Thursday, September 2, 2010

Afrikaans and Afrikaanses

Afrikaans is a language in South Africa which developed from Dutch with other influences (Khoekhoe - the language known for its click sounds, Malay and English vocabulary).
Afrikaans is spoken mainly by two groups of people in South Africa: Coloureds and Afrikaners.

One of the most interesting things about the language is the lack of verb conjugation in the present tense:
ek isik benI amich bin
jy/u isjij/U bentyou are (sing.)du bist (informal sing.)
hy/sy/dit ishij/zij/het ishe/she/it iser/sie/es ist
ons iswij zijnwe arewir sind
julle isjullie zijnyou are (plur.)ihr seid (informal pl.)
hulle iszij zijnthey areSie (formal sing. & pl.)/sie sind
(Taken from

In regards to the speech community itself: 
Afrikaans speakers have normally been considered Afrikaners (internationally) but this term tends to focus on the white Afrikaner community and excludes the Coloureds and any other speakers.
Afrikaanses is a new name for the community (or "Afrikaanssprekendes") which encompasses all groups.

This identity, especially in present post-apartheid South Africa, has made a place in a variety of contexts:
It is found in a major language association :

ATKV (Afrikaanse Taal- en Kultuurvereniging (Afrikaans Language and Cultural Association)
  • This organisation is originally an Afrikaner organisation but now incorporates all speakers and works in various avenues (running a festival, Drama competitions).

Afrikaans op Televisie provides a list of media (movies, docos) regarding Afrikaanses
  • One of the series is called Binnelanders involving a “multiracial Afrikaans speaking community” revolving around the lives of doctors and nurses.
    • Finally, MK is a tv channel in Afrikaans including music and entertainment

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