Online Language Courses  


  • Also called Cape Dutch.

  • A West Germanic language of South Africa, developed from 17th-century Netherlandic (Dutch) by the descendants of European (Dutch, German, and French) colonists, indigenous Khoisan peoples, and African and Asian slaves in the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope.

  • Afrikaans and English are the only Indo-European languages among the many official languages of South Africa.

  • Although Afrikaans is very similar to Netherlandic, it is clearly a separate language, differing from Standard Netherlandic in its sound system and its loss of case and gender distinctions.

  • Afrikaans is very similar to Flemish - certainly speakers of each language can make themselves easily understood by speakers of the other. Other less closely related languages include the Low Saxon spoken in northern Germany and the Netherlands, German, and English. Cape Dutch vocabulary diverged from the Dutch vocabulary spoken in the Netherlands over time as Cape Dutch absorbed words from other European settlers, East Indian slaves, and native African languages.

  • The first Afrikaans grammars and dictionaries were published in 1875 by the Genootskap vir Regte Afrikaanders (Society for Real Afrikaners) in Cape Town. Official government proclamation of Afrikaans as a distinct language from Dutch came in 1925.

  • Besides vocabulary, the most striking difference from Dutch is its much more regular grammar, which is likely the result of mutual interference with one of more creole languages based on the Dutch language spoken by the relatively large number of non-Dutch speakers (Khoisan, Khoikhoi, German, French, Malay, and speakers of different African languages) during the formation period of the language in the second half of the 17th century. In 1710, slaves outnumbered free settlers.

  • Most linguistics scholars today are certain that Afrikaans has been influenced by creole languages based on the South-Holland Dutch dialect. It is very hard finding out how this influence took place, since there are almost no written material written in the Dutch based creole languages; only a few sentences found in unrelated books often written by non-speakers.

  • Written Afrikaans differs from Dutch in that the spelling reflects a phonetically simplified language, and so many consonants are dropped. The spelling is also a lot more phonetical that the Dutch counterpart. A notable feature is the indefinite article, which is "'n", not "een" as in Dutch. "A book" is "'n Boek", whereas in Dutch it would be "Een boek". Other features include the use of 's' instead of 'z', hence South Africa in Afrikaans is written as Suid-Afrika, whereas in Dutch it is Zuid-Afrika. (This accounts for ZA being used as South Africa's internet top level domain.) The Dutch letter combination 'ij' is written as 'y'.

  • The first complete Afrikaans translation of the Bible was published in 1933.



Online Dictionaries
Online Newspapers
  • Beeld - An Afrikaans-language daily, printed six days a week and distributed in Gauteng, Mpumalanga, North West, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal. First published in 1974, the paper is owned by Media24. (
  • Die Burger - Afrikaans-language daily Die Burger, first published in 1915, is distributed in the Western Cape. The paper is owned by Media24. (
  • Die Volksblad - First published in 1904, Volksblad is the oldest Afrikaans daily in the country and the largest in the Free State and Northern Cape. It is owned by Media24. (
  • District Mail & Helder Post - Afrikaans and English articles.
  • Finweek
  • Helderberg - Articles in English and Afrikaans.
  • Hoor hier! Kom ons skryf ín Afrikaans óór Afrikaans
  • Landbou Weekblad
  • Rapport - South Africa's national Afrikaans Sunday newspaper. It is distributed countrywide and in Namibia. Owned by Media24, Rapport has the biggest Afrikaans-language market penetration in South Africa. (
Online TV & Radio
Other resources
© Copyright 2002-2007 Language Directory All Rights Reserved.

The Wikipedia article included on this page is licensed under the GFDL