Dutch is closely related to Affrikaans?

Is the dialect Dutch closely related to the South African Dialect Affrikaans (Im South African and Speak Affrikaans by the way

August 21, 2019


Yes and no. As someone of mixed Afrikaans and Dutch heritage, I can maybe give a bit of informed background.

Afrikaans evolved as a simplified version of 17th century Dutch. In some instances maritime terms became common terms. E.g. the Dutch word for "kitchen" is "keuken". The Afrikaans word for "kitchen" is "kombuis" which was the word that was used for a kitchen on a ship.

Also Afrikaans has no proper past tense and used a type of past perfect tense as past tense. (Afrikaans speakers, even those who have studied languages are often quite surprised when I point this out.) Example: If you translate "I ran" into Dutch, it would be "Ik rende". In Afrikaans, it would become "Ek het gehardloop", in other words "I had run" instead of "I ran".

Because the Cape Colony became a British possession round about the time when the French became more active in Dutch society, Afrikaans doesn't have many of the French loanwords that got taken up in Dutch, e.g. "portemonnee" for wallet and "trottoir" for sidewalk.

Instead it was influenced by Malay words such as "piesang" (banana) and "baie" (a lot).

Also Afrikaans grammar rules are way simpler than Dutch. There's only "die" in place of "de" and "het" (which I nearly always get confused) and the tense does not change between a singular and plural subject. So the reason I'm doing Dutch on here, is actually to familiarize myself with these variances.

Nevertheless, if you know the one, you will probably be able to make yourself understood in the other.

August 21, 2019

So Afrikaans is a creolized form of Dutch. Not intended as pejorative, English is also a creolized language. Simplified grammar, lots of borrowing from other languages, usually arises in an environment where many people from areas that speak mutually unintelligible languages are interacting socially, no one language is completely ascendant, although one may have a bit more social cachet, and the need is communication. They typically tend to arise very quickly, witness the creoles in the Caribbean and other parts of Africa.

August 21, 2019

It's often said that the language actually began with the slaves brought to the Cape by the Dutch. They were not allowed to use their own languages, but had to use Dutch to converse (presumably to prevent them plotting against the colonial bosses). That's why you will sometimes hear it referred to as a "kombuis-taal" = kitchen language, i.e. it originated from the ranks of the servant classes.

August 21, 2019

Very interesting insight. It's almost unbelievable to think that a language cannot have an official past tense in the sense that many languages do (if not all others!). The pronunciation peculiarities and differences between Afrikaans and Dutch reminds me very much of English and English with a southern dialect (In America).

September 4, 2019

Well, neither of them are dialects but languages. Yes, Afrikaans has its roots in Dutch.

August 21, 2019

Afrikaans is a daughter language to Dutch, which means anyone who speaks Dutch can understand some Afrikaans and vice versa. In fact, Afrikaans used to be called “Cape Dutch” and is the youngest national language in the world. It’s still incredibly similar to Dutch.

August 21, 2019


August 29, 2019
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