About Afrikaans

Afrikaans is a Germanic language spoken by 7.1 million native speakers who are mostly concentrated in the southern African continent. The language itself is actually a spin-off of Dutch which originated from the Dutch settlers who made their homes on the African cape. As a result, Afrikaans maintains a good amount of mutual intelligibility with Dutch. Most of the Afrikaans speaking population resides in South Africa but neighboring countries also use the language. Like Dutch, Afrikaans is considered an easier language for native English speakers to learn due to the shared Germanic origins.

Online Resources

Steohenstone Afrikaans is a Youtube video series for learning the Afrikaans!

Learn to Speak Afrikaans is another Youtube series designed to learn Afrikaans.

Open Languages is an Afrikaans site is run by a professor at the University of Milwaukee.

Rieme Online Dictionary is a powerful but simple online dictionary for going from Afrikaans to English.

Online News

Netwerk 24

Popular Products

Colloquial Afrikaans
The Colloquial series by Routledge covers dozens of languages, including Afrikaans. The most recent version includes many exercises, answer keys, bilingual glossary, and online audio materials.

Hippocrene Practical Dictionary: Afrikaans-English / English-Afrikaans
Two way Afrikaans and English dictionary with over 25,000 entires.

Afrikaans Vocabulary: An Afrikaans Language Guide
Vocabulary guide split in 18 categories for easier learning.

Teach Yourself Afrikaans
Entry level book for learning Afrikaans but currently only available on Kindle.

Where Can I Study It?

University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee offers courses in Afrikaans

University of California - Los Angeles has courses in Afrikaans through the Germanic Languages Department.

Brigham Young University offers courses in Afrikaans on occassion.

University of Cape Town has the opportunity to pursue Afrikaans and Netherlandic Studies.

Famous Speakers

Nelson Mandela
Probably the most famous South African in history. Nelson didn't speak Afrikaans as a first language but reports are he could get by. Considering that South Africa has 11 official languages he needed to know a few of them.

J. M. Coetzee
Coetzee won the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature and apparently spoke Afrikaans with his relatives when he was younger.

Charlize Theron
Theron won the Academy Award for Best Actress in the film Monster. You can also check her out in Prometheus and Mad Max: Fury Road. You can see a video of her speaking Afrikaans here

Cultural Products

A History of South Africa
Learn about South Africa from the beginning of humans until the 2010s. Includes colonial and apartheid history.

Culture Smart - South Africa
This South Africa culture guide includes many topics, including: traditions, do's and don'ts, history, social life, religion, taboos, and verbal and non-verbal commmunication. Ideal for anyone looking to travel to South Africa or understand the country better.

South African Cooking in the USA
South African history is full of actors who hail from many different countries and parts of the world. The result is a rich and diverse culinary offering, which this cookbook attempts to capture. Includes over 150 recipes.

The South Africa Reader: History, Culture, Politics
Over 600 pages of writings about South Africa, from the colonial era to the present day. Topics include race, discrimination, workers, folktales, violence, and songs, amongst others.