Which English words come from Afrikaans

Structure and history of Dutch An introduction to Dutch linguistics

The development of Afrikaans

Afrikaans developed from 17th century Dutch: The United East India Trade Company (VOC) settled in the 17th century at the Cape of Good Hope, she needed the Cape as a resting place for her ships on the long way to India. The shipmen and traders needed a stopover where they could take food and drink on board, leave the sick, etc. The first colonists on the Cape came from the southern Netherlands. Their origin can still be recognized in some details in today's Afrikaans. It was sailors and peasants, both with their own vocabulary and dialect, who settled the Cape. The native inhabitants of South Africa at that time were mainly so-called Hottentots and Bushmen.

From around 1740, the colloquial language in South Africa can no longer be described as pure Dutch. One of the most plausible theories about the emergence of this new language variant is that the most important changes in Afrikaans are due to interference.

The French Huguenots who came to South Africa in the 16th and 17th centuries had little influence on the language. Only French names still remember them. Those originally French words, which were adopted into Afrikaans, come from the Dutch of the 17th and 18th centuries. Also the "Malay slaves" from Indonesia, Angola and other areas, mostly Portuguese colonies, which were established in the course of the 18th century. brought to South Africa had limited influence on the language. The Malay and Portuguese words in Afrikaans were already borrowed into Dutch in earlier times (sailor's language).

The VOC repeatedly carried out language-regulating actions. She only wanted to accept "pure" Dutch, immigrants had to adapt.

In the middle of the 18th century the Deflexion process (Simplification and reduction of nominal and verbal paradigms; cf. also the loss of inflection in Middle Dutch) so far advanced that a separate language variant, the "Cape Dutch". From the second half of the 18th century a separate language system had been established. Source analyzes have shown a continuous and continuous development from Dutch to Cape Dutch and on to Afrikaans. Afrikaans has evolved from the Dutch cultural language of the 17th century and some Dutch dialects (South Dutch) developed.

The English came to South Africa around 1800. Their appearance, however, had little influence on the developing Afrikaans. However, they continued to speak your Language and introduced English language administration and teaching. The Cape became a British colony. English then had a much higher status than Afrikaans. The upper classes, the administration and the intellectuals spoke English, Afrikaans became the "kitchen language" (kombuistaal) considered.

The descendants of the Dutch and Flemings (conservative Boers) were not very satisfied with the English government (liberation of slaves) and therefore moved to the so-called "Great trek"(1836-44) to the north, away from the coast. Different variants of Afrikaans were now found in different areas. The disputes with the English continued.

With the rise of nationalism in the 19th century, the Afrikaans-speaking population also began to defend their own language. For the first time the Afrikaans was put down in writing. They drafted a spelling, taught in their own language and wrote an afrikaanse Bible translationwhich like the "Statenbijbel" became a normative "grammar book" for Dutch. (cf. also the Gothic translation of the Bible).

In 1875 the "Association of Upright Africans" (Genootschap van de Regte Afrikaners) built. This fought for the recognition of Afrikaans as a cultural language. After the second war of freedom against the English (1899-1902) the "Boers" achieved self-government and Dutch became the official language. A new nationalism and a feeling for a language of their own emerged. In 1905 the "Afrikaanse Taalgenootschap" (African Language Society) and the "Afrikaanse Taalvereniging" (African Language Association) were established, which achieved success.

In 1910 the Union of South Africa received the status of one Dominion (within the "Commonwealth of Nations"). In the 1920s, Afrikaans was recognized as a second official language.

In the 1960s, the development of Afrikaans into today's language form was largely complete. It had now changed from a language with "lower functions" to a language with "higher functions" (legal language, language of politics, ...).

Afrikaans is spoken by around 6 million people today, half of them are colored. In addition to Afrikaans and English, a large number of non-European languages ​​are spoken in South Africa, most of which belong to the Bantu languages ​​(Nguni and Sotho languages). Afrikaans is the most widely used language in South Africa, it is used as a means of communication ("lingua franca") used between speakers of other languages.

Some noticeable features of the Afrikaans

The spelling, orthography des Afrikaans is based on the so-called simplified Dutch orthography. It depends more on that pronunciation than the Dutch, so it is more phonetic.

Important changes in Afrikaans compared to Dutch are:

  • Apocopes of t after a voiceless consonant
    (Afr. lig - Ndl. light "Light, easy", Afr. product - Ndl. product)
  • Syncope from intervocal d and G
    (Afr. skouer - Ndl. schouder "Shoulder", Afr. koue - Ndl. koude "Cold"; Afr. play - Ndl. mirror, Afr. teen - Ndl. tegen "against")
  • sk instead of sch initially
    (Afr. skool - Ndl. school "School", Afr. vriendskap - Ndl. vriendschap "Friendship")
  • Detuning fricatives (e.g. [s] instead of [z])
    (Afr. so - Ndl. zo, Afr. suid - Ndl. zuid "South")
  • the Dutch sound segment aar is often found in Afrikaans in the form of he at
    (Afr. perd and kers - Ndl. couple and kaars "Horse; candle")
  • the diphthong [ei], which in Dutch as <ij> is written; in Afrikaans this is called <y> reproduced

The inflection of the Verbums is relatively easy in Afrikaans. It is characterized by the loss of exits (deflection; cf. the loss of flexion in Middle Dutch). In the present there is only one form: ek work, jy work, hy work, ons work, julle work, hulle work "I, you, ... work". The infinitive has also lost its ending: Afr. plant, kry - Ndl. work, krijgen "work, get". Another simplification came about through the loss of two tenses in Afrikaans: the past tense and the past perfect. There is only one way to express events from the past, namely the perfect tense.

ik workedek het trade"I worked / have worked"
hij heeft pulledhy het singing"he sang"
wij were drunkons het vertrek"we were / have left"

The latter two forms (singing, vertrek) also show another important renewal in Afrikaans: the disappearance of strong verbs.

A pretty noticeable feature of the Nouns concerns the genera. While there are still two categories in Dutch, the de-Words (m. And f.) And the het-Words (n.), The Afrikaans has only one category. All nouns have the definite article the (Ndl. de vrouw, het huis - Afr. die vrou, die huis "the woman, the house"). When forming the majority, it is noticeable that the ending -s is used much more often in Afrikaans than in Dutch (e.g .: Ndl. move, present - Afr. moving, vorms "Movements, Shapes"). Afrikaans has several diminutive suffixes, with Dutch being -je has been replaced by -ie (koppie, briefie "Cups, letters").

Noticeable forms of the Pronouns are the indicative pronouns here the (Ndl. dec "this") and daardie (Ndl. the "those"). The indefinite Dutch men "man" does not appear in Afrikaans: Ndl. men moet carefully zijn - Afr. 'n mens moet versigtig wees "You have to be careful". Form zich Afrikaans does not know "itself" as a reflex pronoun. In its place comes a form of the personal pronoun: Ndl. hij ashamed zich - Afr. hy skaam hom "He's ashamed him".

In the area of Syntaxis What is particularly striking is the so-called 'double negation'. The negation is expressed using two elements: the first element (never, nobody, nooit, niks, geen etc.) after the finite verb, while the second element - always never - consistently at the end of the sentence: hij kan never slaap never; sy hou nooit op met work never "He can't sleep; she never stops working". (cf. also the negative in Middle Dutch)

A typical Dutch construction can be found in a sentence like: ik zat te schrijven "I sat to write". This construction does not exist in Afrikaans. It is made by combining two verbs through en "and" are connected, reproduced: ek het gesit en slaap "I sat and slept". Another example: Ndl. hij loops te lezen - Afr. hy loop en lees "He runs and reads".

Finally, a peculiarity in the field of Word formation, the Reduplication. In the spoken language one often finds 'doubled' words like gou-gou, vroeg-vroeg or kort-kort. Most of the time, this doubling has an intensifying and / or iterative effect. Not only adverbs can be doubled, but nouns and verbs can also be reduplicated: everything com stuk-stuk en nuut tot hom ("Piece by piece, piece by piece") and: toe het die seun huil-huil van ontsteltenis daan aangekom ("in tears"). The reduplicated words have an adverbial function in such sentences.


Compare for the Afrikaans Brinkman & Uys (undated) and especially Raidt (1983), from which many examples are borrowed.