Learn Afrikaans Online
Learn Afrikaans for free online with Linguanaut!
We offer a number of free Afrikaans language lessons to get you started.
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Free Afrikaans Lessons
If you want to learn Afrikaans, then this is the right website for you. We offer free lessons online for Afrikaans phrases.
Most of the lessons contain expressions used for the everyday life conversations, through them you can learn how to say specific sentences, so they might come handy if you memorize them. Here is how you can start learning Afrikaans:
This page contains useful phrases, expressions and words in Afrikaans.
It also helps if you simply want to know what to say when talking in Afrikaans!
Why Learn Afrikaans?
Afrikaans is a language spoken by millions of people in Southern Africa. It is one of the official languages of South Africa, and is also spoken in Namibia and Zimbabwe.
The language is unique in many ways and has a rich history that reflects the cultural diversity of the region.
In the text below, we will explore the fascinating world of Afrikaans, including its origins, grammar, vocabulary, and its significance in the cultural and political landscape of Southern Africa.
Origins of Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a language that evolved from the Dutch spoken by the Dutch settlers who arrived in the Cape of Good Hope in the 17th century. The Dutch East India Company established a colony in the Cape in 1652, and Dutch became the official language of the settlement. Over time, the Dutch spoken by the settlers began to evolve, influenced by other languages such as Portuguese, Malay, and the indigenous Khoi and San languages.
As more settlers arrived from the Netherlands, the language continued to evolve, and by the 18th century, a distinct form of Dutch had emerged, which was known as Cape Dutch. This language became the lingua franca of the Cape Colony, and it was spoken by people of all races and backgrounds.
During the 19th century, the British took control of the Cape Colony, and English became the official language of government and education. However, Afrikaans continued to evolve, and in the early 20th century, it began to gain recognition as a separate language.
Grammar and Vocabulary
Afrikaans is a relatively simple language when it comes to grammar. It has a similar structure to Dutch, but it has simplified some of the complex grammatical rules of its parent language. For example, it does not have a system of noun genders or cases, and it has a simplified system of verb conjugation.
One of the most distinctive features of Afrikaans is its vocabulary. The language has borrowed words from many different languages, including Dutch, Malay, Portuguese, and Khoi and San languages. It has also developed a unique vocabulary of its own, which reflects the history and culture of the region.
For example, Afrikaans has many words that relate to farming and agriculture, such as boer (farmer), veld (field), and melktert (milk tart). It also has words that reflect the cultural diversity of the region, such as braai (barbecue), lekker (nice), and bakkie (pickup truck).
Significance in Southern Africa
Afrikaans has played a significant role in the cultural and political landscape of Southern Africa. During the 20th century, it was the language of the white minority government that ruled South Africa under apartheid. This government used Afrikaans as a means of enforcing segregation and oppression, and the language became associated with the injustices of apartheid.
However, Afrikaans also played a role in the struggle against apartheid. Many black South Africans learned Afrikaans as a second language, and they used it to communicate with white South Africans and to understand the culture and mindset of the ruling regime.
After the end of apartheid in 1994, Afrikaans continued to be spoken by millions of people in South Africa, but its significance as a political and cultural force began to shift.
Today, Afrikaans is one of the official languages of South Africa, along with English, isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, and Xitsonga. It is also spoken in Namibia and Zimbabwe, and it has a growing community of speakers around the world.
Afrikaans is a language with several dialects, each with its own unique features. These dialects can vary in pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammar, depending on the region where they are spoken. For example, the dialect spoken in the Western Cape has been heavily influenced by the Khoi and San languages, while the dialect spoken in the Northern Cape has been influenced by the Nama language.
The dialects of Afrikaans are not only shaped by regional influences, but also by social and cultural factors. For example, the dialect spoken by the Coloured community in Cape Town has been shaped by the history of segregation and oppression in the region. Similarly, the dialect spoken by the Afrikaner community in South Africa has been shaped by their cultural heritage and history of colonization.
Afrikaans has a rich tradition of literature, dating back to the 19th century. Some of the most famous Afrikaans authors include C.J. Langenhoven, N.P. van Wyk Louw, and Breyten Breytenbach. Afrikaans literature covers a wide range of genres, from poetry and novels to plays and short stories.
Afrikaans literature has played an important role in the cultural and political history of South Africa. Many Afrikaans writers have used their works to critique the social and political injustices of apartheid, while others have celebrated the language and culture of the Afrikaans-speaking community.
Today, Afrikaans literature continues to be an important part of South African literary culture and is taught in schools and universities across the country.
Afrikaans music is a popular genre in South Africa and has a diverse range of styles, from traditional folk music to contemporary pop and rock. Some of the most famous Afrikaans musicians include Steve Hofmeyr, Kurt Darren, and Bok van Blerk.
Afrikaans music is often characterized by its catchy melodies, upbeat rhythms, and relatable lyrics. Many Afrikaans songs celebrate the language and culture of the Afrikaans-speaking community, while others touch on universal themes like love, loss, and longing. Afrikaans music is also heavily influenced by other genres, such as country music, hip hop, and gospel.
Afrikaans has been a controversial language in the South African education system. While it was the medium of instruction for many years under apartheid, it has since been replaced by English as the primary language of instruction in many schools. This has led to protests and debates about the role of Afrikaans in education and its significance as a cultural and linguistic heritage.
Despite the controversy surrounding Afrikaans in education, the language continues to be taught in many schools and universities in South Africa. Some Afrikaans-speaking communities have even established their own schools, where Afrikaans is the primary language of instruction. This has helped to preserve the language and culture of the Afrikaans-speaking community, but it has also raised questions about the role of language in education and society.
Afrikaans is increasingly being spoken outside of Southern Africa, particularly in countries with large communities of South African expatriates, such as Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom. This diaspora community has contributed to the growth of Afrikaans language and culture in these countries.
In addition to its diaspora community, Afrikaans is also being studied and taught in universities around the world. This has helped to raise awareness of the language and its cultural significance, and has also facilitated cross-cultural exchange and understanding. Despite its growing global presence, Afrikaans remains a language that is deeply rooted in the history and culture of Southern Africa, and it continues to play a significant role in the region and beyond.
In conclusion, Afrikaans is a unique and fascinating language with a rich history and culture. Its origins in the Dutch settlers of the Cape Colony, its evolution through contact with other languages, and its development as a distinct language all contribute to its complexity and diversity.
While Afrikaans has been used for both oppression and resistance in Southern Africa, it is important to recognize its continued significance in the region and around the world. Today, Afrikaans is used for literature, music, film, and television, and it is taught in schools and universities in South Africa and beyond.
By learning about the grammar, vocabulary, and cultural significance of the many different languages in the world, we can deepen our understanding of the world and the people who inhabit it.