Regardless of how long you stay in South Africa, you will be treated to the fascinating fusion of languages that dot our everyday life. None more so than the emotive and often guttural sounds of Afrikaans. The cup of coffee you made was met with a grateful, “Lekkerrrr!” (nice). Your story about having a piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe provoked an, “Ag shame, man!” (sorry to hear that). Then there was the time you met a girl in that pub in Margate and you were just about to kiss her when her boyfriend came running in to “wat kyk jy boet” (we think you can guess this one.)
Afrikaans language is like the saying: ‘Aging is not lost on youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength’
Afrikaans is an expressive, home-grown language. One of the youngest Germanic languages in the world, it was born from Dutch vernacular in the 16th century. It may be young, but it is growing faster than you can say “blits”.
New words are being added faster than printed dictionaries can be revised. The language is catching up, growing up and trailblazing. Have you been watching ‘epic fails’ on YouTube? Then you were indulging in ‘kraterflaters’ (literally crater blunders). Or maybe your wife picked up a rotisserie chicken on the way home? That’s called a ‘draaibraai’ (literally turning barbecue).