The Afrikaans language

There are approximately six million speakers of Afrikaans the vast majority of whom live in South Afrika, although nowadays it is not uncommon to hear it spoken in cities such as London due to the large amount of emigration.

Afrikaans has its origins in Dutch and so it is one of the Indo-European languages (belonging to the Germanic group).  It has also taken many words from the Malay and African languages.

The variety of Dutch which eventually become Afrikaans developed from the mid sixteen-hundreds and so can be called the youngest language in the world. In fact, the earliest example of Afrikaans in print did not appear until 1856.

There are now many differences from Dutch, one of the most obvious being that there is no longer any gender distinction  for nouns.  So in Afrikaans 'the man' and 'the woman' are ' die man ' and ' die vrou ' respectively - ' die ' meaning 'the'.  The gramatical structure of the language is also simpler.




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Afrikaans Phrases

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