3.4040906578408 (1809)
Posted by motoman 04/20/2009 @ 12:07

Tags : afrikaans, south africa, africa, world

News headlines
Lions can level series, but changes needed - The Island (subscription)
... but it was a match the Lions should have won and there are critical decisions to be made before next week's test which is too be played at high altitude in the heart of Afrikaans land at the formidable rugby cauldron Loftus Versfeld....
Revamp for the leader in Afrikaans business news -, the world leader in online Afrikaans business and financial news launched a redesigned site on Friday 12 June 2009. The new addition to the family has received a makeover to keep up with online industry trends....
Children in South Africa fight for the right to be educated -
Afrikaans and English would be used in a 50-50 mix. Some subjects were taught only in Afrikaans and other only in English despite the fact that 98% of young Sowetans wished for English-only classes. Since English was the language of commerce and...
Tattooed star keeps mum about Perry - The Times
American hip-hop star Travis mccoy danced in a township, learned a sprinkling of Afrikaans and joined a local band on stage in South Africa. While mccoy's girlfriend Katy Perry dazzled audiences in Paris, he spent Youth Day in Cape Town as the...
FFPlus: Probe anthem censoring - News24
He said the party had received numerous complaints from members of the public upset that organisers had played only a shortened version of the anthem, in which the Afrikaans "Die Stem" was omitted. "It is unacceptable that the recognition which is...
Race Enters SA School Language Debate - The Right Perspective
A South African school's quest to retain Afrikaans as the medium of instruction is based on its holding on to “Afrikaans domination in imitation of racial practices” of the past, claims a local politician. Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for...
It's number one with a bullet, our soccer song - The Times
What is a poor Dutchman to make of the nine indigenous languages that are neither English nor Afrikaans? Hogarth suggests simultaneous translations of our home-grown songs and chants so that our guests can enjoy the fun....
In South Africa, a tangled vine of dreams and reality - Los Angeles Times
The farm's four permanent laborers were mixed-race Colored and spoke Afrikaans, as do most white farmers here. In the racial hierarchy under apartheid, the lighter-skinned Coloreds, who are a majority in the province, were a notch above blacks....
Leon van Wyngaard: Beloved bartender to Joburg's thirsty - The Times
Van Wyngaard was born on October 22 1949 in Johannesburg, one of nine children in an Afrikaans working-class family. His father was an alcoholic who abused his mother, married again and, finally, disowned his children. Van Wyngaard was sent to a...
Kimber leaves nothing to chance after threats - Independent Online
They did not appear in the morning as previously planned, as they were writing maths and Afrikaans prelim exams on Friday. Last week, police arrived at the school after senior prosecutor John Metswanere decided that the boys should be formally charged....


Afrikaans is an Indo-European language, derived from Dutch and thus classified as Low Franconian West Germanic. It is mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia, with smaller numbers of speakers living in Botswana, Angola, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Zambia, Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, Taiwan and Argentina. Due to emigration and migrant labour, there are possibly over 100 000 Afrikaans speakers in the United Kingdom, with other substantial communities found in Brussels, Amsterdam, Perth, Mount Isa, Toronto and Auckland. It is the primary language used by two related ethnic groups in South Africa: the Afrikaans people (Afrikaners) and the Coloureds (in Afrikaans: kleurlinge or bruinmense (including Basters, Cape Malays and Griqua).

Geographically, the Afrikaans language is the majority language of the western one-third of South Africa (Northern and Western Cape, spoken at home by 69% and 58%, respectively). It is also the largest first language in the adjacent southern third of Namibia (Hardap and Karas, where it is the first language of 44% and 40%, respectively).

Afrikaans and Dutch are largely mutually intelligible.

Afrikaans developed among the Dutch speaking Protestant settlers, and the indentured or slave workforce of the Cape area in southwestern South Africa that was established by the Dutch East India Company (Dutch: Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie — VOC, Afrikaans: Verenigde Oos-Indiese Kompanjie) between 1652 and 1705. A relative majority of these first settlers were from the United Provinces (now Netherlands), though there were also many from Germany, a considerable number from France, and some from Norway, Portugal, Scotland, and various other countries. The indentured workers and slaves were Asians, Malays, Malagasy in addition to the indigenous Khoi and Bushmen.

The Afrikaans School has long seen Afrikaans as a natural development from the South-Hollandic Dutch dialect. Because of the absence of historical indication of the development of the dialect (language), some have implied Afrikaans to be a creolisation of conceptual Dutch. However, this theory is rather implausible since it implies that a language systematically developed out of a vocabulary. Furthermore, this theory would fail to explain the systematic process of simplification from dialectical 17th century Dutch to Afrikaans, its geographically widespread and cohesive nature and also the persistent structural similarities between Afrikaans and other regional Franconic dialects including West Flemish and Zeelandic. This indicates rather a linear, though isolated linguistic path.

Afrikaans also remains akin to other West-Germanic languages (except English) in that it remains a V2 language which features verb final structures in subordinate clauses, just like Dutch and German.

Following early dialectical studies of Afrikaans it was theorised that three main historical dialects probably existed before the Great Trek in the 1830s. These dialects are defined as the Northern Cape, Western Cape and Eastern Cape dialects. Remnants of these dialects still remain in present-day Afrikaans although the standardising effect of Standard Afrikaans has contributed to a great levelling of differences in modern times.

There is also a prison cant known as soebela, or sombela which is based on Afrikaans yet heavily influenced by Zulu. This language is used as a secret language in prison and is taught to initiates.

The geolect of Afrikaans spoken outside South Africa in predominantly English speaking countries have been referred to as "soutmielie".

The linguist Paul Roberge suggests that the earliest 'truly Afrikaans' texts are doggerel verse from 1795 and a dialogue transcribed by a Dutch traveller in 1825. Printed material among the Afrikaners at first used only standard European Dutch. By the mid-19th century, more and more were appearing in Afrikaans, which was very much still regarded as a set of regional dialects.

In 1861, L.H. Meurant published his Zamenspraak tusschen Klaas Waarzegger en Jan Twyfelaar, which is considered by some to be the first authoritative Afrikaans text. Abu Bakr Effendi also compiled his Arabic Afrikaans Islamic instruction book between 1862 and 1869, although this was only published and printed in 1877. The first Afrikaans grammars and dictionaries were published in 1875 by the Genootskap vir Regte Afrikaners ('Society for Real Afrikaners') in Cape Town.

The First and Second Boer Wars further strengthened the position of Afrikaans. The official languages of the Union of South Africa were English and Dutch until Afrikaans was subsumed under Dutch on 5 May 1925.

The main Afrikaans dictionary is the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (WAT) (Dictionary of the Afrikaans Language), which is as yet incomplete due to the scale of the project, but the one-volume dictionary in household use is the Verklarende Handwoordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal (HAT). The official orthography of Afrikaans is the Afrikaanse Woordelys en Spelreëls, compiled by the Taalkommissie.

A major landmark in the development of Afrikaans was the full translation of the Bible into the language. Prior to this most Cape Dutch-Afrikaans speakers had to rely on the Dutch Statenbijbel. The aforementioned Statenvertaling had its origins with the Synod of Dordrecht 1637 and was thus in an archaic form of Dutch. This rendered understanding difficult at best to Dutch and Cape Dutch speakers, moreover increasingly unintelligible to Afrikaans speakers.

C. P. Hoogehout, Arnoldus Pannevis, and Stephanus Jacobus du Toit were the first Afrikaans Bible translators. Important landmarks in the translation of the Scriptures were in 1878 with C. P. Hoogehout's translation of the Evangelie volgens Markus (Gospel of Mark), however this translation was never published. The manuscript is to be found in the South African National Library, Cape Town.

The first official Bible translation of the entire Bible into Afrikaans was in 1933 by J. D. du Toit, E. E. van Rooyen, J. D. Kestell, H. C. M. Fourie, and BB Keet. This monumental work established Afrikaans as a suiwer and oordentlike taal, i.e. a "pure" and "suitable language" for religious purposes, especially amongst the deeply Calvinist Afrikaans religious community that had hitherto been somewhat sceptical of a Bible translation out of the original Dutch language to which they were accustomed.

In 1983 there was a fresh translation in order to mark the 50th anniversary of the original 1933 translation and provide much needed revision. The final editing of this edition was done by E. P. Groenewald, A. H. van Zyl, P. A. Verhoef, J. L. Helberg, and W. Kempen.

Afrikaans Version of the Lord's Prayer. Onse Vader.

Onse Vader wat in die hemele is, laat U naam geheilig word. Laat U koninkryk kom, laat U wil geskied, soos in die hemel net so ook op die aarde. Gee ons vandag ons daaglikse brood, en vergeef ons ons skulde, soos ons ook ons skuldenaars vergewe. En lei ons nie in versoeking nie, maar verlos ons van die bose. Want aan U behoort die Koninkryk en die krag en die heerlikheid, tot in ewigheid. Amen.

Onze Vader die in de hemelen zijt, Uw Naam worde geheiligd; Uw koninkrijk kome; Uw wil geschiede, gelijk in de hemel alzo ook op de aarde. Geef ons heden ons dagelijks brood; en vergeef ons onze schulden, gelijk ook wij vergeven onze schuldenaren; en leidt ons niet in verzoeking, maar verlos ons van de boze. Want van U is het koninkrijk en de kracht en de heerlijkheid tot in eeuwigheid. Amen.

The preterite has also almost disappeared in Afrikaans, with the perfect tense being used instead, the exception being 'to be'.

In other respects, the perfect tense in Afrikaans follows Dutch and English.

The spelling is also considerably more phonetic than the Dutch counterpart. A notable feature is the indefinite article, which, as noted in the grammar section, is ′n , not 'een' as in Dutch. 'A book' is ' 'n boek', whereas in Dutch it would be 'een boek'. (Note that ' 'n ' is still allowed in Dutch; Afrikaans uses only ' 'n ' where Dutch uses it next to 'een'. When letters are dropped an apostrophe is mandatory. Note that this ′n is usually pronounced as a weak vowel (; like the Afrikaans 'i') and is not as a consonant. The Afrikaans word een is the number 'one'.

Other features include the use of 's' instead of 'z', and therefore, '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 'IJ' is written as 'Y', except where it replaces the Dutch suffix —lijk, as in waarschijnlijk = waarskynlik.

The diminutive suffix in Afrikaans is -jie, whereas in Dutch it is -je, hence a 'little bit' in Afrikaans is bietjie - in Dutch it is beetje.

The use of the hard 'k' is analogous to the pronunciation in parts of West Flanders. Although the first 90 VOC settlers came from Haarlem in the Northern Netherlands, the majority of the population of that city at that time consisted of Southern Dutch immigrants. (Recent academic research also points to Afrikaans probably being a modern perpetuation of an earlier Dutch dialect, Amsterdams (Paardekoper)).

The letters "c","q","x" and "z" are rarely seen in Afrikaans, and words containing them are almost exclusively borrowings from French, English, Greek, or Latin. This is usually because words that had c and ch in the original Dutch are spelt with k and g respectively in Afrikaans (in many dialects of Dutch (including the Hollandic ones), a g is pronounced like a ch (IPA /x/), which explains the use of the g in Afrikaans language). Similarly original qu and x are spelt kw and ks respectively. For example ekwatoriaal instead of 'equatoriaal' and ekskuus instead of 'excuus'.

Letter combinations in Dutch such as cht are simplified, for example, slechts (only) in Dutch becomes slegs in Afrikaans.

All letters in the Latin alphabet are acceptable in Afrikaans, although for non-loan words only the 26 letters of the English alphabet and certain vowels with diacritics are used.

The vowels with diacritics in non-loanword Afrikaans are: á, é, è, ê, ë, í, î, ï, ó, ô, ú, û, ý. These thirteen letters are pronounced the same way as their non-diacritic counterparts in isolation. For the purpose of alphabetic ordering, these diacritic letters are regarded as equivalent to their non-diacritic counterparts. It is not acceptable to replace them by their non-diacritic equivalents in situations where typing the diacritic forms may be difficult. In the early days of e-mail and on primitive computer systems, the diacritics were often left out or written next to the character, and computer illiterate users may still do so today.

A few short words in Afrikaans take initial apostrophes. In modern Afrikaans, these words are always written in lower case (except if the entire line is uppercase), and if they occur at the beginning of a sentence, the next word is capitalised. Three examples of such apostrophed words are 't, 'k, 'n . The most common is 'n , which is the indefinite article, and the other two may soon be regarded as archaic.

The apostrophe and the following letter are regarded as two separate characters, and is never written using a single glyph, although a single character variant of the indefinite article appears in Unicode, ʼn.

Some modern word processors have auto-correct features that incorrectly treat an apostrophe (also known as a 9-quote) at the beginning of a word as a single quote (also known as a 6-quote).

In non-stylised fonts, it is acceptable to use a straight quote for the apostrophe, and this is often done in electronic communication.

Afrikaans is a very centralised language, meaning that most of the vowels are pronounced in a very centralised (i.e. very schwa-like) way. Although there are many different dialects and accents, the transcription should be fairly standard.

Note: The word Afrikaans means African (in the general sense) in the Dutch language. Although considered incorrect, the word Zuid-Afrikaans, lit. "South African", is sometimes used to avoid confusion when referring specifically to the Afrikaans language. This problem also occurs in Afrikaans itself, resolved by using the words Afrika and Afrikaan to distinguish from Afrikaans(e) and Afrikaner respectively.

Closely in Dutch: Mijn pen was in mijn hand.

Closely in Dutch: Mijn hand is in warm water has almost identical meaning in Afrikaans and English although the Afrikaans warm corresponds more closely in meaning to English hot and Dutch heet (Dutch warm corresponds to English warm, but is closer to Afrikaans in pronunciation).

Laat Uw Koninkrijk spoedig komen. Laat Uw wil op de aarde worden gedaan, net zoals in die hemel. Geef ons vandaag het eten dat wij nodig hebben. Vergeef ons onze zonden, zoals wij anderen hun zonden vergeven. Laat ons niet in verleiding komen, maar verlos ons van de kwade machten.

Laat u koningsheerskappy spoedig kom. Laat u wil hier op aarde uitgevoer word soos in die hemel. Gee ons die porsie brood wat ons vir vandag nodig het. En vergeef ons ons sondeskuld soos ons ook óns skuldenaars vergewe het. Bewaar ons sodat ons nie aan verleiding sal toegee nie; en bevry ons van die greep van die Bose.

Afrikaans is the first language of approximately 60% of White South Africans (3 million), the Afrikaans people, and over 80% of Coloured South Africans (2.6 million). Around 200,000 black South Africans speak it as their first language. Large numbers of Bantu-speaking and English-speaking South Africans also speak it as their second language.

Some state that the term Afrikaanses should be used as a term for all people who speak Afrikaans, without respect to ethnic origin, instead of 'Afrikaners', which refers to an ethnic group, or 'Afrikaanssprekendes' (lit. people that speak Afrikaans). Linguistic identity has not yet established that one term be favoured above another and all three are used in common parlance.

It is also widely spoken in Namibia, where it has had constitutional recognition as a national, but not official, language since independence in 1990. Prior to independence, Afrikaans had equal status with German as an official language. There is a much smaller number of Afrikaans speakers among Zimbabwe's white minority, as most have left the country since 1980. Afrikaans was also a medium of instruction for schools in Bophuthatswana Bantustan.

Afrikaans has been influential in the development of South African English. Many Afrikaans loanwords have found their way into South African English, such as 'bakkie' ('pickup truck'), 'braai' ('barbecue'), 'tekkies' ('sneakers'). A few words in standard English are derived from Afrikaans, such as 'aardvark' (lit. 'earth pig'), 'trek' ('pioneering journey', in Afrikaans lit. 'pull' but used also for 'migrate'), 'spoor' ('animal track'), 'veld' ('Southern African grassland' in Afrikaans lit. 'field'), 'commando' from Afrikaans 'kommando' meaning small fighting unit, 'boomslang' ('tree snake') and apartheid ('segregation'; more accurately 'apartness' or 'the state or condition of being apart').

In 1976, high school students in Soweto began a rebellion in response to the government's decision that Afrikaans be used as the language of instruction for half the subjects taught in non-White schools (with English continuing for the other half). Although English is the mother tongue of only 8.2 per cent of the population, it is the language most widely understood, and the second language of the majority of South Africans. Afrikaans is more widely spoken than English in the Northern and Western Cape provinces, several hundred kilometers from Soweto. The Black community's opposition to Afrikaans and preference for continuing English instruction was underscored when the government rescinded the policy one month after the uprising: 96% of Black schools chose English (over Afrikaans or native languages) as the language of instruction. Many historians argue that the language issue was a catalyst for the uprising rather than a major underlying cause (which was racial oppression). Others argue that the primary cause of the uprising was one specific aspect of the government's language instruction decision: that non-White (i.e., Black, Coloured and Indian) South African children be denied instruction in all but the most basic topics of mathematics, sciences, fine arts, etc. The government justified this policy by claiming that non-White South Africans would never have an occasion to use such knowledge; see History of South Africa.

Under South Africa's Constitution of 1996, Afrikaans remains an official language, and has equal status to English and nine other languages. The new policy means that the use of Afrikaans is now, in effect, often reduced in favour of English, or to accommodate the other official languages. In 1996, for example, the South African Broadcasting Corporation reduced the amount of television airtime in Afrikaans, while South African Airways dropped its Afrikaans name Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens from its livery. Similarly, South Africa's diplomatic missions overseas now only display the name of the country in English and their host country's language, and not in Afrikaans.

In spite of these moves, the language has remained strong, with Afrikaans newspapers and magazines continuing to have large circulation figures. Indeed the Afrikaans language general interest family magazine Huisgenoot, has the largest readership of any magazine in the country. In addition, a pay-TV channel in Afrikaans called KykNet was launched in 1999, and an Afrikaans music channel, MK, in 2005. A large number of Afrikaans books are still published every year, mainly by the publishers Human & Rousseau, Tafelberg Uitgewers, Struik, and Protea Boekhuis.

Modern Dutch and Afrikaans share 85 plus per cent of their vocabulary.

Afrikaans speakers are able to learn Dutch within a comparatively short period of time. Native Dutch speakers pick up written Afrikaans even more quickly, due to its simplified grammar, whereas understanding spoken Afrikaans might need more effort. Afrikaans speakers can learn a Dutch accent with little training. This has enabled Dutch and Belgian companies to outsource their call centre operations to South Africa.

Afrikaans has two monuments erected in its honour. The first was erected in Burgersdorp, South Africa, in 1893, and the second, better-known Afrikaans Language Monument (Afrikaanse Taalmonument) was built in Paarl, South Africa, in 1975.

When the British design magazine Wallpaper* described Afrikaans as "one of the world's ugliest languages" in its September 2005 article about the Monument, South African billionaire Johann Rupert (chairman of the Richemont group), responded by withdrawing advertising for brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill from the magazine. The author of the article, Bronwyn Davies, was an English-speaking South African.

Post-apartheid South Africa has seen a loss of government support for Afrikaans, in terms of education, social events, media (TV and Radio), and general status throughout the country, given that it now shares its place as official language with ten other languages. Nevertheless, Afrikaans remains more prevalent in the media - radio, newspapers and television - than all the other official languages, except for English. More than 300 titles in Afrikaans are published per year.

Through all the problems of depreciation and migration that Afrikaans faces today, the language still competes well, with Afrikaans DSTV channels (pay channels) and high newspaper and CD sales as well as popular internet sites. The incredible resurgence in Afrikaans popular music (from the late 1990s) has added new momentum to the language especially among the younger generations in South Africa. Modern, often rage-infused music forms a large part of music sales in South Africa. The latest contribution to building the Afrikaans language is the availability of pre-school educational CDs and DVDs. These are also popular with large Afrikaans-speaking expatriate communities seeking to retain the language in family context.

Further latent support for the language is the de-politicised view of younger generation South Africans - i.e. it is less and less viewed as "the language of the oppressor" and this is supported to a large extent by new-generation Afrikaans youths openly supporting change and unabundant rejection of old repressive racial policies.

Afrikaans is also one of only around 45 search-languages available on Google.

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Afrikaans Language Monument

Plaque showing two quotes from Afrikaans poets

The Afrikaans Language Monument (Afrikaans: Afrikaanse Taalmonument) is located on a hill overlooking Paarl, Western Cape Province, South Africa. Completed in 1975, it commemorates the semicentenary of Afrikaans being declared an official language of South Africa separate from Dutch. Also, it was erected on the 100th anniversary of the founding of Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (the Society of Real Afrikaners) in Paarl, the organization that helped strengthen Afrikaaners' identity and pride in their language.

The phrase "DIT IS ONS ERNS" (roughly "we are earnest ", or "this is our earnestness") is emblazoned on the pathway leading up to the monument.

When the British design magazine Wallpaper* described Afrikaans as the ugliest language in the world in its September 2005 article about the Monument, South African billionaire Johann Rupert (chairman of the Richemont group), responded by withdrawing advertising for brands such as Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Montblanc and Alfred Dunhill from the magazine . The author of the article, Bronwyn Davies is an English-speaking South African.

The language monument at Paarl wasn't the first monument to commemorate Afrikaans. That honour goes to the monument in Burgersdorp, South Africa, which was built in 1893. The monument depicts a woman pointing her finger at a book in her hands.

Although the main inscription on that monument refers to the Hollandse taal (Dutch language), it can be understood to mean Afrikaans.

The monument was damaged during the Anglo-Boer War, and Lord Milner had it removed. It was replaced with a replica in 1907. The original was later discovered in King William in 1939, and moved back to stand next to the replica in Burgersdorp.

Some sources claim that Lord Milner had removed the original monument not because it was damaged, but because he was opposed to Afrikaans, and that the replica was built not by government but by a group of Afrikaners.

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Bible translations (Afrikaans)

The first Afrikaans Bible translation was requested on August 24, 1878, at a meeting of the Society of True Afrikaners (G.R.A.) that a translation of the Bible be made in the Afrikaans language. Six years later, the matter was brought up again, and eventually it was decided to go ahead and translate the Bible from the original tongues. The work was entrusted to S. J. du Toit, Superintendent of Education in the Transvaal. Du Toit's translation was not popular, and in 1916 a Commission for Bible Translation was appointed to see to the production of an Afrikaans Bible.

Susequently, the Bible Society of South Africa produced an Afrikaans Translation in 1933, revised in 1953, 1971 and 1979.

Additional translations have since emerged including a recent Nuwe Wêreld-vertaling.

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Source : Wikipedia