?
  • Wat maak jy? - Wat ben je aan het doen?
  • Ek is lief vir jou - Ik hou van je/jou.
  • Ek het al geëet - Ik heb al gegeten
  • Stem jy saam? - Ga je daarmee akkoord?
  • Ek is halfpad daar - Ik ben halverwege
  • Ons hou daarvan om te braai - Wij houden ervan om te barbecueën

I don't, however, agree with Bezuidenhout that Dutch people understand Afrikaans, but not the other way around. Afrikaans pupils get a basic konwledge of Dutch at school, so they can understand Dutch to a certain extent, but from experience I know that Dutch people find it difficult to understand Afrikaans. Winstonza (talk) 19:08, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, there are some words that do not derive from Dutch, but taken as a percentage of the total number of words in the language I don't think it will qualify as many. As for a Dutch speaker understanding Afrikaans or the other way around; well pronounciation is the real problem there. I can watch the Dutch news on DSTV and only understand it partially, but if that same news report was given to me in writing I'm sure I would fare a lot better. --NJR_ZA (talk) 19:26, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I think it is difficult to define "many". If there are a thousand words in Afrikaans that have a different source than Dutch, I would call it many while somebody else may call it "a few". Maybe a better term is "significant"? Winstonza (talk) 20:08, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
Probably better to drop the subjective words all together and just stick to percentages with solid references. More interestingly is that you will find that many of those words were already in Dutch before Afrikaans became a separate dialect. See Winkel, J (1901). Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche taal. . The Dutch were the travellers and international traders back in the 17th century and they naturally assimilated many foreign words into their language. Some of them survive in Dutch until today; while some has died in Dutch, but survive in Afrikaans. --NJR_ZA (talk) 20:25, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
mandje and baadje survived not only in Afrikaans, but also in Dutch (at least up to 1904)...van Schothorst, Wijnand (1904). Het dialect der Noord-West-Veluwe.  --NJR_ZA (talk) 20:55, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
For those still interested, here are some words in Afrikaans that AFAIK aren't in Dutch: Gogga, Assegaai, Donga, Karos, Kierie, Dagga, Kraal, Mielie, Blatjang, Fundi, Tjaila. For those who can read Afrikaans, most of them are mentioned here: af:Verskille tussen Afrikaans en Nederlands JCBrand (talk) 18:25, 23 March 2012 (UTC)
We should also keep in mind that there are varieties of Afrikaans with vocabularies that differ significantly from Standaard Afrikaans - varieties such as Kaaps, Namakwaland Afrikaans, Griekwa Afrikaans, etc. have a much higher proportion of words taken from languages other than Dutch. Also remember that Afrikaans and Dutch have a 300 year history of more or less separation - The roots of Afrikaans are in 17th century South Hollandic dialects, not modern standard Nederlands. Roger (talk) 07:09, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Nice to see that finally a discussion emerged :). It doesn't have much to do with my original issue with the sentence "It is commonly said that Dutch and Afrikaans are mutually intelligible; however, this is often not true as Afrikaans tends to have inherited a lot of its vocabulary and language characteristics from other languages such as Portuguese, Malay, Bantu languages and Khoisan languages", as I already replaced that part of the History section with something which I took from the "differences between Dutch and Afrikaans" article on Wikipedia (actually, according to linguistic literature it seems there are more loanwords in Dutch than Afrikaans...). But it is a nice discussion. Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 02:31, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

A reply to Winstonza's:

There are indeed many words that are different between the two languages. I don't know Dutch very well, but the following are for example only a few everyday Afrikaans word (most taken from the Afrikaans article on the subject) that you probably won't find in Dutch:

  • Baadjie (jacket), I cannot think of a Dutch cognate indeed
  • mandjie (basket), Dutch: "mandje", exact cognate which has the same meaning, very common in Dutch
  • baklei (fight), Dutch: "bakkelei", the verb "bakkeleien" is common, means "to fight" or "to quarrel"
  • blatjang (chutney), indeed Malay and not common in Dutch
  • amper (nearly), amper means "scarcely" in Dutch, whereas it means "almost" in Afrikaans. A false friend to some degree, but full cognates. A good case of what linguists call a semantic shift
  • kraal (pen, also an Afrikaans loanword in English), "kraal" means "bead" in Dutch (small round object), and I guess this is the origin of the Afrikaans word... "kraalpen" would seem a nice alternative to the loanword "ballpoint"
  • mielie (mealie), Dutch: "milie", although this is quite archaic nowadays.
  • gogga (insect), indeed unintelligible, loanword from Nama
  • assegaai (used in English as assegai), a loanword from Berber via Arab in Afrikaans, English, and Dutch. Not used in Dutch too much as we don't have too much of them around here in the Netherlands. The Dutch word is also "assegaai"
  • kierie (walking stick), I cannot think of a Dutch cognate indeed
  • dagga (marihuana), indeed unintelligible, loanword from Nama
  • fundi (expert), would that be short for "fundamentalist"? If so, then it is the same word in Dutch, as well as in English, by the way...
  • tjaila (go home), indeed unintelligle
  • tjips (chips), you think Dutch people would not understand this? Dutch word: chips
  • tjommie (chum or friend), would be unintelligle if you don't know what a chum is
  • tjop (chop), an obvious English loanword, not too hard to understand for anyone with a little knowledge of English
  • veld (an Afrikaans loanword in English), Dutch: "veld" (FYI: the English cognate is "field")
  • aardvark (an Afrikaans loanword in English), Dutch: "aardvarken" (literally means "earth pig" in Dutch, as well as in Afrikaans I suppose)
  • bobotie (a dish with curried mincemeat), You can buy it in every supermarket in the Netherlands
  • sambreel (umbrella) indeed unintelligle

Some words also have different meanings in Afrikaans and Dutch:

  • vaak – Afrikaans sleepy, Dutch often indeed another false friend, but I think most Dutch people would know what you are after when you say it. vaak hebben is archaic Dutch for slaap hebben (to be sleepy). More importantly, the Dutch sandman is still called Klaas Vaak, so using "vaak" for sleepy will immediately ring a bell...


  • Wat is jou naam? – Hoe heeft jij? this is a wrong translation... "hoe heeft jij?" is complete gibberish in Dutch, it doesn't mean anything. Correct Dutch is "Wat is jouw naam?"... only the "w" is different (but that's merely a spelling difference)
  • Wat maak jy? - Wat ben je aan het doen? "Wat maak jij?" would be the cognate sentence in Dutch, and is in fact fully grammatically correct. If you meet a particularly pedantic person, he/she would think you were asking "what are you building?", but I bet most people would understand you're asking what he/she is doing...
  • Ek is lief vir jou - Ik hou van je/jou. "Ik ben lief voor jou" is the cognate sentence in Dutch, "Ik ben verliefd op jou" is probably closer when it comes to semantics. Flemish would say "Ik zie je graag", by the way. In any case, everyone would understand what you're trying to say. If not, probably something is wrong with your body language
  • Ek het al geëet - Ik heb al gegeten This is an exact cognate sentence (in fact, a 2-year old Dutch child could produce an incorrect conjugation like "geëet" instead of "gegeten")
  • Stem jy saam? - Ga je daarmee akkoord? "Stem jij samen" is correct Dutch"
  • Ek is halfpad daar - Ik ben halverwege "half", "pad" and "daar" are all correct Dutch, why would you think a Dutchman would have difficulty understanding that?
  • Ons hou daarvan om te braai - Wij houden ervan om te barbecueën The only word different here is "braai", which is cognate to Dutch "braden", or "braaien" in more vulgar Dutch. No difficulty here ("ons" is the objective form (accussative and dative case) of the pronoun "wij"in Dutch, and in Dutch there is a tendency as well to use the objective pronoun as the subjective pronoun, cf. "hun" for "zij"; "daarvan" is correct Dutch)

I don't, however, agree with Bezuidenhout that Dutch people understand Afrikaans, but not the other way around. Afrikaans pupils get a basic konwledge of Dutch at school, so they can understand Dutch to a certain extent, but from experience I know that Dutch people find it difficult to understand Afrikaans.

That's probably true, as spoken Afrikaans is quite hard for Dutch people to understand if they're not used to it (especially the diphthongs in Afrikaans can be quite challenging for unfamiliar Dutch people). Scientific research, however, has shown that it is more easy for a Dutch person to understand Afrikaans than the other way around (as referenced in the article). Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 03:54, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

This says it all really:

Dutch listeners are confronted with fewer non-cognates (6.6%, see Table 6) when listening to Afrikaans than the other way round (16.8%). This difference corresponds with asymmetrical intelligibility scores that are higher for the Dutchmen (62.4%) than for the South Africans (44.0%).

Fentener van Vlissingen (talk) 04:40, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Phonology section[edit]

The phonology section of the Afrikaans article is incomplete. There really should be, at the very least, a table of consonants grouped by place and manner of articulation, in addition to the chart for vowels, like the articles for English and Korean, for instance. You can't subsitute an orthography section for a formal and neatly-presented summary of the phonology. I was unable to find information online about this subject, but I'm sure it's out there for a native speaker of Afrikaans with a basic+ level of linguistic education to verify. --/ˈwɪkiˌwaʊ/ 19:25, 3 April 2012 (UTC)

Afrikaans in Botswana as minority language[edit]

Can anybody please inform me about the situation of Afrikaans as minority language in Botswana. It is stated in the info-box but its situation is not explained.2001:981:F172:1:44C0:EA5D:20DF:1502 (talk) 11:27, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

The language infobox template is a bit misleading as the parameter is named "minority" but presents as a "recognised minority language". I can't find any sources to confirm that there is any official recognition in Botswana. HelenOnline 12:19, 16 January 2014 (UTC)

I know not which translation to use[edit]

In several places Ek het nie geweet is translated as I knew not. However this form sounds quite old-fashioned, at least in the varieties of English with which I am familiar. "I didn't know" is a more natural-sounding rendition. Is there any objection to changing it or is there more perceived value in the original wording, which is a more exact translation if not more colloquial? Bedankt, Dusty|💬|You can help! 18:17, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

I know not why that last column was there (but please note I have not been very involved with the article). :) HelenOnline 19:08, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Grammar section: Adding hierdie/daai to the table[edit]

I would like to propose adding another row to the table with false friends in grammar (the second last one showing the difference between Afrikaans het and Dutch het). Since it shows that Afrikaans dit is Dutch het, it would be useful to mention that Dutch dit is hierdie (or daai?) in Afrikaans.

My proposition (last row would be new):

Afrikaans Dutch English
het heb, hebt, heeft, hebben have, has
die de, het the
dit het it
hierdie dit this

I'm not too familiar with the difference between hierdie and daai (is it just this and that?) so I don't want to just add it. Thanks! (talk) 18:27, 5 February 2014 (UTC)(lKj)

The Afrikaans dit can mean "this" or "it", while hierdie only means "this/these" and daai is colloquial for daardie ("that/those"). HelenOnline 20:14, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Here is a source which explains it, and adds "that" to the possible meanings of the Afrikaans dit. HelenOnline 20:35, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Thanks a lot for your time, Helen! (talk) 13:09, 9 February 2014 (UTC)(lKj)
Just wanted to add that in the last row, Dutch 'deze' should probably be added, since Dutch 'dit' is used only with grammatically neuter nouns (e.g. 'dit boek', this book), while 'deze' is the masculine/feminine equivalent (e.g. 'deze vrouw', this woman). - Lindert (talk) 13:56, 9 February 2014 (UTC)