Afrikaans is nie dood nie ( Afrikaans isn’t dead)

I don’t know why but I rage when people make fun of Afrikaans as a language.
Some of you act like total tools when people can’t speak or write in English “correctly” but you think I’m overreacting when you GOOGLE TRANSLATE Afrikaans? Making a mockery of a language or a group of people who speak that specific language is a form of discrimination ( because no, google translate is not an accurate way to translate languages indigenous to one country). I’d love to see you speak afrikaans.

Afrikaans is a truly proudly South African language.
I’m PROUD of the fact that I can understand it, write it and can even speak it.
(Granted,I don’t speak it often because I struggle to pronounce some words but that’s because of a speech impediment ).I then meet people who go on about Xhosa and other African languages that are indigenous to South Africa, berating people who don’t speak their “mother tongue”. Guess what? Afrikaans IS indigenous to South Africa.

Yes, it’s based on Dutch but does not that mean its exactly the same.It just means that there are similarities.It’s completely different, ever looked at American spelling of words vs the British version of the same word?
Our African languages are dying and that includes afrikaans. Unfortunately many associate Afrikaans with the language of the oppressors but guess what? Many of the northern African countries were also oppressed, and they can speak Portuguese, French , Italian etc AS WELL as their native language. Why can’t we do the same?

I’d love to relearn Xhosa even, simply because at my primary school we were afforded the opportunity to learn it. That’s 8 years (including Pre-primary) I spent learning Xhosa AND Afrikaans simultaneously. High school afforded me the opportunity to only learn 1, Afrikaans ( as anyone who had taken Xhosa as a subject instead was expected to speak it fluently by then – the class catered for the Xhosa home language speakers only ).

I love afrikaans. I grew up in South Africa, I underwent 12 years (14 if you include 2 years in pre-primary) of compulsory schooling learning the language. Much in the same manner many others have, but unlike most of them. I don’t detest the language. I embrace it.

I love it.
I find saying certain things means so much more, Afrikaans is so much more expressive, be it in terms of endearments or even cuss words

Ek is lief vir jou – I love you
(If I ever had to say those words and truly mean them, I’d say it in Afrikaans)

Natgenaaidetepeltief – Basically calling someone a slut
(There isn’t a translation for this but it is an emphatic cuss word,that is much more expressive than its English “counterpart”)

So no. I don’t believe I’m overreacting (“as usual”) because I feel like you have insulted some part of my heritage. I do not mock the languages you speak, and Hindi/Urdu etc is not easy.

I’m a BA Language student at the University of Cape Town and I’ve learnt to respect these languages. Granted I might not have done well this semester but it doesn’t mean I can’t try again next semester or even next year.

Language is a gift. It’s a means to communicate with a wider world and you blatantly disrespected that by google translating the text instead of asking someone who can speak it. Like I said before, since when has google become an expert on a language indigenous to South Africa (and wherever else SOUTH AFRICANS have immigrated)

Is that what we’ve come to? Are we so reliant on technology that WE as the next generation will allow a language and culture to die out because we don’t feel comfortable with it? And yes, Afrikaans is a CULTURE as well.

Ever been to a “sokkie” (It’s an Afrikaans social gathering with music , food, conversation and dance- to give a brief explanation )?
Ever had a braai? (A Barbecue is not the same, and never will be)
Ever had biltong? ( Jerky is not the same)

It’s all part of the traditions and culture of a SOUTH AFRICAN language.
Go have a braai in Aussie mate,
Go find something similar to the vibe at Mzoli’s in any other country,
I can guarantee you one thing .. It will NEVER be the same.

You want to live and study here? No problem but this is my home, and Afrikaans happens to be my “French ” or my “Hindi ” or whatever other language you speak in your country, besides English.

The same applies for native Xhosa speakers, or native speakers of any language other than English. How dare you mock them for their “bad” English when chances are, they probably speak English better than you could ever speak their language.

So here is my kudos to you ..

Kudos to those who get mocked for speaking/writing English incorrectly when it’s not even their first language, hell it may not even be their 2nd or 3rd or even 4th.
Kudos to those of you for trying, you’ve done a lot more than many home language English speakers have, I don’t see you breaking them down when they can’t speak your language properly.
Kudos for never giving up, don’t feel any embarrassment based on anything anyone else may say. You’re already doing better than they ever could.


11 thoughts on “Afrikaans is nie dood nie ( Afrikaans isn’t dead)

  1. debbiebieske says:

    I am proud of you Bunny Boo!! People don’t always think about things when they say it, sure not a lot of people talk Afrikaans. But guess what? In peoples homes it is spoken everyday whether others would admit it or not. Ek is trots afrikaans en ek is lief vir jou my vriendin!

  2. André says:

    Ek bly op die oomblik in ‘n land wat nie minder kan omgee vir Engels nie. Dis baie lekker! Dankie vir jou artikel!

  3. jalal michael sabbagh. says:

    Excellent post.Thoughts very well expressed.You have the right to be to feel that way.Be well.jalal


    Ek stem saam, en ek gee rêragwaar nie om oor hoekom mense ñ “prejudice” het teen die taal nie, as jy dit met hulle moet probeer wil hulle oorlog maak. Ek haat vertraagde wanopvattings.

  5. James Hunter says:

    Hello, good post. I know Dutch so I like reading Afrikaans for fun now and then. It’s a relief to read such positive remarks about it for once!

    • It’s an amazing language that people tend to overlook, it might not be as popular as others or as well known but it is a truly South African language 🙂

      The sad thing is, many people here don’t speak it. Most of my classmates cannot speak afrikaans anymore 😦

      I’m glad that you enjoyed the post 🙂

  6. Jalin Bruce says:

    Awe! Ek is lief vir joy artikel! Ek bly in America where nie man praat die taal nie. Ek hoop jy kan verstaan my crappy afrikaans. Lol. I fell in love met die taal die eerst dag ek verhoor (het hoor or gehoor… not too sure) dit.. Afrikaans and Xhosa, such beautiful languages. Ek Weet dat afrikaans is nie dood nie. Ek het praat met a Netherlander and they asked “Why do you know a dead language?”. I replied ‘Jy is Onbeskaaf!’ and told him to vistit South Africa, Cape Flats specifically… Anyways, I’m rambling now. Ek kyk vir ‘n afrikaans onderwyser! lol

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