Top 5 Fascinating Quirks Regarding Afrikaans



A Brief History of Afrikaans

You probably already know that Afrikaans is a derivative of the Dutch. The language arose as the Dutch occupants in the Cape Dutch region diverged from their native dialects, throughout the 18th century.

Afrikaans ostensibly rose from the interactions between the Dutch settlers and the native. The resultant generation then adopted varied forms of speech that heavily relied on Dutch vocabulary. However, with a translation, it’s easy to notice that the language also borrowed some words from German.

Differences with standard Dutch do exist. Although quite minimal, a translation helps you understand the differences. Besides, they are further identifiable in the linguistic analysis as opposed to day-to-day use. With a translation, it becomes easier to see that both languages hold a high level of mutual intelligibility. This is most evident in the written forms. However, a simple translation shows that the intelligibility is asymmetrical, as Dutch speakers can understand Afrikaans with more ease than the other way around.

Afrikaans currently has about 7 million people in South Africa who speak it natively. This makes up about 14% of the total population. It is widely spoken as an additional 8-16 million can speak Afrikaans as a second or third language. Consequently, Approximately 10 million people use Afrikaans as a first language, which shows that visitors traveling to areas where locals use this lingo will have to opt for a translation website to communicate effectively.

The language has its own quirks. Here is a list of 5 peculiar and intriguing facts related to Afrikaans.

Afrikaans Was Considered Slang Before Official Recognition

Standard Dutch referred to Afrikaans as the “language of the kitchen” was a blended form of Dutch, therefore weak. It was also perceived as the language used by the uneducated population. Since it’s now an official language, you will even find useful tools like the Afrikaans to English translation, which will come in handy when you need a quick translation.

The language was only recognized as an official language in 1925. It, therefore, is the youngest official language in the world. A translation from English enables you to notice the different ways to express local things precisely.

Majority of the Speakers Are Not White

While it’s hard to refute the immense power that the English language and its translation have, in South Africa, white English speakers only make up 40% of the total number. A study conducted in 2013, created around South Africa’s 2011 census, shows that the other 60% is made up of Indian, black, and colored.

The majority of the speakers were colored. This makes it the most racially distributed language among the 11 officially recognized in the country. As a result, individuals who prefer to have a global business use translations to communicate with local customers in a language that they understand and prefer.

Afrikaans Is Spoken in Argentina

If you always thought that Afrikaans was only spoken in southern Africa, then you may need a translation to understand what other people around you are saying.

The language is spoken in Patagonia, a region in southern Argentina. The agricultural area is home to thousands of farmers who speak the Afrikaans language natively. However, not everyone speaks the language fluently; that is why translation is important as it ensures the right message is conveyed in a way that both parties understand. For instance, an English tourist will better understand the natives when he or she knows the translation of commonly spoken words.

One of South Africa’s Official Languages

South Africans speak mainly 11 languages, and one of them is Afrikaans. If you are, then, wondering how South Africa got to recognizing 11 languages officially, here is how.

The move was substantially political. When this Africa country changed the regime in 1992, there were huge debates about the Afrikaans status. Its nationalists were vehement on an equal status to English. The ruling party ANC was looking to implement English as South Africa’s national language.

Once this ruling party conceded, other indigenous languages deserved equal status as well, for justifiable reasons. This inclusive approach subsequently led to the country having 11 official languages. With a website that provides translation, you will quickly learn and understand common phrases in any of these languages.

Afrikaans Was First Written in Arabic Lettering

In the period around 1820, Muslim schools in Cape Town replaced Malay with Afrikaans in their education system. This was also the first time Afrikaans was adopted in schools, and translation made it more natural to learn the lingo. It was initially written from the Arabic script since most of the early tests were religious texts. While using a translation website is the ideal way to learn the lingo, books written in the native language are also a teaching guide.

Bonus Facts About Afrikaans

Afrikaans, often better understood using a translation tool, is a unique language boasting of peculiar elements such as:

  • Some linguists consider Afrikaans either as part of the creole language or a partial creole. However, this opinion is undivided on the language being a Dutch separate. A simple translation of any word will easily help you differentiate these two lingos.
  • In some South African correction facilities, prisoners have their own secret language, Sabela. The language is created based on Afrikaans but also borrows heavily from Xhosa and Zulu. To differentiate these two, it’s best to use a translation tool to grasp a few simple phrases.
  • Afrikaans is popular for its regional dialects. However, a translation tool makes it possible to understand the context as well as provides accuracy, especially in situations where a person cannot afford to make mistakes.

There, undoubtedly, is more to find regarding the Die Taal, as the Afrikaans themselves refer to it. A language that emerged from an unintended mix, gradually changing over time. You may even consider learning the language by opting to use a translation website.