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 Afrikaans, afrikaans.com or the magazine Huisgenoot.
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.
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.
Dr. Wagner has a PhD in Linguistics and is dedicated to learning and teaching languages online and abroad. She has studied in Quebec and Australia, taught English in France, and is currently based in the US.