Tag Archives: afrikaans

Learn Afrikaans with these Resources

Learn Afrikaans with these Resources

Who wants to learn Afrikaans?

If you want to learn Afrikaans, then you have come to the right place! Afrikaans is one of the easiest languages for English-speakers to learn. However, there are far fewer resources to study it compared to other languages. Here are some resources you can use to learn this beautiful daughter-language of Dutch.

Afrikaans Books & Websites

You can easily search Amazon for Afrikaans books, but there are not many and not all come with audio. The two main books are Colloquial Afrikaans: The Complete Course for Beginners and Complete Afrikaans: A Teach Yourself Guide.

The most extensive website for learning Afrikaans is probably Openlanguages. I have an Afrikaans tutorial here at ielanguages.com, and more audio will be added soon. Digital Dialects and Book2 both include Afrikaans. For more advanced reading practice, try Wikipedia in Afrikaansafrikaans.com or the magazine Huisgenoot.

Although Duolingo does not have an Afrikaans course, Memrise and Quizlet both have several flashcard sets.

Afrikaans Music

Check out the Afrikaanse musiek videos playlist. Some of the videos are not viewable outside of South Africa, but it will give you a good start. From my random searching on Youtube, I’ve come across Bok van Blerk the most, with a lot of Bobby van Jaarsveld, Lianie May, Jay, Kurt Darren, Dewald Wasserfall, among others. Quite a few singers are also actors so searching for their songs on Youtube will bring up trailers and clips of movies they are in.

Afrikaans TV & Movies

If you are an Amazon Prime member, the romcom Johannesburg to Cape Town roadtrip movie, Pad na jou Hart (Road to your Heart) is included for free. Another movie starring the same two leads, Vir Altyd (Forever), came out in 2016 but unfortunately it is not on Amazon.

Pad na jou hart - Road to your Heart movie in Afrikaans

Fiela se Kind is probably one of the most famous South African films in Afrikaans. Platteland, Liefling, and As Jy Sing are all musicals. Vrou Soek Boer, Semi-Soet, Klein Karoo, and Somer Son are some romantic comedies. Leading Lady is mostly in English with some dialog in Afrikaans and is available at Youtube Movies. Most of these other movies can be rented or bought at Scatzy Movies (and Bok van Blerk is in half of them. Seriously.)

It can be difficult to watch some South African movies since they are not always released in other countries or on DVDs of other regions. At the very least, you can watch the trailers on Youtube to listen to some Afrikaans. In addition to Scatzy, ShowMax is a subscription service for watching South African TV series and movies online (with English subtitles). They offer a 14-day free trial, then it’s $8.99 USD per month. They seem to have quite a few of the above movies available, as well as movies and series in other languages such as Swahili, French, Xhosa, Zulu, Diola, and Tswana.

KykNET is a TV channel that broadcasts in Afrikaans. You can watch clips from some of their shows on their website. 7de Laan is a long-running soap opera and you can watch the latest episodes on Youtube.

Afrikaans YouTube Videos

AfrikaansPod101 has a few free Afrikaans in 3 minutes and various listening comprehension videos available at Youtube. They also offer more extensive material through their paid accounts that range from $4 to $23 a month.

A few Afrikaans speakers have made some educational videos on Youtube, such as Heinsuniverse, LookAt MeLearn, Shaun Roselt, and STEOHENSTONE. The channel Kinderstories is children’s stories in Afrikaans. If you search the channel MindsetTeach for Afrikaans, you will find videos of children learning Afrikaans at school. This video on vowels was particularly helpful for proper pronunciation.

I recently started making more Germanic languages comparative videos if you’re interested in learning German, Dutch, and Afrikaans together. The latest video compares the subject pronouns:

Any other Afrikaans resources?

I am always interested in finding more Afrikaans resources, so please let me know in the comments if you have recommendations.

New Language Tutorial on ielanguages.com: Afrikaans!

I’m happy to announce that a new language tutorial has been added to ielanguages.com: Afrikaans! The tutorial was written by Selçuk Mert Köseoğlu and proofread by native-speaker Sarien, who also plans to record some mp3s.

Afrikaans originated from 17th century Dutch and is one of the official languages of South Africa. It is also spoken in Namibia and a few other African countries. There are about 7 million native speakers and 20 million speakers overall. There is still a lot of mutual intelligibility between Dutch and Afrikaans, though it is easier for Dutch speakers to understand Afrikaans than vice versa.

South Africa 2001 Afrikaans speakers proportion map
Where Afrikaans is spoken by the most people in South Africa

As PageF30 mentioned a few months, Afrikaans is rather easy for English speakers to learn because the grammar is not nearly as complicated as other Germanic languages. Nouns have no gender and no cases. There is only one definite and one indefinite article. Verbs do not conjugate for person or number. The infinitive is identical to the present tense and the imperative. The past tense is comparable to the present perfect in English, with a few exceptions for some verbs that still exist in the preterite. The future and conditional tenses are just like in English. There are no progressive / continuous tenses or past perfect tense. The only thing that seems remotely difficult is word order.

I’ve been trying to find more resources for learning Afrikaans online, but there don’t seem to be very many. Hopefully Mert, Sarien, and I will be able to fill in that void. I do plan to create comparative tutorials with Dutch as well for those who want to learn both Dutch and Afrikaans at the same time. (Though I am currently swamped with my translation work and updating French Language Tutorial so I’m not sure when I’ll be able to do it.) If there are other Afrikaans speakers out there who want to help others learn your language, please let me know.

If you are interested in South Africa, I recommend checking out the beautiful photos in the South Africa Flickr pool.