Previously known as Cape Dutch or Kitchen Dutch

The language Afrikaans has its roots in seventeenth century Dutch but it has been influenced by many languages including: English, Malay, German, Portuguese, French and some African languages. Some of the first written work in Afrikaans was done using the Arabic alphabet in the work Bayaan-ud-djyn written by Abu Bakr. Apart from this development and minor writings in so-called Cape Dutch Afrikaans acted mainly as a spoken language for people living in the Cape and Dutch was used as the formal and written language. On 14 August 1875 the GRA, an organization that promoted the Afrikaans language, was formed by Rev. S.J. Du Toit. By this though the language was spoken by many people of different races and ethnic groups throughout Southern Africa.

The first complete translation of the Bible into Afrikaans was made in 1933. According to Act 8 of 1925 of South Africa it became the official language (incorporated with Dutch) together with English. The language was promoted alongside Afrikaner nationalism after 1948 and played an important role in minority white rule in Apartheid South Africa. The usage of Afrikaans in schools was one of the reasons for the 1976 Soweto uprising. With the new constitution of South Africa (1996) it was again written into the constitution as one of the official languages of South Africa.

It is important to note that Afrikaans is spoken by all races and ethnic groups in South Africa and much has been done in recent years to promote varieties of this language that were suppressed during the years of Apartheid. 

Family: Indo-European 
Group: Germanic 
Subgroup: West Germanic

VARIETIES: Eastern Cape Afrikaans (Oosgrensafrikaans - which became Standard Afrikaans), Cape Afrikaans (Kaapse Afrikaans) and Orange River Afrikaans (Oranjerivierafrikaans). 

Around 5 811 547 people use Afrikaans as their home language in South Africa. The language is also spoken in the Republic of Namibia as well as by some South Africans living and working in the United Kingdom, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.


General words & phrases
Expressions and idioms
Example of texts
Unesco Language Survey

Colloquial Afrikaans : The Complete Course for Beginners (Colloquial Series)
Colloquial Afrikaans [Cassettes]: The Complete Course for Beginners (Colloquial Series)  
Afrikaans-English/English-Afrikaans Dictionary
Teach Yourself Afrikaans (South African bookshop)
Afrikaans-English/English-Afrikaans Practical Dictionary
Afrikaans-Engelse woordeboek English-Afrikaans dictionary Afrikaans-Engelse woordeboek / English-Afrikaans dictionary

Internet Links
Search engines / Site lists
Die Knoop
Die Knoop - Comprehensive list of Afrikaans web sites - Afrikaans search engine
Afrikaans Google - use Google in Afrikaans

Language introductions
English Wikipedia introduction

Language learning
Learn Afrikaans online - detailed with resources on Afrikaans and learning material


LitNet - Afrikaans literature web site
- Afrikaans site on children's literature - Afrikaans literature submission site

Pharos - Afrikaans-English dictionaries/spelling checker on CD
Afrikaans-English Dictionary at TRAVLANG

Spelling checks Afrikaans spelling check
WSpel - Free spelling check - Another spelling check


Kyknet - Afrikaans television channel

Radio Sonder Grense - Afrikaans Radio Station
Daily Afrikaans newspapers: Beeld, Die Burger, Volksblad

Other sites - Afrikaans online encyclopedia - Complete online Afrikaans Bible
Taalmuseum - Afrikaans language museum

J. Olivier (2009)