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Afrikaans Language Resources

Afrikaans Language

Afrikaans descends from Dutch and is spoken mainly in South Africa and Namibia. Afrikaans is a Low Franconian West Germanic language. Afrikaans is also spoken all around the world in Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, Germany, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There are about 10 million people who speak Afrikaans as a first or second language, and several million other have a basic knowledge of the language.

Afrikaans has a basis of 18th century Dutch and has vocabulary from various Bantu and Khoisan languages and also from Portugese and Malay. Afrikaans speakers can understand Dutch although Dutch speakers need a little time to tune into Afrikaans.

Links for Afrikaans Language Resources:

Wikipedia, the wonderful free encyclopedia provides information on the Afrikaans Language

In 1815 Afrikaans started to replace Malay as the language of instruction in Muslim schools in South Africa. During that time it was writing using the Arabic alphabet. Afrikaans started appearing in newspapers and political and religious works and was written with the Latin alphabet around 1850. In 1875, a group of Afrikaans speakers from the Cape formed the Genootskap vir Regte Afrikaanders (Society for Real Afrikaners). They published Afrikaan books on a number of topics including grammars, dictionaries, religious material and histories. They published a journal called the Patriot.

During the early years of the 20th century there was a blossoming of academic interest in Afrikaans. In 1925 Afrikaans was recognised by the government as a real language, instead of a slang version of Dutch. Afrikaans has changed little since then.

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