Language family: Indogermanic

Language group: Germanic

Geographical use: South Africa (by the Dutch speaking population), Botswana and Namibia

Information: The Afrikaans language is derived from a dialect from the southern Holland province in the Netherlands, that was spoken in South Africa by Dutch colonists in the 17th century. Afrikaans looks like Dutch, but is an independent language with an own sound system. It borrowed words from English, French and German (via colonists) and of African languages. The grammar was heavily simplified, e.g. the verb endings all disappeared. There were also fonetic changes: sch- became sk- (e.g. schoen became skoen), the final -t disappeared after some consonants, etc... Up to the middle of the 19th century Afrikaans was only a spoken language. Dutch was used as written language. Slowly the written Afrikaans was introduced until it had officially replaced Dutch in 1925. In 1933 the first complete Afrikaans translation of the Bible was published.


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