views updated May 21 2018

AFRIKAANS. A LANGUAGE related to DUTCH, the mother tongue of about 6m people in Southern Africa and a second language for millions of South Africans and Namibians. It is the source of many hundreds of loanwords in SOUTH AFRICAN ENGLISH, including such internationally known words as apartheid, boer, laager, trek, veld, and has in turn borrowed extensively from English.


views updated May 11 2018

Af·ri·kaans / ˌafriˈkänz/ • n. a language of southern Africa, derived from the form of Dutch brought to the Cape by Protestant settlers in the 17th century, and an official language of South Africa.• adj. relating to the Afrikaner people or their language.


views updated May 18 2018

Afrikaans One of 11 official languages of the Republic of South Africa. Derived from the language spoken by the original Dutch settlers of the 17th century, it quickly evolved its own forms to become a distinct language. Afrikaans is regarded as a cultural focal point by South Africans of Dutch origin. It is the everyday means of communication for some three million speakers of European, African, and mixed descent.

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