Why Afrikaans Should Be Added To Duolingo

I am currently a student and 50% South African. I am a citizen of South Africa and it is my mother who was born and raised there.

On Christmas Eve two years ago, my mother passed away after an incredibly long battle with cancer. It completely crushed me. She would never be there to meet my first boyfriend, see me graduate, or grow into a young woman she would be proud of. One thing I always wished I had learned was Afrikaans. It was a distinct skill my mother possessed that I was always in awe of. When I was a little girl, I understood the language quite well. However, when we moved back to the United States, this ability ceased to exist.

With such a passion, I long to learn Afrikaans. I imagine visiting family and friends in South Africa someday and blowing them away with my pronunciation and vocabulary. I know my mother would be proud of this. Duolingo is unlike any other educational quest of mine- it is completely free. I love linguistics and Duolingo gives me the tools to cultivate this interest. I hope Duolingo can help me achieve my dream.

Afrikaans is a beautiful language, spoken by over 7.2 million people as a first language and 8-15 million as a second language. It really has only three major verb tenses, making it a fairly easy language to learn and proving perfect for Duolingo's course format. There are also many words exclusive to the language due to the uniqueness of South African culture. I just can't seem to find any biltong in the U.S., and most importantly: a braai is NOT a barbecue!

June 23, 2018


I have studied Dutch almost exclusively through Duolingo and I can understand about 70% or so of Afrikaans when it is spoken in front of me.

Mondly offers Afrikaans but I don't think it is free.

June 24, 2018

I love that and think that is soo cool haha. I wonder how much time you have invested and I wonder about the conversion rate of changing Dutch to Afrikaans from someone who has done it personally. Those are things I think about when I read this post but I am unsure if I am looking for a response for some of the latter things haha. :)

June 25, 2018

You bring up very good points. I will continue to research the similarities between Dutch and Afrikaans!

June 26, 2018

The languages are very similar. I learned Afrikaans in school and Dutch is quite easy for me to read. It sounds a bit different though.

July 6, 2018

In your opinion, would it be useful to have Afrikaans on Duolingo then? Also, was the person speaking Afrikaans speaking to you or with another Afrikaans speaker? Even though it is anecdotal, I've found that Afrikaans speakers change their vocabulary usage when they know the other person speaks/understands Dutch such that common/standard words are used instead of colloquial Afrikaans.

As for Mondly, the Afrikaans course is free as far as I know.

June 27, 2018

I think it would be useful because there are differences. The two languages may be as different as Danish and Norwegian Bokmål, both of which have Duo courses.

Usually the conversations I witness involve two or more Afrikaaners who are speaking amongst themselves.

June 27, 2018

Thanks for the reply! I find it really interesting how learners of Dutch approach listening to Afrikaans

June 27, 2018

I do believe Afrikaans would be useful to have on Duolingo. I was spoken to in Afrikaans as well as around Afrikaans speakers talking amongst themselves.

July 9, 2018

You may wish to delete your age to conform with Duo guidelines.

June 24, 2018

You only gave a motivation of why you want to learn Afrikaans, not why it should be added.

You could also learn Dutch, it is a harder language but in doing so you will be able to understand Dutch, Flemish and Afrikaans.

June 24, 2018

Thank you for your helpful input. I have added to my post.

June 25, 2018

I too wish my native language would be added, but I understand why it isn't on here yet and likely won't be for quite sometime. I have volunteered to help build Afrikaans here on my other account.

Try easy Afrikaans:

Mondly has Afrikaans

Try books like Colloquial Afrikaans by B. Donaldson or Teach Yourself Afrikaans by Helena Van Schalkwyk.

You should look into getting a pen-pal, maybe see if there are any classes or teachers around you, you could definitely get a teacher on italki.

June 24, 2018

I would love to have a pen pal, but I have no idea where I would find one? Do you have any suggestions?

June 24, 2018

Thanks for sharing, sorry about your mom — and I can tell you basically my Mom (My Grandma, but I thought of her the same way) passed away recently too because of I know some of how that is unfortunately —, and I am sure you have read some of the other comments about learning Dutch and other resources to learn Afrikaans. I would like to see it on Duolingo as well. I would take that course haha :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I agree with you and am on a similar page haha :D

June 25, 2018

Thank you! I am glad we can share our experiences.

July 9, 2018

Hey dear!!

July 9, 2018

I would love to see Afrikaans as well.

June 24, 2018

Go to South Africa!!

June 24, 2018

I agree with you, I'm also looking forward to seeing Afrikaans on here! You have a really precious story!

June 24, 2018


I am very sorry to hear about your mother and what had happened to you in your early life and what fights your family and you all had gone through.
It must have been tough times...

I am sure that there also will be some great things which are just waiting for you in life even you do not know them yet...and you very much deserve to make good experiences for the next couple of years as soon as possible.

Leider kann ich mich nicht ganz so gewandt in Englisch ausdrücken, da ich Native German bin.

If I were you, I would maybe try to hook up on the Watersports thing, which you can do in "Cape Town" and US (depending on where you live).

All active things (sports in general), which give your brain a bit of free time (zum "Durchschnaufen") for a couple of hours, a few days per week or month, where you can actively RECHARGE your cells and completely FREE your mind are IMHO a good thing to do how to turn around daily life ("Alltag").

[VIDEOS] Looking for an inspiration why to learn languages? Train watersports and visit the country!:

100 days course 50languages Afrikaans (for free):

They provide native MP3 audio recordings and you can show the script or get the book2.


You can (only) add user-created courses on the Memrise web portal and replicate the courses onto your mobile device (the Android app, especially older versions, are known to be better/bug free than the Memrise IOS mobile app versions).

The mobile apps nowadays will hide ALL user-created content and force you into the offical 1-7 Memrise courses (created by the user "Memrise"), if they are available for your target language (obviously not true for Afrikaans).

You may also want to vote for Afrikaans on LT:

Wish you all the best!

Best regards / Viele Grüße aus Deutschland

June 24, 2018

Thank you!

June 25, 2018

Is your family actually an Afrikaans-speaking family?

June 23, 2018

Yes, well English-Afrikaans to be exact. It is their secondary language, but they know it fluently and use it to communicate socially and as a part of their occupations. My one uncle is a lawyer and my other one is a dentist in South Africa. My mother is the only one of their family that moved to the United States.

June 24, 2018

Don’t worry you can use Mondly to learn Afrikaans.

June 24, 2018
Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.