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The South African Weather Experience — What You Need to Know

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Finding yourself in Afrikaans company, it can be difficult to start conversations if you’re not a native speaker. The weather is a classic conversation starter, as the weather is always there, everywhere and for everyone! In South Africa, the weather and climate are temperate and pleasant in most areas, and, aside from its breathtaking beauty, the country is a top tourist destination for this reason.

At AfrikaansPod101, we know how the weather can make or break a holiday or a stay! Therefore, we give you the most important facts about the weather South Africa experiences, and supply you with Afrikaans weather phrases. This way, you can start talking about weather in Afrikaans any time and plan your travels wisely.

But first—what’s the weather like where you live? Do you like it? Share with us in the comments!

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Table of Contents

  1. Weather in South Africa: General
  2. AfrikaansPod101 Can Teach You South African Weather Phrases Easily!


1. Weather in South Africa: General

Weather

Before learning how to talk about South African weather in Afrikaans, keep in mind that climate and weather in Africa are diverse, as it’s a huge continent. You could find yourself in the sweltering desert in one part of it, but sweat in a completely different climate setting just a few hours’ flight away. Winters are mild in some areas, and bitterly cold in others. African weather is not known for a lot of snow, though; for that, you’ll have to look much further up north.

In South Africa, “weather” (weer) and climate follow the same pattern of diversity, with one exception—during winter, it freezes only in small areas, and then not for long. It also doesn’t snow in most parts of the country, except on the high mountaintops. Temperatures tend to be more moderate at the coast, with greater extremes in dry, inland regions. When packing, prepare for any type of weather!

1- Weather in South Africa: The Climate

South Africa, which is situated at the southernmost point of Africa, experiences weather that’s typical for the Southern Hemisphere, with its coldest days from June through August, according to Wikipedia. The warmest region during winter is the coast hugged by the Indian Ocean on the eastern side of the country, forming a big part of the Kwazulu-Natal province.

Climatic zones are distinguished by rainfall patterns. Winter rain falls in the Western Cape region, usually from May through August, and most often in a soft drizzle. (This pattern is changing, however; each year, the region seems to get more rain even during the summer months, and more torrential rainfall than before. This is still not that common, though.)

All other regions get their rain during summer and spring, except for the Eastern Cape, where it rains throughout the year. This province is also characterized by high humidity, which can make the summers almost unbearable. The average annual rainfall is 713 millimetres (28.1 in.). The northwest region, including the coast as well as large areas of the Western, Eastern, and Northern Cape, are all characterized by a dry, arid climate and landscape.

2- Weather in South Africa: Vocabulary to Memorize

Complaints

In every language, there are words describing different weather conditions, and Afrikaans is no different. Also, in Afrikaans, weather terms are used as similes or metaphors to describe things other than the actual weather and climate. With these basic words about the weather in Afrikaans, you’ll have no trouble holding your own in a conversation!

Afrikaans: Son and sonskyn
Translation: “Sun” and ‘’sunshine”
Example sentence: Die son hang soos ‘n ryp, geel pomelo oor die woestyn. AND Sy het ‘n glimlag soos sonskyn.
Translation: “The sun hangs like a ripe, yellow grapefruit over the desert.” AND “She has a smile like sunshine.”

Baby Girl Smile

Afrikaans: Reën, reënbui, and reënerig
Translation: “Rain,” “a bout of rain,” and “rainy”
Example sentence: Die reën in Spanje bly meestal in die vlakte AND Die reënbui sal gou verbygaan AND Ek hou van reënerige weer
Translation: “The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain” AND “This bout of rain will pass quickly” AND “I like rainy weather.”

Afrikaans: Donderstorm
Translation: “Thunderstorm”
Example sentence: Dit lyk of hy deur ‘n donderstorm getref is.
Translation: “It looks like he was hit by a thunderstorm.”

Afrikaans: Koue and hitte AND koud and warm AND koel
Translation: “Cold” and “heat” AND “cold” and “warm” AND “cool”
Example sentence: Die koffie is koud en onsmaaklik AND Die kar se hitte is te hoog. Also: Die oond is warm al lyk dit koel.
Translation: “The coffee is cold and bad” AND “The car’s heat is too high.” Also: “The oven is hot even though it looks cold/cool.”

Afrikaans: Nat and droog
Translation: “Wet” and “dry”
Example sentence: Die kleuter gee haar ‘n nat soen AND Sy humorsin is droog soos biltong.
Translation: “The toddler gives her a wet kiss” AND “His sense of humor is dry like jerky.”

Afrikaans: Wind and winderig
Translation: “Wind” and “windy”
Example sentence: Die wind waai waar hy wil op winderige dae.
Translation: “The wind blows where it wishes on windy days.”

Windy Umbrella in the Wind

Afrikaans: Wolk and bewolk/bewolkte
Translation: “Cloud” and “cloudy”
Example sentence: ‘n Enkele wolk maak nie ‘n bewolkte dag nie AND Jou gesig lyk bewolk.
Translation: “A single cloud doesn’t make for a cloudy day” AND “Your face looks clouded.”

Afrikaans: Sneeu and hael
Translation: “Snow” and “hail”
Example sentence: Dit gaan hael vandag, nie sneeu nie.
Translation: “It’s going to hail today, not snow.”

Blizzard, Snow

Afrikaans: Motreën
Translation: “Drizzle”
Example sentence: Motreën kan mens goed nat maak.
Translation: “Drizzle can properly wet one through.”

Afrikaans: Mis and mistigheid
Translation: “Mist” and “misty”
Example sentence: Die berghange is toe onder die mis.
Translation: “The mountainside is covered with mist.”

3- Weather in South Africa: Common Idioms to Memorize

Now that you know some handy weather words in Afrikaans, worm your way into any Afrikaans conversation with these lines. Be sure they correspond with the weather, though!

Afrikaans: Dis so warm dat die kraaie gaap.
Translation: “It’s so hot, the crows are yawning.”
Note: This idiom apparently has its origin in the behavior of crows when the weather is very hot and humid. The birds keep their beaks open to breathe, with their wings outstretched. This reportedly serves to keep their bodies cool and ventilated, also causing them to look like they’re yawning!

Crow

Afrikaans: Daar’s ‘n knyp in die lug.
Translation: “There’s a pinch in the air.”
Meaning: This phrase is used to indicate that it’s nippy outside—not quite cold, but getting there.

Afrikaans: Dit reën katte en honde!
Translation: “It’s raining cats and dogs!”
Meaning: This idiom has the same meaning as in English, which is most often used to describe a cloud burst.

Torrential Rain

Afrikaans: Jakkals trou met Wolf se vrou.
Translation: “Fox marries Wolf’s wife.”
Meaning: This jaunty Afrikaans idiom you’d use when it’s raining while the sun is peeking out! It’s a meteorological phenomenon that’s sometimes referred to in English as a “sunshower.”

4- Weather in South Africa: Common Weather Phrases to Memorize

Autumn

In an Afrikaans weather conversation, it’s important to know how to describe the weather (and how you feel about it!). Here are some helpful phrases for doing so.

Afrikaans: Dit gaan vandag bewolk wees met verspreide reënbuie oor die kusgebied.
Translation: “It will be cloudy today with bouts of rain spread across the coastal areas.”

Afrikaans: Dis bibberend koud vandag!
Translation: “It’s shivering cold today!”

Afrikaans: Die temperatuur is dertig grade hier.
Translation: “The temperature is thirty degrees (celcius) here.”

Afrikaans: Die wind waai sterk or Daar’s ‘n sterk wind.
Translation: “The wind blows strongly” or “There’s a strong wind.”

Afrikaans: Ek kry koud!
Translation: “I’m cold!”
Note: You can replace koud with warm, which means “hot.”


2. AfrikaansPod101 Can Teach You South African Weather Phrases Easily!

When you enroll with us for a Lifetime Account, you get multiple benefits immediately at your fingertips! You’ll get thousands of lessons tailored to meet you at your level of language proficiency, enough to help yourself with straight away!

This includes topic-related, culture-specific Afrikaans vocabulary lists, like this one about the weather. In a simple, clear layout, our lessons are easily accessible, offering writing and audio recordings to make sure you learn the word as it’s pronounced by native Afrikaans speakers.

You’ll also gain access to the following, and so much more:

The value is simply unbeatable!

If you’re serious about your learning, we have several learning options to suit your pocket and your language needs. Therefore, look at our three different learning plans—affordable while still providing great value for your money.

If you’d like to fast-track your learning, why not choose the Premium Plus Plan, which gives you access to your own personal teacher and friendly host? These offers are sure to put sonskyn in your day, so enroll now!

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The Essential Afrikaans Adjectives List

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In sentences, adjectives are used to describe nouns, such as: “the brave boy.” (”Brave” is the adjective, and “boy” is the noun in this clause.) These words, like adverbs, make any spoken or written language come alive, as they paint pictures that help us better understand what we read or hear.

AfrikaansPod101 provides you with multiple lists of adjectives in Afrikaans, in both text and sound formats, and with context! With practice, and by applying what you learn in these lessons, you’ll soon know how to use adjectives in Afrikaans.

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Table of Contents

  1. What are Adjectives in Afrikaans?
  2. List of the Top 100+ Afrikaans Adjectives
  3. Short Exercise to Spot Afrikaans Adjectives
  4. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Use Afrikaans Adjectives Like a Boss!


1. What are Adjectives in Afrikaans?

Most Common Adjectives

Adjectives in Afrikaans (translation: byvoeglike naamwoorde) have the same function as English adjectives. Furthermore, they’re fairly simple to use, since, like all other Afrikaans word forms, they don’t have grammatical gender. Pretty straightforward, they always remain the same while beautifully describing things, objects, people, and concepts—in other words, nouns.

Here, we provide you with essential Afrikaans adjectives to use, for quick reference at your fingertips!

Also avail yourself to our lessons below, where we demonstrate how to pronounce these Afrikaans adjectives as well. With these, and all the other helpful tools on AfrikaansPod101, your learning will be very easy!

Tip: Like in English, adjectives with opposite meanings are used in exactly the same way.

For instance:
Die gelukkige / ongelukkige seun.
“The happy / unhappy boy.”

Before we start our Afrikaans adjectives list, what is an adjective called in your language? Do they have grammatical gender? Explain this to us in the comments!


2. List of the Top 100+ Afrikaans Adjectives

1- Describing People and their Personalities, Talents, and Traits

This list is not exhaustive, but here you have the core Afrikaans adjectives to describe a person.

Afrikaans Adjective: gelukkig and ongelukkig
Translation: “happy” and “unhappy”
Use: ‘n gelukkige kind
Translation: “a happy child”

Happy Sad Drawings

Afrikaans Adjective: slim
Translation: “clever” or “intelligent”
Use: die slim meisiekind
Translation: “the clever girl”

Afrikaans Adjective: vriendelik
Translation: “friendly”
Use: ‘n vriendelike man
Translation: “a friendly man”

Afrikaans Adjective: vrolike or opgewekte
Translation: “cheerful”
Use: my vrolike Ouma or die opgewekte vrou
Translation: “my cheerful Grandma” or “the cheerful woman”

Afrikaans Adjective: jong and ou
Translation: “young” and “old”
Use: die jong vrou
Translation: “the young woman”

Afrikaans Adjective: tevrede
Translation: “content”
Use: ‘n tevrede baba
Translation: “a content baby”

Happy Baby

Afrikaans Adjective: eerlike
Translation: “honest”
Use: ons eerlike opinie
Translation: “our honest opinion”

Afrikaans Adjective: beleefde
Translation: “polite”
Use: die beleefde manier
Translation: “the polite way”

Afrikaans Adjective: kunssinnige
Translation: “artistic”
Use: my kunssinnige vriend
Translation: “my artistic friend”

Afrikaans Adjective: begaafde or talentvolle
Translation: “gifted” or “talented”
Use: haar begaafde seun or die talentvolle pianis
Translation: “her gifted son” or “the talented pianist”

Artistic Percussionist

Afrikaans Adjective: vrygewig
Translation: “generous”
Use: sy vrygewige natuur
Translation: “his generous nature”

Afrikaans Adjective: geduldige
Translation: “patient”
Use: ‘n geduldige ouer
Translation: “a patient parent”

Afrikaans Adjective: kwaai or woedende
Translation: “stern” or “very angry”
Use: die kwaai onderwyser or ‘n woedende persoon
Translation: “the stern teacher” or “a very angry person”

Afrikaans Adjective: skaam
Translation: “shy”
Use: die skaam dogter
Translation: “the shy daughter”

Girl Scared School

Afrikaans Adjective: onbeskofte
Translation: “rude”
Use: onbeskofte toeskouers
Translation: “rude audience”

Afrikaans Adjective: aggressiewe
Translation: “aggressive”
Use: sy aggressiewe houding
Translation: “his aggressive attitude”

Afrikaans Adjective: swaarmoedig or depressiewe
Translation: “depressed; heavy” or “depressive”
Use: ‘n swaarmoedige gees or die depressiewe man
Translation: “a depressed, heavy spirit” or “the depressive man”

Afrikaans Adjective: angstig
Translation: “anxious”
Use: ‘n angstige geaardheid
Translation: “an anxious personality”

Anxious, Nervous Bride

Afrikaans Adjective: aangename and onaangename
Translation: “pleasant” and “unpleasant”
Use: aangename vrou
Translation: “pleasant woman”

Afrikaans Adjective: lui
Translation: “lazy”
Use: die lui namiddag
Translation: “the lazy afternoon”

Afrikaans Adjective: onvriendelike
Translation: “unfriendly”
Use: die onvriendelike kassier
Translation: “the unfriendly cashier

Afrikaans Adjective: hardwerkende
Translation: “hardworking”
Use: my hardwerkende man
Translation: “my hardworking husband”

Afrikaans Adjective: mooi and lelik
Translation: “pretty” and “ugly”
Use: my mooi vrou and die lelike merk
Translation: “my pretty wife” and “the ugly mark”

Pretty Woman Taking Selfie

Afrikaans Adjective: stil and lawaaierige
Translation: “quiet” and “noisy”
Use: die stil man and die lawaaierige kinders
Translation: “the quiet man” and “the noisy children”

2- Describing Shape, Size, Distance, Quantity, Texture, etc.

Afrikaans Adjective: groot and klein
Translation: “big” and “small”
Use: Die groot man met die klein hartjie
Translation: “The big guy with the tender heart”
Interesting Note: In this Afrikaans idiomatic expression, “small” refers to a tenderhearted person, and not to the literal size of a person’s heart (or the English expression “small-hearted”).

Afrikaans Adjective: hoë and lae
Translation: “tall” and “low”
Use: Die hoë toring met die lae vensters
Translation: “The tall tower with the low windows”

Tall Tower

Afrikaans Adjective: boonste and onderste
Translation: “top” and “lower/bottom”
Use: die boonste kas and die onderste laai
Translation: “the top cupboard” and “the bottom drawer”

Afrikaans Adjective: linker and regter
Translation: “left” and “right”
Use: my linker hand en regter voet
Translation: “my left hand and right foot”

Afrikaans Adjective: min and baie
Translation: “few” and “lots/a lot of”
Use: min dae and baie suiker
Translation: “few days” and “lots of sugar”

Sugars

Afrikaans Adjective: bietjie
Translation: “little bit”
Use: bietjie suiker
Translation: “little bit of sugar”

Afrikaans Adjective: enige
Translation: “any”
Use: enige tyd
Translation: “any time”

Afrikaans Adjective: alle and geen
Translation: “all” and “no”
Use: alle mense
Translation: “all people”

Afrikaans Adjective: sommige
Translation: “some”
Use: sommige mense
Translation: “some people”

Afrikaans Adjective: ver and naby
Translation: “far” and “close”
Use: die ver dorp and die naby winkel
Translation: “the far town” and “the close store”

Afrikaans Adjective: plat
Translation: “flat”
Use: plat vloere
Translation: “flat floors”
Interesting Note: Platvloerse (different from plat vloere) is an Afrikaans idiomatic expression that means the same as “vulgar” or “obscene.” It is never used in a positive way!
Example: Jou platvloerse gedrag word nie waardeer nie / “Your vulgar behavior is not appreciated.”

Afrikaans Adjective: ronde
Translation: “round”
Use: ‘n ronde nul
Translation: “a round zero”

Round Green Ball

Afrikaans Adjective: vierkantige
Translation: “square”
Use: vierkantige huise
Translation: “square houses”

Afrikaans Adjective: driehoekige
Translation: “triangular”
Use: driehoekige vorm
Translation: “triangular form”

Afrikaans Adjective: lang
Translation: “long” or “tall”
Use: die lang pad or die lang vrou
Translation: “the long road” or “the tall woman”

Afrikaans Adjective: kort
Translation: “short”
Use: kortpad
Translation: “short road”
Interesting Note: In Afrikaans, there’s an adverbial expression, kort-kort. This means the same as “frequently.”

Afrikaans Adjective: langwerpig
Translation: “long”
Use: langwerpige doos
Translation: “long box”

Afrikaans Adjective: gewone and ongewone
Translation: “usual/common” and “unusual”
Use: die gewone dinge
Translation: “the usual stuff”

Golden Egg

Afrikaans Adjective: hobbelrige
Translation: “bumpy”
Use: hobbelrige oppervlakte
Translation: “bumpy surface”

Afrikaans Adjective: sagte and harde
Translation: “soft” and “hard”
Use: sagte vel and harde klippe
Translation: “soft skin” and “hard rocks”

Afrikaans Adjective: glad and growwe
Translation: “smooth” and “rough”
Use: gladde bek and growwe taal
Translation: “smooth talker” and “rough language”

Afrikaans Adjective: blink and dowwe
Translation: “shiny” and “dull/muffled”
Use: die blink oë and ‘n dowwe geluid and die dowwe metaal
Translation: “the shiny eyes” and “a muffled noise” and “the dull metal”

Afrikaans Adjective: ligte and swaar
Translation: “light” and “heavy”
Use: die ligte bries and die swaar tafel
Translation: “the light breeze” and “the heavy table”

Tunnel

Afrikaans Adjective: wye and nou/noue
Translation: “wide” and “narrow”
Use: Iwye glimlag and noue ontkoming and die nou gang
Translation: “wide smile” and “narrow escape” and “the narrow corridor”

3- Describing the Weather

Afrikaans Adjective: bedompige
Translation: “stuffy”
Use: bedompige dag
Translation: “stuffy day”

Afrikaans Adjective: bewolkte
Translation: “cloudy”
Use: bewolkte weer
Translation: “cloudy weather”

Afrikaans Adjective: stormagtige
Translation: “stormy”
Use: stormagtige see
Translation: “stormy sea”

Stormy Sea

When the weather is described using an adverb, it’s mostly with the above-mentioned nouns: dag, weer, see / “day, weather, sea.” Following is a list of useful Afrikaans adjectives you can use to describe the weather with these nouns:

helder - “bright”

Sample: Dis ‘n helder dag.
Translation: “It’s a bright day.”

koue and warm - “cold” and “hot”

Sample: Op koue dae dra ons warm klere.
Translation: “On cold days, we wear warm clothes.”

nat and droë - “wet” and “dry”

Sample: Maak die nat vloer met ‘n droë lap droog.
Translation: “Dry up the wet floor with a dry cloth.”

oop and skoon - “open” and “clear”

Sample: Die dag is oop en skoon.
Translation: “The day is open and clear.”

sonnige - “sunny”

Sample: Die sonnige stoep is warm.
Translation: “The sunny porch is warm.”

koel - “cool”

Sample: Dis koel buitekant.
Translation: “It’s cool outside.”

mistige - “misty”

Sample: Kyk na die mistige bergtoppe.
Translation: “Look at the misty mountaintops.”

winderige - “windy”

Sample: Longbeach is nie ‘n winderige strand nie.
Translation: “Longbeach is not a windy beach.”

windstil - “quiet”

Sample: Dis ‘n windstil middag.
Translation: “It’s a quiet afternoon.”
Note: Here, windstil specifically means that there’s no wind blowing.

-winters and somers and lente and herfs - “winter” and “summer” and “spring” and “autumn”

Sample: Ons winters klere is nie geskik vir somers dae nie.
Translation: “Our winter clothes are unsuitable for summer days.”
Sample: Die lentedae is koel en vars, amper soos herfsdae.
Translation: “Spring days are cool and fresh, almost like autumn days.”

4- Using Colors to Describe Things

Colors in Afrikaans are used to describe things, like in English. Such as:

Afrikaans Adjective and Sample Phrase: blou — die blou Maandag
Translation: “blue” — “the blue Monday”

Afrikaans Adjective and Sample Phrase: bruin — ‘n bruin skoen
Translation: “brown” — “a brown shoe”

As adverbs, all color words are used the same way as in these examples.

Colored Powder

  • rooi — “red”
  • geel — “yellow”
  • groen — “green”
  • oranje — “orange”
  • pers — “purple”
  • bruin — “brown”
  • wit — “white”
  • swart — “black”
  • grys — “gray”


3. Short Exercise to Spot Afrikaans Adjectives

Improve Pronunciation

Now that you have some good Afrikaans adjectives under your belt, read the following paragraph in easy Afrikaans, and write down all the adjectives you can find in the comments below! Ask your teacher if your answers are correct…

Die stil man staan op. Hy kyk na die jong vrou in die rooi jas. Sy is lank, met gladde, bruin hare. Hy wil met haar praat, maar voel skaam. Hy gaan sit weer stadig en kyk net na haar mooi profiel.

“The quiet man stands up. He looks at the young woman in the red coat. She is tall, with smooth, brown hair. He wants to talk with her, but feels shy. He slowly sits down again and just looks at her pretty profile.”


4. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Use Afrikaans Adjectives Like a Boss!

Reading

Learn adjectives and so much more in easy, fun ways from a native speaker! Also, get access to free tools, such as hundreds of Vocabulary Lists, a comprehensive Core Word List, a Key Phrase List, and a Word of the Day every day!

Sign up for a free lifetime account with AfrikaansPod101, and you’ll immediately have access to other tools, such as helpful flashcards, and space to create your own personalized Word Bank.

With application, persistence, and the help of our fantastic team, you’ll be able to speak Afrikaans like a native in no time at all! Enroll today.

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Showmax South Africa and Afrikaans Movies & Shows

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What better way to learn a language than through movies and TV shows?! At AfrikaansPod101, we encourage you to binge-watch these—a fantastic way to train your ear to Afrikaans dialects and accents, get used to how it’s spoken by native speakers, and learn about the culture!

Fortunately, these days it’s not so difficult to find Afrikaans shows and movies, using Showmax. Showmax South Africa is an online video-streaming service similar to Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, with a great collection of Afrikaans gems of the screen. Further, Showmax Afrikaans content covers a wide variety of genres and storylines.

Subscription works the same as it does on other online streaming services. The only drawback is that it may not be available where you live. It is, for instance, not yet available in Japan or other Asian countries. Fortunately, Showmax South Africa subscription reach keeps expanding, so soon you could well have dozens of Afrikaans films and TV shows at your fingertips!

In this article, we discuss some of the best Afrikaans movies and TV shows currently available on Showmax—there’s truly something for everyone’s taste. So book off your next weekend and prepare to remain entertained as you binge-watch with friends (or by yourself). You can stay in, keep your pajamas on, and prepare all your favorite snack supplies…!

Tip: To better learn Afrikaans on Showmax, keep a notebook by your side and take note of language questions you may have for your AfrikaansPod101 host or teacher. Learn from a native speaker, and you’ll soon sound like one yourself!

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Table of Contents

  1. Afrikaans Films and TV Shows on Showmax
  2. AfrikaansPod101 Teaches Culturally Relevant Lessons


1. Afrikaans Films and TV Shows on Showmax

Movie Genres

As mentioned earlier, you’ll be spoiled for choice, since the Showmax selection of Afrikaans movies and shows is probably the largest collection you’ll find anywhere.

Let’s start with the lighthearted Afrikaans programs on Showmax!

1- Afrikaans Comedy Movie Shows

Laughter is good for you! Start with funny Afrikaans movies to lift your spirit and keep learning easy!

1.1 Fanie Fourie’s Lobola / “Fanie Fourie’s Dowry”

Fanie Fourie’s Lobola is one of those romantic comedies that entertains while simultaneously warming the cockles of the heart.

Fanie Fourie, a young man who loves restoring old cars—and the proverbial black sheep of his family—battles to launch financially. Dinky, a gorgeous Zulu entrepreneur with big dreams, sees something in this oddball with a golden heart, and a romance develops. The plot centers around this interracial romance and Fanie Fourie’s woes with “dowry” or lobola, when he finally proposes to Dinky.

This is one of the best Showmax Afrikaans movies and is a genuinely funny study of cultural differences that manages to avoid saccharine, improbable dialogue and plotlines. Thematically, the film tackles difficult racial issues and views, still painfully prominent in South African culture and society. Yet, it does so with honesty, gentleness, and humor.

The cast includes well-known singer and musician Chris Chameleon, and Jerry Mofokeng, a prominent South African actor. Chameleon plays Fanie’s older brother in a wonderful parody of himself, while Mofokeng is perfectly cast as Dinky’s slightly goofy dad. Eduan van Jaarsveldt shines as the hapless yet endearing Fanie Fourie, while stunning Zethu Dlomo often steals the show as the headstrong, clever Dinky Magubane. All actors excel in their roles under Henk Pretorius’ skillful directing.

This Afrikaans movie on Showmax won a local award, as well as the Golden Space Needle Audience Award for Best Film at the Seattle International Film Festival in 2013. It’s furthermore shot in English, Afrikaans, and Zulu, so a fairly easy, entertaining watch!

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • trou — “marry”
  • ruk jouself reg — “pull yourself together”
  • Ek ken daai een — “I know that one”

1.2 Boetie Gaan Border Toe / “Little Brother Goes to the Border”

This golden oldie comedy-satire was a huge hit among the South African Afrikaner public in the Eighties. Directed by well-known South African actor-director Richard Van Den Bergh, it also launched the career of lead actor Arnold Vosloo. Vosloo, who later became well-known in the U.S. for his role as Imhotep in the Mummy franchise, also featured in Darkman I and II, Blood Diamonds, Hard Target, GI Joe, and other international productions.

In Boetie gaan border toe, a young Vosloo plays the title role as a spoiled brat who gets paid by his stepdad to join the army. Very resistant, though—and therefore devising schemes to avoid enlisting—Boetie eventually does land up in the army, and learns the few positive lessons the military often does teach young men and women: the value of cameradie, loyalty, endurance, and bravery. Set in Angola during the war, it’s a lighthearted take on a young man’s coming of age.

The movie, which was followed by a sequel, Boetie Op Manoeuvres, was not without its critics. Literary analyst Monica Popescu criticized what she felt was the romanticization of the Afrikaner Boer War, and exaggeration of South African soldiers’ chivalrous conduct. An academic from the University of Johannesburg called the movie “propagandistic.”

Apart from Vosloo, the film also sports Afrikaans actor heavyweights like Jana Cilliers, comedy man Frank Opperman, and Guys de Villiers.

So, as long as you don’t take the movie’s aggrandizing of the erstwhile South African soldiers and the war seriously, it’s an easy, entertaining watch for the more advanced Afrikaans student (the film doesn’t have English subtitles).

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • grens — “border”
  • soldate — “soldiers”
  • Veg — “fight”
  • geveg — “battle”

1.3 Konfetti / “Confetti”

Konfetti, while funny, is far from the standard fare of wedding rom-coms. Less loaded in political content, it tells the tale of a well-meaning, but bungling and very flawed best man, Lukas, played by Louw Venter. He tries to hold his own chaotic stuff together so as to ensure an at least civil wedding for his best friends Sheryl (Casey B. Dolan) and Jean (handsome Nico Panagio). But, well, human nature gets in the way.

While not five-star material, it does avoid a pat, Disney handling of the subject matter. In fact, it manages to fairly successfully, sympathetically, and humorously showcase the messiness of being human and very flawed in relationships and in life. A worthwhile watch, despite its unfairly low ratings by some critics.

Veteran comedian Casper de Vries plays a role in Konfetti.

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • Ek is jammer — “I am sorry”
  • so maklik soos dit — “as easy as that”
  • tent — “tent”
  • bruid — “bride”
  • bruidegom — “bridegroom”

1.4 Snaaks Genoeg / “Funny Enough”

Looking for Afrikaans films on Showmax that are funny, but not necessarily light? To round off our selection of funny movies, Snaaks Genoeg has quite the macabre offering.

Touted by one critic to be “an entertaining and poignant dark comedy,” the movie “explores the pain inflicted by humor on the average human being.”

If you think that’s a bizarre theme synopsis, wait for the plot. It revolves around down-on-his-luck comedian Casper de Vries, played by himself. Over the years, the showman has alienated audiences with his too-acidic insults and crudeness, so now he travels around in the remote countryside, doing shows in exchange for food and lodging.

Then a series of very funny murders take place—all involving the sadistic torturing and murders of successful South African comedians, one after the other. But why? And is Casper a target, despite being unsuccessful?

Watch and find out, while being entertained by renowned South African actors and comedy stalwarts like Tobie Cronje, Sandra Prinsloo, and Shaleen Surtie-Richards, all playing themselves in some way. Expect the unexpected in this rather surprising movie, which was shot in the atmospheric, arid Karoo and Northern Cape regions of the country.

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • wat gebeur het is ongelooflik — “what happened is unbelievable”
  • komediant — “comedian”
  • komedie — “comedy”

2- Afrikaans Dramas and Thrillers

Improve Pronunciation

If your taste is for the more serious and dark, Afrikaans Showmax in South Africa has a selection of choices.

2.1. Die Rebellie van Lafras Verwey / “The Rebellion of Lafras Verwey”

In Afrikaans, there’s the saying: Stille waters, diepe grond. Onder draai die duiwel rond. Literally, it translates as “Quiet waters, deep bottom, where the devil circles below.” This is commonly used to refer to suspicious conduct by a normal-looking, quiet, and unassuming person. Such a person was the civil servant and office worker Lafras Verwey…

Verwey, masterfully depicted by renowned South African actor Tobie Cronje, is more than a little bit mad in his secret hatred of the establishment. Appearing normal and run-of-the-mill to office colleagues, he’s also a courier of secret parcels for a clandestine rebellion movement.

He takes a hapless pregnant woman under his wing, and this seems to mark the start of his mental unraveling.

The somewhat disturbing drama, based on a script written by famous South African author Chris Barnard, showcases the acting skills of Cronje. But, according to some critics, this movie fails to convince or impress otherwise. Decide for yourself…!

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • kantoor — “office”
  • Jy trek nou jou sokkies op, en jy ruk jouself reg. — “You pull up your socks and gather yourself.”
  • Ja Meneer — “Yes Sir”

2.2 Fiela se Kind / “Fiela’s Child”

This gripping, poignant tale of identity, family, and belonging takes place in the nineteenth century against the lush backdrop of the Knysna forest in the Eastern Cape region of the country. The screenplay is based on a hugely popular Afrikaans book of the same name, written by Dalene Matthee.

On one side of the mountain, Fiela Komoetie, a woman of color, wakes up one night to the pitiful sobbing of a child. At the door of their humble home stands a white blue-eyed boy child, clearly lost and afraid, so she takes him in and opens more than her home to this foundling. He becomes a member of their humble household, and is raised with the name Benjamin Komoetie.

On the other side of the mountain, the white wife of woodcutter Elias Van Rooyen experiences the heartbreak of losing her three-year-old son, Lukas Van Rooyen.

Nine years later, a census worker discovers blue-eyed Benjamin and demands that he be returned home to his white parents, the Van Rooyens.

Sensitively directed by veteran actor-director Katinka Heyns, the movie adaptation proved as popular and successful as the book. It won an award for its editing at the All African Film Award in 1988.

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • God vergewe ons baie, maar God vergewe ons nie die kwaad wat ons ‘n kind aandoen nie. — “God forgives us a lot, but not the harm done to a child.”
  • woud — “forest”
  • verlore kind — “lost child”

2.3 Die Wonderwerker / “The Miracle Worker”

Another Heyns-directed drama of great acclaim is Die Wonderwerker, which is loosely based on a fictional event in the life of famous South African poet, scientist, naturalist, ethologist, lawyer, and champion of Afrikaans, Eugene Marais. Marais, a complex, somewhat tortured man, was also addicted to morphine and opium. These addictions ultimately cost him his life.

The film is a character drama, focusing on the intricacies of Marais’ enigmatic character and his tangled interactions with two women in a remote setting. Without giving away too much, the quote from Bizzcommunity aptly sums up the main theme of this beautifully executed and highly acclaimed Afrikaans movie:

“Emotionally challenging and evocative, it provokes the imagination and shows that, indeed, extraordinary things can materialise out of ordinary circumstances.”

A must-watch for movie aficionados and those liking substance and nuance in their theater fare!

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • digter — “poet”
  • gedigte — “poems”
  • wonderwerke — “miracles”
  • verslaafde — “addict”

2.4 Die Spreeus / “The Sparrows”

If your taste is for mystery, the supernatural, and suspense, don’t miss out on Die Spreeus. This short Showmax Afrikaans series revolves around two police detectives, investigators Bas Koorts and Beatrice Mack from the Spreeus unit, who are tasked by Brigadier Rosa Scheffers to investigate murders with a twist. Their searches lead them to places way beyond the world they’re familiar and comfortable with.

Old South African ghost stories and other hair-raising tales of the supernatural are used as the backbone of each episode’s plot. These get tweaked with plot twists and stunning visual effects for modern times and current viewers’ taste for the macabre and horrific. Add to that the complex characters of two police officers, each with their own tale of sorrow and regret, and you have a concoction readymade to chill.

The two main characters, Bas and Beatrice, are played by soapie stars Monique Rockman and Chris Vorster, with Sandi Schultz playing the Brigadier. The actors insist that the series is about more than special effects and cheap thrills, with a breathtaking secret to be revealed…

Says Chris, talking to Channel24: “We are telling well-known stories from South Africa’s many cultures. We have everything, from myths and fables to ghost stories and goblins, like the Ghost of Uniondale and the Tokoloshe (a dwarf-like water sprite revered in the Zulu culture for its mischief and evil powers).”

Don’t miss out on Showmax Afrikaans shows like this one that can teach you an interesting lesson in cultural mythology!

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • speurder — “detective”
  • ondersoek — “investigate”
  • moord — “murder”
  • bonatuurlik — “supernatural”

2.5 Die Siener / “The Seer”

Still in the vein of the supernatural and otherworldly, this reality Afrikaans series is nothing like fiction, though.

Woman in White, Ghost

Gerald Burger is one of South Africa’s most prominent seers and so-called fortune tellers. Living a simple life in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, this gentleman feels it his duty and calling from God to help the living and the dead in any way he can with his gift.

Gerald grew up in very difficult circumstances, and was brutally abused by a sadistic foster care father and later, his step dad. He was seven years old when he had his first vision. Fortunately, he had protective women in his life who loved him and taught him to be wise about his gift.

Over the years, Gerald has predicted major national disasters and events, such as the Laingsburg Flood of 1981, which took the lives of at least 100 people. His true work and calling, though, is helping people by looking at their current lives and how their choices are shaping their future. He offers wise counsel and support, especially helping his clients to gain closure when a loved one has passed. Gerald also clears dwellings of ghosts, entities, and poltergeists, with exceptional insight into their being and origin.

What strikes most is his compassion, which is extended not only to people and animals (he has seven dogs!), but the souls of the departed. He deeply feels the unresolved pain of those who have passed over, but not moved on, and helps them with ritual and prayer to leave the earth plane and rest. A truly uncommon philanthropist!

Every week, Gerald stuns viewers and clients alike with uncanny knowledge and insight into personal details. Hoe’t hy dit geweet?! / “How did he know that?!” is gasped in every episode.

Vocabulary and Phrases to Memorize:

  • spook or gees — “ghost” or “spirit”
  • bang — “scared”
  • die toekoms — “the future”

2.6 Dwaalster / “Roaming Star”

For something uncommon and magical, yet not necessarily scary, Dwaalster is a good choice. This drama series tells of the lives of many eccentric, kooky characters living in Maanhaarsdrif, a small town in the dry Karoo region.

Small Town

Maanhaarsdrift is also the home of a giant observatory and astronomical telescope on the outskirts, and in that, it’s similar to a real, rather famous Karoo town—Sutherland. (A few kilometers outside of Sutherland lives the Southern African Large Telescope, a.k.a. SALT. It’s the southern hemisphere’s largest single optical telescope, and one of the largest worldwide.)

However, the series was inspired by a different area, the Hoeko Valley in Ladismith in the far western reaches of the Klein Karoo. The area is also known for its colorful, magical characters and mystical events. Yet the script deals with a lot more than weird. It also explores very human and universal themes such as social integration, homosexuality, interracial relationships, environmental protection, and so forth, making it a pot with something for everyone.

Showmax South Africa offers a wide variety of superb offerings in Afrikaans, ready to be enjoyed if you love the language!

Before we finish, what are your favorite TV shows and movies in your own language? Tell us about these in the comments!


2. AfrikaansPod101 Teaches Culturally Relevant Lessons

Best Ways to Learn

AfrikaansPod101 stands head and shoulders above other online learning platforms, with many free learning tools to help you master Afrikaans easily.

For instance, sharpen your comprehension skills with audio conversations, such as this one about going to the movies! Also, gain cultural understanding in multiple lessons, such as with this introduction to South African pop culture.

Other tools include:

  1. Quick, easy access to the Afrikaans Core 100 Word List
  2. A new Afrikaans word to learn every day!
  3. An extensive vocabulary list section, regularly updated
  4. A free Afrikaans online dictionary
  5. Key phrases in Afrikaans you must master!

Sign up now! We’ll assist you every step of the way to make this a wonderful learning experience.

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Valentynsdag: Celebrating Valentine’s Day in South Africa

Valentynsdag

Depending on where you live, you most likely know what Valentine’s Day is, and celebrate (or dread) it every year. But what do Valentine’s Day traditions in South Africa look like?

In this article, you’ll learn about how South Africans express their love for significant others on this day and more fun facts about Valentine’s Day in South Africa.

If you want to learn romantic Afrikaans phrases to use on Valentine’s Day, check out our Afrikaans Love Phrases blog too!

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1. What is Valentine’s Day?

As you probably know, Valentine’s Day is a special holiday for couples to express their love (liefde) and appreciation for each other. In South Africa, Valentine’s Day is a huge deal, and lovers will go out of their way for each other to ensure a romantic and fun holiday.

Traditionally, St. Valentine’s Day was a religious feast day set aside to honor the third-century Christian martyr St. Valentine, who himself was primarily associated with love. In particular, St. Valentine was thought to have married couples even during a marriage ban. Over time, however, the holiday took on a more romantic and love-related connotation.

Keep reading for some Valentine’s Day ideas in South Africa, and what to expect!

2. When is Valentine’s Day in South Africa?

Two Hearts Drawn on Valentine’s Day on Calendar

Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14 each year in South Africa.

3. How Does South Africa Celebrate Valentine’s Day?

Woman Wrapping Her Arms Around Boyfriend’s Shoulders

Couples in South Africa celebrate Valentine’s Day similarly to those in other countries. The main theme is romanties, or “romance,” and young couples, in particular, reflect this by going on a nice date together. In South Africa, Valentine’s Day traditions for dates often include going out and doing things with each other. For example, many people favor a romantic walk on the beach while others opt for a more public outing like the zoo, or even hiking. A delicious dinner and chocolate (sjokolade) are always welcome too!

South Africans often give their kêrel ( “boyfriend” ) or meisie ( “girlfriend” ) a thoughtful gift. In fact, advertisements for Valentine’s Day gifts in South Africa begin way ahead of the actual holiday, giving people a lot of time to choose what to buy their sweetheart.

Valentine’s Day traditions also include long festivals, sometimes beginning days before the holiday. During the Valentine’s Day season, it’s common to see younger women with their lovers’ names attached to their sleeves.

And of course, a few kind and romantic words are a great way to reach someone’s heart. Many couples will give their better half a Valentyns Kaarjie, or “Valentine’s card,” to express their great affection.

4. Something Sweet

Do you feel like being extra soet ( “sweet” ) for your Valentine this year? Why not try and make a popular South African dessert? Some of the most common are:

Hertzoggies This is a white cake dipped in both chocolate and coconut.
Peppermint crisp tart This is broken into pieces, mixed with caramel, and then layered between coconut biscuit and cream.
Milktart To make, boil milk, sugar, flour, and cinnamon, then let it cool in a pastry base.
Malva pudding This is similar to sticky toffee pudding, and is made with a sauce of evaporated milk.
Cremora tart To make, mix coffee creamer powder with condensed milk and lemon juice.

You can likely find great recipes for these treats by searching for them online or borrowing a South African cookbook. (Of course, if you’re not very handy in the kitchen, just buying a chocolate bar should do the trick.)

5. Valentine’s Day Vocabulary

A Teddy Bear

Ready to review some of the Afrikaans vocabulary words from this article? Here are the most important Valentine’s Day words!

  • Liefde — “Love”
  • Geskenk — “Present”
  • Kêrel — “Boyfriend”
  • Meisie — “Girlfriend”
  • Lekkergoed — “Candy”
  • Pienk — “Pink”
  • Rooi — “Red”
  • Hart — “Heart”
  • Romanties — “Romance”
  • Roos — “Rose”
  • Lekkergoed hart — “Candy heart”
  • Valentyns Kaarjie — “Valentine’s card”
  • Date — “Date”
  • Ruiker — “Bouquet”
  • Kupido — “Cupid”
  • Soen — “Kiss”
  • Drukkie — “Hug”
  • Teddiebeer — “Teddy bear”
  • Sjokolade — “Chocolate”
  • Soet — “Sweet”
  • Valentynsdag — “Valentine’s Day”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Afrikaans Valentine’s Day vocabulary list! Also, be sure to read our article on how to tell the love of your life how you feel.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Valentine’s Day traditions in South Africa are both unique and pretty similar to what you would expect elsewhere in the world.

Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day in your country? If so, how? We look forward to hearing from you!

If you’re interested in learning even more about South Africa’s colorful and vivid culture and holidays, you may find the following pages useful:

Whatever your reasons for wanting to explore South African culture or learn the Afrikaans language, know that AfrikaansPod101.com is the best place for you to expand your knowledge and increase your language skills. With tons of lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and more advanced students, there’s something for everyone!

What are you waiting for? Create your free lifetime account today and start learning!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Afrikaans Rules for Conjunctions—What You Need to Know!

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Before learning about Afrikaans rules for conjunctions, do you know what a conjunction is?

Conjunctions are the type of words in a language that “glue” two words, phrases, and sentences or clauses together. For instance:

1- Joining Words: “Pepper and salt.” Here, and is the conjunction that joins the words “pepper” and “salt.”

2- Joining Phrases: “…in the air but not too high.” In this sentence, the conjunction but joins the two phrases “in the air” and “not too high.”

3- Joining Clauses/Sentences: “The man walks into the room as she gets ready to leave.” In this instance, as joins the two clauses “The man walks into the room” and “she gets ready to leave.”

Afrikaans conjunctions (called voegwoorde in Afrikaans) obviously have the same functions, but in this article, we’ll focus on how they join sentences or clauses. To master these easily, join us at AfrikaansPod101!

Conjunctions, Connecting Words

Before we go any further, a note on Afrikaans conjunction groups.

There are three groups of Afrikaans conjunction each distinct in the way they modulate the sentences they join. There are two key things to remember about conjunctions in Afrikaans rules when it comes to groups:

1) Of the two sentences it links, an Afrikaans conjunction mostly modulates or changes the second sentence.
2) The change it brings about mainly has to do with the position of the verb in this sentence.

Also remember: Afrikaans grammar can get very complex! There are nearly always exceptions to every rule, and the ones we explain here are very simple and straightforward. For instance, some of these conjunctions get used only when you’re referring to the past (using past tense verbs), and understanding that is a whole different kettle of fish!

However, for the purpose of learning to speak Afrikaans, there’s no need to get too tangled up in the grammar. Get comfortable with the basics first, and soon you’ll be able to help yourself in Afrikaans.

Words

Let’s take a look at the different Afrikaans rules for conjunctions in each group, as well as a list of Afrikaans conjunctions for each.

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Table of Contents

  1. Afrikaans Conjunctions Group 1
  2. Afrikaans Conjunctions Group 2
  3. Afrikaans Conjunctions Group 3
  4. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Your Afrikaans Conjunctions with Ease!


1. Afrikaans Conjunctions Group 1

This one’s easy—these conjunctions just slap two sentences together and nothing changes about either one. For example:

Afrikaans: Die nag is donker maar die son sal weer opkom.
Translation: “The night is dark but the sun will rise again.”

Afrikaans: Sy koop kos want sy is honger.
Translation: “She buys food because she is hungry.”

Afrikaans: Of hy gaan val, of hy gaan vlieg.
Translation: “Either he’s going to fall, or he’s going to fly.”

Afrikaans Conjunctions Group 1 Examples:

Maar: “But”
En: “And”
Of: “Or”
Want: “Because”
Of…of: “Either…or”
Nog…nog: “Neither…nor”
Sowel as: “As well as”
Dog: “Yet” (As in: “You have your phone with you, yet you don’t answer it when it rings.” Dog is very close in meaning to maar, but not quite, such as is the case with “but” and “yet.” )

Since this one is so simple, why not practice your Afrikaans conjunctions right away? Show us how you use these Group 1 conjunctions by joining two Afrikaans sentences in the comments section!


2. Afrikaans Conjunctions Group 2

When a conjunction from this group is used, it changes the structure of the second sentence. The verb in the second sentence now moves to land straight after the conjunction.

Scotland

Here are some Afrikaans conjunction examples in sentences for this group:

Sentence 1: Christine vertrek Skotland toe baie vroeg moreoggend.
Sentence 2: Sy slaap oor op die lughawe.
Translation: “Christine will be leaving for Scotland very early tomorrow morning. She will be sleeping over at the airport tonight.”

These two sentences get joined with the Afrikaans conjunction daarom (therefore):

Joined sentences: Christine vertrek Skotland toe baie vroeg moreoggend; daarom slaap sy oor op die lughawe vanaand.
Translation: “Christine will be leaving for Scotland very early tomorrow morning; therefore, she’ll be sleeping over at the airport.”

Can you see how the verb (slaap/sleep) in the second sentence moved position? It now finds itself right next to the conjunction. Furthermore, this particular conjunction is often used with a semicolon or a comma.

Another example:

Sentence 1: Trek jou warmste jas aan.
Sentence 2: Jy gaan koudkry.
Translation: “Put on your warmest coat. You will get cold.”

These two sentences get joined with the Afrikaans conjunction anders (otherwise).

Joined sentences: Trek jou warmste jas aan, anders gaan jy koudkry.
Translation: “Put on your warmest coat, otherwise you will get cold.”

Afrikaans Conjunctions Group 2 Examples:

Dan; daarna: “Then”
Dus; daarom; derhalwe: “Therefore”
Nogtans; nietemin: “Nevertheless”
Anders: “Otherwise”
Gevolglik: “As a result”
Al: “Although”
Toe: “Then”
Tog: “Even so”
Buitendien: “Besides”


3. Afrikaans Conjunctions Group 3

Sentence Patterns

When one of these conjunctions are used to join two sentences, the verb gets shy and does the opposite of Group 2 verbs; it moves as far away as possible from the conjunction, toward the end of the (second) sentence.

Like this: (The verb in red gets to move.)

Sentence 1: Sy mis hom baie.
Sentence 2: Sy sien hom so min.
Translation: “She misses him a lot. She gets to see so little of him.”

These two now get joined by the Afrikaans conjunction omdat (because):

Afrikaans: Sy mis hom baie omdat sy hom so min sien.
Translation: “She misses him a lot because she gets to see so little of him.”

Again, the conjunction changed the sentence structure, as the verb sien (sees) scuttled right to the end of the sentence.

Another example:

Sentence 1: Neem genoeg geld saam.
Sentence 2: Jy kan jouself geniet.
Translation: “Take enough money with you. You can enjoy yourself.”

The conjunction sodat (so that) joins the two sentences here. Watch how the modal verb kan (can) and the transitive verb geniet (enjoy) change positions.

Afrikaans: Neem genoeg geld saam sodat jy jouself kan geniet.
Translation: “Take enough money with you so that you can enjoy yourself.”

When Group 3 Afrikaans conjunctions are used at the start of a sentence, however, it changes both sentences with verb movements.

For instance:

Sentence 1: Ons kan gaan koffie of tee drink.
Sentence 2: Ek moet my werk klaarmaak.
Translation: “We can go drink coffee or tea. I need to finish my work.”

Coffee Latte

Starting with the conjunction voordat or voor (before), both sentences are modulated like this:

Afrikaans: Voordat ons koffie of tee kan gaan drink, moet ek my werk klaarmaak.
Translation: “Before we can go have coffee or tea, I need to finish my work.”

Afrikaans Conjunctions Group 3 Examples:

Dat: “That”
Omdat: “Because”
Totdat: “Until”
Voordat: “Before”
Nadat: “After”
Sedert: “Since”
Sodat: “So that”
Wat: “Which”
Wie: “Whom” / “Who”
Terwyl: “While”
Alhoewel: “Although”
Sodra: “The moment that”
Aangesien: “Seeing that”
Mits: “Provided that” / “On the condition that”
Tensy: “Unless”
Indien: “If”
Wanneer: “When”
Hoeveel: “How much”
Waar: “Where”
Hoe: “How”
Waarom: “Why”

Practice: Find the Afrikaans Conjunctions

Improve Listening

So, now you got the basics down! Why not practice, and see if you can find the conjunctions (those connecting sentences or clauses) in this Afrikaans paragraph:

Dit is ‘n mooi oggend. Die bergtoppe lê toe van die mis maar die oseaan is oop. Terwyl sy aantrek, besluit sy om uit te gaan. Sy wil gaan koffie drink saam met Colleen. Sy sal dit doen, indien haar vriendin beskikbaar is. Tog, dis nog baie vroeg; daarom besluit sy om eers haar werk klaar te maak.

Translation: “It is a beautiful morning. The mountaintops are covered with mist, but the ocean is clear. While she gets dressed, she decides to go out. She wants to go have coffee with Colleen. She will do it, if her friend is available. However, it’s very early still, therefore she decides to first finish her work.”

Share in the comments all the examples of Afrikaans conjunctions you could spot!

Did you have trouble finding most of them? Feel free to reach out in the comments if you need clarification on any Afrikaans conjunctions rules or definitions.


4. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Your Afrikaans Conjunctions with Ease!

Improve Listening Part 2

If your need to learn Afrikaans is urgent, consider investing in a personal online tutor, available to assist you in multiple ways! You’ll get, for instance:

  • Personal interaction with your friendly, energetic AfrikaansPod101 teacher.
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  • Guidance and ongoing assessment so you always know what to study next.
  • Your own, personalized learning program, based on your needs and expertly designed to have these met.
  • Weekly assignments in reading, writing, and speaking, to perfectly hone your Afrikaans language skills.
  • Continuous friendly feedback, answers, and corrections from your teacher, so you’re always improving!
  • Badges for completed assignments to keep you motivated.

What’s not to love! Sign up with us now, and master those pesky Afrikaans conjunctions in no time.

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Afrikaans Etiquette in South Africa: What You Need to Know

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If you’re looking to find a formal Afrikaans school of etiquette, South Africa will disappoint you, as there is none. This is mainly because the country is home to over a dozen different ethnicities and cultures, and they all have their own etiquette! Some overlap, but this is often called a South African trait, such as their gregarious nature. Most Afrikaners will treat you as well as—or better than—you treat them!

Don’t let the lack of distinct etiquette guidelines worry you, though, because at AfrikaansPod101, we teach you culturally-relevant lessons! This will prepare you properly for a visit to the country, speaking Afrikaans.

In this lesson, we look at etiquette in Afrikaans-speaking populations in South Africa and how it’s used in different situations. The Afrikaans culture is a hot-pot of a mix, as said, but it’s mostly modeled after the U.K. English and the Dutch culture. Therefore, a lot of the Do’s and Don’ts are still somewhat British or Dutch, yet with a distinct South African flavor. As a guest, you’ll soon know what’s accepted and what’s frowned upon in South African culture!

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Table of Contents

  1. Afrikaans Etiquette in General
  2. Dining Etiquette in South Africa
  3. Make Use of AfrikaansPod101’s Lessons & Tools to Learn About South African Culture!


1. Afrikaans Etiquette in General

So, what is the meaning of etiquette in Afrikaans-speaking populations?

Afrikaners are, by nature, a friendly, loyal, and gregarious—but also no-nonsense—bunch of people. The latter may be due to their Dutch heritage, a nation known for its straightforward manner. This behavior can be somewhat disconcerting, as Afrikaners may come across as blunt and rude to some. Yet, the upside is that you’ll always know where you stand with an Afrikaner. They tend to avoid playing games, and as a rule, what you see is what you get.

Also, Afrikaners are pretty pragmatic. If there’s a problem, they tend to fix it, no questions asked. They’re usually trusting, and their nature is to be generous and helpful when they can be. Rural communities in particular can be incredibly close-knit and supportive of one another, as well as visitors. In cities, Afrikaners tend to be a bit more reclusive, as are most city-dwellers across the world; but if approached, they’ll rarely turn down someone in real need. You can say they’re somewhat gruff on the outside, but softies on the inside!

1- Do’s

1. Do be Straightforward and Honest

What does all of this mean, in terms of general social etiquette in South Africa? Simply this—do return the favor. Straightforward, honest dealings will win you friends and influence people in South Africa. You’ll find that you make loyal friends when you’re transparent in your actions, and when you make an effort to show heartfelt respect and loyalty.

Women Sticking Out Hand for Greeting

2. Greeting Etiquette in South Africa: Initial Greetings

In terms of behavior, this means that when you meet someone for the first time, greet them immediately and by their title. Allow your newly-met Afrikaner to indicate that you don’t have to address them formally. Look them straight in the eye, smile as you introduce yourself, and reach out for a handshake, especially if you’re male. Wait for the lady to extend her hand first. This shows respect for the other person, as well as an openness in your dealings with them—traits Afrikaners appreciate in everyone.

3. Making Friends & Body Language

If you get to know them better and become friends, the women may greet you with a friendly, casual hug, and men may hand out pats on the back with lots of guffawing and “How are you?”s. Some gregarious men may even hug you too. This may not be great workplace etiquette in South Africa, but in private social settings, a male hug means a lot.

Usually, Afrikaners will be sensitive to your body language, and won’t overstep personal boundaries. Yet, if they start hugging you, it most often means you’ve been accepted into their inner circle of friends. Cherish this, because it’s not easily won, and you can know that you’ve made friends for life. They tend to forgive a lot, but their friendship can be easily lost at any sign of disrespect and/or duplicity.

Party People Laughing Toast

4. Ask How They Are

When you greet, don’t forget to inquire after your Afrikaner friend, host, or acquaintance’s wellbeing, as this is considered respectful and shows that you care about them. Paying close attention to their response and reacting appropriately will go down well and will demonstrate even more respect. Afrikaners like to see and connect with people, and in return, they like to be seen and appreciated (or, at least, respected). This is a fairly common human need, but among Afrikaners, it’s an easily-detectable, important aspect of cultural etiquette in South Africa.

Here’s an AfrikaansPod101 blog post to learn How to Say Hello in Afrikaans; it has some pointers with regards to etiquette, too.

5. Gift-Giving Etiquette in South Africa

Thanks

Afrikaners don’t expect their guests to bring gifts when invited to a social event or a get-together. However, such a gesture is always appreciated, and the more thoughtful and personal the gift, the bigger their appreciation often is. Wine and/or chocolate are common gifts to offer a host you don’t really know.

Taking something pertaining to your culture or country, especially if it’s very different from the South Africans’, is normally welcome. Offering a friendly thank-you card written by yourself in Afrikaans will also very likely win you a lot of favor! Any person likes it when you make an effort to learn their language; it warms the cockles of the heart. Learn in this blog post how to say thank you in Afrikaans!

6. Wedding Etiquette

Regarding South African social etiquette for weddings, South Africa is a country with diverse habits dictated by the culture you find yourself in. Afrikaans newly-weds greatly appreciate, but don’t expect, lavish wedding gifts. Your presence will very likely be the only present they want. But simultaneously, a gift will remind them of your good wedding wishes. In the cities and more sophisticated Afrikaans societies, wedding gift-lists are made available by the bride prior to the wedding, often at the shop where the items are sold.

Wedding Couple

7. Etiquette Rules in South Africa for Expressing Condolences

If an Afrikaner acquaintance or friend loses someone to death, it’s proper etiquette to express your condolences, either in person or with a bouquet of flowers and a sympathy card. Especially if your relationship is close, a call or personal email will be well-received.

8. Hygiene and Dress Code

Hygiene

Hygiene is an important part of both social and business etiquette in South Africa.

Most Afrikaners are appearance- and hygiene-sensitive, especially given the climate they live in. Going without a bath or a change of clothes for days could result in unhygienic personal care. While your host won’t ban you from their company if you’re not up to standard, it’s considered a subtle show of respect when you arrive at any event clean, neat-looking, and smelling fresh.

While they like to dress up for the occasion, Afrikaners aren’t sensitive about ostentatious clothing, and the Kardashians are not huge on their radar. So, as long as you stick to the basic standards of cleanliness, you’ll be welcome in any garb you choose!

Dress code is important and mostly determined by the event. Creative expression in clothing will certainly attract attention, but it’s unlikely to get you ostracized anywhere. So, if you want to make a good impression, don’t arrive in old shorts and sneakers at a wedding or a meeting with your new CEO, for instance.

2- Don’ts

Because Afrikaners are a pretty fuss-free people, there aren’t that many societal don’ts. These tips about the etiquette of South Africa are also apparent and not difficult to fathom.

1. Don’t be Disrespectful or Dishonest

Bad Phrases

Afrikaners don’t take kindly to people who play games with them (except in jokes or sport), or abuse their generosity. This is true of business etiquette in South Africa, and also in social relationships. So, acting disrespectfully and dishonestly will get you pushed out into the cold very swiftly. Also, don’t show any disrespect to an Afrikaner’s family or close friends. They’re very loyal, and if you seriously offend one, you may find yourself unwelcome in the whole community.

2. No Spitting in Public

Don’t spit in public, and take care to cough and sneeze away from people. If you’re sick with a cold or flu, blow your nose often and discard dirty tissues in the dustbin.

3. Cover Your Mouth When Yawning

Don’t yawn with your mouth open. Cover your mouth with your hand.

Man Yawning

4. Avoid Political Discussions

Business

In both social and business etiquette in southern Africa, it’s best to refrain from discussing politics.

South Africa’s history of apartheid and social injustice is all but addressed, and still painfully raw in the minds of her citizens. If such a conversation starts, let your Afrikaans friends speak and listen sympathetically, with sensitivity. If you find the conversation offensive (this is possible in the company of some, unfortunately), find a way to change the topic, or discreetly excuse yourself. It’s always good to remember that every person in the country was negatively affected in some way by South Africa’s political history, and the topic is complex. There’s no easy answer to anyone’s problems.

5. Avoid Religious Discussions

Also, don’t discuss religion, especially if your Afrikaner friend, colleague, or host is a Christian and you’re not. Many Afrikaners align themselves with the Christian faith, and their religion is often a cornerstone in their lives not to be trifled with! Again, discretion and sensitivity are advisable if you don’t want to offend.


2. Dining Etiquette in South Africa

Women Restaurant

1- Table Manners

Table manners in South Africa among Afrikaners are pretty upper-middle-class British—eat with a knife and fork, don’t take humongous bites, chew with your mouth closed, and don’t slurp when you drink anything. Also, refrain from talking with your mouth full of food. Remaining attentive to your companions’ needs at a table is usually viewed favorably.

2- Tipping Etiquette in South Africa

Tipping etiquette in South Africa is pretty standard. If the service was good, 15% minimum is acceptable, while more will be highly appreciated. Less will indicate that you weren’t pleased with the service.

If you feel very aggrieved about any experience in a restaurant or hotel, it would be in order to complain. Afrikaner business owners pride themselves in making their guests feel welcome, and they normally take complaints seriously. Avoid being rude or offensive, as this behavior is very unlikely to draw the best from your hosts. Polite and respectful are good go-to mannerisms.

3- Saying Thank You

Saying thank you is big among Afrikaans people. It’s considered somewhat rude not to say thanks when someone hands you a drink, passes the salt, etc.


3. Make Use of AfrikaansPod101’s Lessons & Tools to Learn About South African Culture!

Do any of the Afrikaans do’s and don’ts remind you of those in your own country? Are any of them very different? Be sure to let us know in the comments; we always love to hear from you!

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Dates in Afrikaans: Afrikaans Months of the Year and More!

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It’s obvious that knowing how to read the calendar in another culture’s language is very important, especially if you’re planning to work in that country. Showing up on the wrong day for an interview because you didn’t know that Dinsdag meant “Tuesday” could cost you a lot! At AfrikaansPod101, we teach you the Afrikaans months of the year, as well as the days of the week and much more, to ensure this never happens!

Read on for simple vocabulary, and learn how to say “week,” “month,” and “date,” in Afrikaans. And afterwards, we’ll also be taking a look at important dates pertaining to South African holidays.

Table of Contents

  1. Background - The Gregorian Calendar
  2. The Calendar Months of the Year in Afrikaans
  3. The Calendar Days of the Week in Afrikaans
  4. Vocabulary Related to Dates
  5. Important Days on the South African Calendar
  6. How Can AfrikaansPod101 Help You Learn Dates and Much More?

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1. Background - The Gregorian Calendar

Like most countries in the world, South Africa follows the Gregorian calendar. As explained by Wikipedia, this calendar was named after Pope Gregory XIII, who introduced it in October, 1582. Based on the earth’s revolutions around the sun, the average year is 365 days long. However, because the sun doesn’t orbit earth in exactly that many days, a 365.2422-day tropical year is approximated, which occurs every four years. This is called a “leap year.”

In simpler terms, this means that the Gregorian calendar groups approximately 365 days into twelve months per year, each with thirty or thirty-one days, except for February. The month of February has only twenty-eight days most years, because in every fourth one (the aforementioned leap year), February is twenty-nine days long. Imagine being born on the 29th of February. Would this mean you’d age slower than other people? Wouldn’t that be awesome!

Silly joke, before we proceed: What do calendars eat?

Dates!

Dates

Do you have any funny jokes that have to do with calendars and dates? Share with us in the comments!


2. The Calendar Months of the Year in Afrikaans

Months

The names of months in Afrikaans sound pretty similar to their English counterparts. For instance, January in Afrikaans is Januarie. Since Afrikaans is a phonetic language, meaning that we pronounce words the way they’re written, you should be able to easily derive what words mean if you understand some of the basic phonetics of the language.

As you’ll see, there’s very little difference in spelling between English and Afrikaans months. This should make how to say dates in Afrikaans a piece of cake!

English           Afrikaans
January           Januarie
February           Februarie
March           Maart
April           April
May           Mei
June           Junie
July           Julie
August           Augustus
September           September
October           Oktober
November           November
December           Desember


3. The Calendar Days of the Week in Afrikaans

Weekdays

The days of the week are a somewhat different story, but it’s still not that difficult to memorize.

English           Afrikaans
Monday           Maandag
Tuesday           Dinsdag
Wednesday           Woensdag
Thursday           Donderdag
Friday           Vrydag
Saturday           Saterdag
Sunday           Sondag

Dates are indicated with numbers, so therefore, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the Afrikaans numeric system first.

Learn more about the system here, in this blogpost, and practice pronouncing Afrikaans numbers with this Beginner Vocabulary List on AfrikaansPod101.

The way dates are used in Afrikaans is pretty easy, like in English. It’s based on the U.K. system of dates, which means the numeral precedes the name of the day, such as in:

1 Januarie
or
30 Desember

The same goes if you prefer to use the rank term of the day, such as in:

Afrikaans: Ons vakansie begin die eerste Januarie.
Translation: “Our holiday starts on the first of January.”

or

Afrikaans: Sy verjaarsdag val op Vrydag, die twee-en-twintigste November.
Translation: “His birthday falls on Friday, the twenty-second of November.”


4. Vocabulary Related to Dates

Here’s some Afrikaans vocabulary to explain the calendar. These words are used the same way as their English counterparts, and will make saying dates in Afrikaans so much easier for you.

Airplane in Flight

1- “Day” / Dag

A: “Vir watter dag beplan jy die vlug?”
Translation: “For which day are you planning the flight?”

2- “Date” / Datum

B: “Wil jy die dag of die datum weet?”
Translation: “Would you like to know the day or the date?”

3- “Month” / Maand

A: “Die dag en die maand, asseblief.”
Translation: “The day and the month, please.”

B: “Ek gaan die vlug bespreek vir Sondag, die agt-en-twintigste Julie.”
Translation: “I’m going to book the flight for Sunday, the twenty-eighth of July.”

4- “Week” / Week

A: “Dis goed, die laaste week van Julie pas my.”
Translation: “That’s good, the last week of July suits me.”

5- “Weekend” / Naweek

B: “Ek is bly jy is tevrede. Daardie naweek vlug na Skotland behoort nie te vol te wees nie.”
Translation: “I’m happy it suits you. That weekend flight to Scotland shouldn’t be too full.”


5. Important Days on the South African Calendar

Numbers

Like other countries, South Africa has special days during which events of national significance are celebrated. Knowing the date in Afrikaans for each of these holidays is sure to win the hearts of the South Africans in your life!

The most important national holidays are the following:

1- March 21 - Human Rights Day / Menseregte Dag

Human rights as such is self-explanatory in terms of importance for any modern society, but in South Africa, human rights have special significance. The country has a sad history of gross human-right crimes, spanning over many centuries, and affecting the lives of all the people of South Africa.

Strife and war in South Africa, which were borne from people’s desire to be treated with equality and dignity, reached a critical point during the sixties. In Sharpeville, a small settlement close to Vereeniging, Gauteng, an infamous massacre took place on March 21, 1960. The protesters had gathered to petition against an old South African law, the so-called Pass Law, which was grossly unfair and derogatory toward South Africans of color. Members of the South African police force fired bullets to disperse a peaceful protest crowd, and on that sad day, sixty-nine people died and 180 were wounded.

The event became symbolic of the South African battle for true democracy and people’s human rights, which are rooted in the simple fact of their humanity. This battle took many decades, and the country is all but free from its turbulent past. Yet currently, the South African Constitution is of the most progressive in the world, and it includes indivisible human rights in its Bill of Rights, Chapter 2. The twenty-first of March is the day on which South Africans commemorate their hard-won rights as free and equal citizens.

2- April 27 - Freedom Day / Vryheidsdag

South African Flag Freedom Day

For the largest part of its history, the majority of people in South Africa could not vote democratically, and thus had no say in how to run the country. This all changed on the 27th of April, 1994, when the first-ever democratic vote was held.

Back then, the day was characterized with much joy and jubilation as the first-ever democratic referendum. It was symbolic of freedom for millions of South Africans. This is commemorated every year as Freedom Day.

3- June 16 -Youth Day / Jeugdag

This is another day of commemoration with a devastating history. In 1976, the repressive previous regime announced that Afrikaans would be added to English as one of the two main languages of education. (Many saw Afrikaans and English as the languages of the oppressor for decades.) This sparked an uprising by the youth in Soweto, a settlement just out of Johannesburg, Gauteng.

Multiracial Hands Together, Pact

The students not only protested against the unfairness of getting taught in a language other than their native tongue, they also fought against the repressive and unfair schooling system. Schools were racially segregated, which was the crux of the uprising, as it added to the view that some citizens were less human and worthy than others in South Africa. Approximately 20,000 students took part in the protests in the streets of Soweto on that day.

Yet again, the South African police used blunt-force brutality against unarmed citizens, and it’s estimated that up to 700 civilians died that day.

Today, their sacrifice is commemorated as Youth Day.

4- August 9 - National Women’s Day / Nasionale Vrouedag

The protests against unfair laws didn’t start in the sixties—these had been going on for many years. On August 9, 1956, tens of thousands of South African women of all races marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, which is the official seat of the South African government. They petitioned against the previously mentioned Pass Act, which, as explained by Wikipedia, required South Africans who were classified as “black” under The Population Registration Act, to carry an internal passport (commonly called a “pass” by people). This pass served to maintain population segregation, to control urbanization, and to manage migrant labor during the apartheid era.

Women Protesting

After leaving approximately 14,000 petitions on the steps of the Union Buildings for then-President J.G. Strijdom, they sang a protest song which has since been turned into a national incantation: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’ imbokodo! Literally, it translates as: “Now that you have touched the women, you have struck a rock,” or, as is more commonly used these days: “You strike a woman, you strike a rock.”

This protest was peaceful, fortunately, and to this day, it’s commemorated to draw attention to significant societal problems South African women still face. Many men have joined their ranks to continue addressing issues such as domestic violence, sexual harassment, discrimination in the workplace, unequal education, and so forth.

5- September 24 - Heritage Day / Erfenisdag

In 1996, the South African Department of Arts, Culture, Science, and Technology, released a statement that declared the 24th of September a public holiday on which all South Africans’ cultural heritage is celebrated. They defined heritage as such: “That which we inherit: the sum total of wildlife and scenic parks, sites of scientific or historical importance, national monuments, historic buildings, works of art, literature and music, oral traditions and museum collections together with their documentation.”

South African Heritage Day, Woman in Traditional Gear

They furthermore expressed the notion that Heritage Day’s commemorative events each year are a powerful agent for promulgating a South African identity, fostering reconciliation, and promoting the idea that variety is a national asset, as opposed to igniting conflict.

So, Heritage Day is also about reconciliation and building a new identity together.

6- December 16 - Reconciliation Day / Herenigingsdag

This used to be a commemorative holiday based on an event in the history of the Boers—Caucasian immigrants who entered the country for the first time in the 1600s. The event was an epic battle between the Boere soldiers and a Zulu tribe in Kwazulu Natal. According to Boere lore, those soldiers vowed to God to commemorate the day if they won the battle, which they did. The Stryd van Bloedrivier (Battle of Blood River) was said to have taken place in the late 1800s.

However, against the backdrop of the enormous social injustice that followed over the next century, it was impossible to keep this holiday commemoration as is in the new, democratic South Africa. Therefore, in the spirit of reconciling painful histories and working together rather than fighting, Reconciliation Day was born.

What are the important national holidays in your country? Share with us in the comments!


6. How Can AfrikaansPod101 Help You Learn Dates and Much More?

We hope you enjoyed this lesson about how to say dates in Afrikaans, and that you gained some valuable insight about Afrikaans culture through our section on special dates.

AfrikaansPod101 brings you culturally significant language-learning, teaching you about the most important commemorative holidays in Afrikaans. We provide the following lessons and materials, and so much more:

a) Vocabulary for South African National Holidays
b) Recordings about Human Rights Day as part of our Advanced Lessons presented in Afrikaans. Similar ones are available for all other important holidays.
c) Tips on how to spend your South African holidays.
d) Access to other free tools, such as this Afrikaans Key Phrase list, the 100 Most Common Afrikaans words, and nearly inexhaustible Vocabulary Lists.

Whether you’re interested in learning more about South African history, or planning to visit or work in the country, knowing your dates and months in Afrikaans will only help you. At AfrikaansPod101, we make sure that you understand the vocabulary related to these holidays, and speak like a native would!

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Names and Terms for Families in Afrikaans

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Family is important in every culture, no matter what size or form it takes. Interaction with this group of people gives us our first relationship lessons in life. If these are disrupted, it can have an impact not only on all of our other relationships and the way we bond with others, but also how we see and experience ourselves.

At AfrikaansPod101, we’re aware of how important it is to know how to talk about families in Afrikaans. That’s why we’ve crafted this insightful article about Afrikaans words for family and family in Afrikaans culture, just for you!

What is the role of family in your culture? And how important is family to you personally? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section!

Table of Contents

  1. Family in Afrikaans
  2. Immediate Family in Afrikaans
  3. Extended Family in Afrikaans
  4. Afrikaans Terms for Marriage or Extended-Family Relationships
  5. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Learn Afrikaans Family Terms

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1. Family in Afrikaans

Family Words

Family is a strong institution among most of the Afrikaans-speaking people of South Africa, with differences that largely depend on culture. South Africa hosts a very diverse people, with multiple cultures within its borders. Afrikaans is but one of eleven nationally-acknowledged languages. In Afrikaans, the term “family” (familie) tends to refer to relatives and extended family, while the nuclear family is called a gesin.

1- How to Use:

Afrikaans: Ons gesin gaan vandag strand toe.
Translation: “Our family is going to the beach today.”
Context: Use when the family unit consists of either a couple or single parent with their offspring.

OR

Afrikaans: DIe familie kom kuier elke Sondag.
Translation: “The family comes to visit every Sunday.”
Context: This can refer to either adult or child siblings of the parents, and/or grandparents, relatives, and extended family.

1.1 Families of European South Africans

Among Afrikaans-speaking Caucasians, families are modeled after the typical European or American family, with a great variety in expression. Tolerance for non-traditional families depends on social circles or where you live—in some areas of the countryside, for instance, small-town mentality will frown upon same-sex, single-parent, or even mixed race/culture families. In the cities and more populated areas, though, diversity is much more tolerated and accepted.

1.2 Families of African or Mixed-Race South Africans

Among Afrikaans-speaking people of color (which is not a derogatory term in South Africa, by the way), family tends to be a more important institution. This is not only, but strongly, due to cultural traditions steeped in a native philosophy that’s popularly called ubuntu.

Ubuntu is a Nguni Bantu term, meaning “humanity.” In Zulu, ubuntu is explained with the phrase Umuntu ngumuntu ngabantu, which literally translates as: “A person is a person through other people.” It’s understood that a person’s humanity and identity is shaped by, and sustained through, their relationships and connections with other people. Ubuntu has become a popular philosophical term which indicates the belief in “a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.” Of course, this includes the family.


2. Immediate Family in Afrikaans

Parent Phrases

“Close family” in Afrikaans refers to the nuclear family, as previously explained. Sometimes, this includes great-grandparents and grandparents, especially if they all live together.

The Afrikaans people love to use diminutive nouns to express endearment. Look for the suffixes -tjie or -ie—they’re everywhere!

Here’s our guide to help you learn family words in Afrikaans for those closest to you!

1- Great-grandmother

Formal: Groot-grootmoeder literally means “big-big mother.” People normally use this term with a possessive pronoun, not as a form of address. Such as in My groot-grootmoeder is siek. Translation: “My great-grandmother is ill.”

Informal: Oumagrootjie. This is used as above. Simply replace grootmoeder with oumagrootjie for a more informal term, which is used more often.

Form of address: To address their great-grandmothers, Afrikaans-speakers often use the same term as they do for “grandmother,” which is ouma, simply because it’s easier. Yet, some prefer to call this matriarch Oumagrootjie, and it’s not incorrect.

2- Grandmother

Formal: Grootmoeder, which means “big mother,” is used as in the previous example, normally with a possessive pronoun in more formal settings, and not as a form of address. Such as in: Haar grootmoeder is ‘n afstammeling van President Jan Smuts. Translation: “Her grandmother is a descendant of President Jan Smuts.”

Informal: Ouma means “old mother” and is used as a noun like above, but more informally. It’s the equivalent of an English “grandma.” This is also the most popular way to address a grandmother from either side of the family. Such as in: Ouma, ek is lief vir jou! Translation: “Granma, I love you!”

Common Terms of Endearment: Oumie or Oumsie.

Other Uses: Sometimes, the words ouma or oumatjie are used in reference to an elderly lady who’s not a relative. Such as in: Die oumatjie wat melktert verkoop op die mark is so vrolik. Translation: “The little old lady selling confectionery at the market is very joyful.”

Grandmother with Flowers

3- Mother

Formal: A “mother” in Afrikaans is a moeder. Again, this is mostly used as a noun, and is a slightly formal term, such as in: Haar moeder is gister oorlede. Translation: “Her mother passed away yesterday.” It’s not a common form of address, but it’s not incorrect to use it this way.

Informal: Ma or Mamma, which translates as “Mom” or “Momma.” As above, these are used as nouns in a more informal setting. They’re also interchangeable and the most commonly-used terms of address that Afrikaans children or offspring use. Such as in: Ma/Mamma, hierdie nagereg is wonderlik! Translation: “Mom/Momma, this dessert is wonderful!”

Common Terms of Endearment: Moekie or Mammie or Moedertjie

See those diminutives?! These mostly translate as “Mommy.”

4- Daughter

Formal: A “daughter” in Afrikaans is dogter. This phrase is used, like in English, to indicate female offspring, as in: Marietjie is my dogter. Translation: “Marietjie is my daughter.”

Informal: There’s no distinction between formal and informal nouns with regards to offspring in Afrikaans.

Common Forms of Address: Parents address their children by their names or pet names. There’s no form of address to indicate family relations pertaining to children.

Grandmother with Granddaughter

5- Granddaughter

Formal: Kleindogter is a literal translation of “little daughter.” It’s used as a noun, such as in English, to indicate relation: Marietjie is haar kleindogter. Translation: “Marietjie is her granddaughter.”

Informal: There is no distinction between formal and informal nouns with regards to grandchildren in Afrikaans.

Common Forms of Address: Grandparents call their grandchildren by their names or pet names, as there’s no form of address that indicates this type of family relation. Afrikaans for “grandchildren” is kleinkinders [plural] or kleinkind [singular].

6- Great-granddaughter

Formal: “Great-granddaughter” in Afrikaans is klein-kleindogter, and it literally means “little-little daughter.” This term is used as a noun, such as in English, only to indicate relation: Sy klein-kleindogter is baie mooi. Translation: “His great-granddaughter is very pretty.”

Informal: There’s no distinction between formal and informal nouns with regards to great-grandchildren in Afrikaans.

Common Forms of Address: Great-grandparents call their great-grandchildren by their names or pet names, as there’s no form of address that indicates family relations of this kind.

7- Sister

Formal: Suster is normally used only as a noun, such as in English, to indicate a sibling relationship: Sy suster is baie suksesvol. Translation: “His sister is very successful.”

Informal: Sus or Sussie. To indicate rank in family, the younger or youngest sister is often called kleinsus or kleinsussie, translating as “little sister.” An older sister is called ousus or grootsus, which translates as “older/big sister.” These are used as nouns, but they are also common forms of address.

Common Terms of Endearment: Siblings mostly call one another by their names or pet names, or sus. Sometimes, a sister and/or daughter gets called Sussa.

Grandmother, Mother, Daughter

8- Great-Grandfather

Formal: Groot-grootvader literally means “big-big father.” As in the case of its female equivalent, this is a noun, not a form of address. For example: Sy groot-grootvader se plaas is deur familie geërf. Translation: “His great-grandfather’s farm was inherited by the family.”

Informal: Oupa-grootjie translates as “grandpa-big.” Like its female equivalent, this is an informal term for “great-grandfather.” Use as above, just replace groot-grootvader with oupagrootjie.

Common Terms of Endearment: To address their great-grandfathers, Afrikaans-speakers often use the same term as for “grandfather,” which is oupa, simply because it’s easier. Yet, many do prefer to address this patriarch as oupagrootjie, and it’s not incorrect.

9- Grandfather

Formal: “Grandfather” in Afrikaans is grootvader, which literally means “big father.” Like its female equivalent, this term is used as a noun, not a form of address. It gets used this way: Sy grootvader aan moederskant is van Frankryk. Translation: “His maternal grandfather is from France.”

Informal: A “grandpa” or “grandfather” in Afrikaans is called an oupa. It’s used as above, but in more informal settings (and literally translates as “old father” in English). So simply replace grootvader with oupa. This is also the most popular way to address a grandfather from either side of the family, such as in: Jou baard is so mooi, Oupa. Translation: “Your beard is lovely, Grandpa.”

Common Terms of Endearment: Oupie or Oupatjie or Oups

Other Uses: Sometimes, the words oupa or oupatjie are used in fond reference to an elderly person who’s not a relative. Such as in: Die oupatjie wat vrugte verkoop op die mark is so vriendelik. Translation: “The little old man selling fruit at the market is very friendly.”

Father and Baby Son

10- Father

Formal: “Father” in Afrikaans is vader. It’s used the same way as its female equivalent, moeder, but mostly as a noun, not a form of address (unless the relationship is very formal). It’s most commonly used as a religious term for Father God, such as in Ons Vader wat in die hemel is… Translation: “Our Father in heaven…”

Informal: Pa or Pappa. When referring to a father, the word pa is used, such as in: My pa is baie ryk. Translation: “My dad is very rich.” Both are used as terms of address, too.

Common Terms of Endearment: Pappie or Paps

11- Son

Formal: A “son” in Afrikaans is seun. It’s used, as in English, to indicate an offspring relation, as in: Trevor is my seun. Translation: “Trevor is my son.”

Informal: There is no distinction between formal and informal nouns with regards to offspring in Afrikaans.

Common Ways of Address: Parents address their children by their names or pet names. There’s no term of address to indicate family relations pertaining to offspring. However, some Afrikaner parents address their son as seun, such as in English and American cultures.

Grandfather with Grandson

12- Grandson

Formal: A “grandson” in Afrikaans is a kleinseun, and it’s literally a translation for “little son.” It’s used as a noun, such as in English, to indicate relation: Trevor is haar kleinseun. Translation: “Trevor is her grandson.”

Informal: There’s no distinction between formal and informal nouns with regards to grandchildren in Afrikaans.

Common Terms of Endearment: Grandparents call their grandchildren by their names or pet names, as there’s no form of address that indicates family relations.

13- Great-grandson

Formal: Klein-kleinseun, literally translates as “small-small son.” It’s used as a noun, like in English, to indicate relation, as in: Sy klein-kleinseun bly in Tzaneen. Translation: “His great-grandson is living in Tzaneen.”

Informal: There’s no distinction between formal and informal nouns with regards to great-grandchildren in Afrikaans.

Common Terms of Endearment: Great-grandparents call their great-grandchildren by their names or pet names, as there’s no form of address to indicate family relations.

14- Brother

Formal: Afrikaans for “brother” is broer. It’s used as a slightly more formal noun to indicate sibling relation, as in: My broer bly in Skotland. Translation: “My brother lives in Scotland.”

Informal: Boet or Boetie. Translation: “Bro.” These are used equally as forms of address and as nouns.

Common Terms of Endearment: Boeta. Also, when Afrikaners like you, you could well be addressed as Boet (even if you’re not related), especially in informal situations, like chatting around the signature braaivleis vuur (somewhat similar to a barbeque). Braai-ing is a famous South African form of social catering, and families often hold them at gatherings.

Family Get-Together Lunch


3. Extended Family in Afrikaans

As mentioned, the nuclear family (mother, father, and offspring) is called a gesin in Afrikaans. Other family (grandfather, grandmother, aunt, uncle, etc.) are usually referred to as familie.

These are the Afrikaans terms for relatives.

1- Uncle: Oom

Like the English “uncle,” oom is the title for the maternal or paternal brother and extended family of the parents.

Example: My Oom Kobus ry ‘n Mazda.

Translation: “My Uncle Cobus drives a Mazda.”

Children always use this term to address or refer to any adult male other than their father. In colloquial, informal Afrikaans, many adult Afrikaners also use the term to address or describe any male much older than themselves, irrespective of relation.

Example: Die oom eet ‘n koekie.

Translation: “The (uncle/old man) eats a cupcake.”

2- Aunt: Tant or Tante or Tannie

Tant or tante are the more formal nouns or forms of address for an older female relative.

Example: Tant Bettie verjaar vandag.

Translation: “It’s Aunt Betty’s birthday today.”

The diminutive, tannie, is the most commonly used term to describe or address the maternal and paternal sister/s (aunt/s) and extended female family members of both parents. Tannie is also used to address or describe any older female. Children always use this term for any adult female other than their mother.

Example: Die tannie koop piesangs.

Translation: “The (older lady/aunt) buys bananas.”

Cousins Playing with Laptop

3- Cousin: Neef or nefie AND nig or niggie

Neef or nefie AND nig or niggie are all Afrikaans terms for “cousin.” These terms are used to describe the offspring of maternal and paternal siblings, meaning the children of related aunts and uncles. The terms are specific, and commonly only used to describe true relatives in modern times.

Neef is slightly more formal than nefie, and is used to address and describe the male cousin.

Example: Neef Pieter is terug in die Kaap.

Translation: “Cousin Peter is back in the Cape.”

Nig or niggie is the form of address (and noun) for the female cousin.

Example: My niggie Susan kom by ons kuier.

Translation: “My cousin Susan will be visiting us.”


4. Afrikaans Terms for Marriage or Extended-Family Relationships

Fortunately, these terms are more fixed, and indicate the specific extended-family relationships between people.

Newlyweds at Wedding

1- Husband and Wife: man en vrou OR eggenoot en eggenote

In an Afrikaans married couple (getroude paartjie), a husband is simply called man, and a wife is simply called vrou. These are the most commonly used terms, and they’re only distinguishable from “man and woman” (man en vrou) when a possessive pronoun is used (sy/haar/my, which is “his/her/ in English).

Examples: Sy vrou staan op. AND Haar man werk by die bank.

Translations: “His wife gets up.” AND “Her husband works at the bank.”

There are other, slightly more formal terms too: eggenoot (masculine) and eggenote (feminine). They’re used exactly the same way as man and vrou.

2- “Mother-in-Law” and “Father-in-Law”: Skoonma and Skoonpa

These terms for inlaws are used exactly the same way as in English. They translate literally as “clean mom” and “clean dad,” but this doesn’t hold any significance in their meaning!

Example: Haar skoonma dra ‘n pienk rok vandag.

Translation: “Her mother-in-law is wearing a pink dress today.”

3- “Sister-in-Law” and “Brother-in-Law”: Skoonsuster and Swaer

Skoonsuster translates literally as “clean sister,” but, again, that’s not what it means. It means “sister-in-law,” and an informal term is skoonsus.

Swaer is the term for “brother-in-law” and it’s a homonym for the Afrikaans word swaar, which means “heavy.” This is exactly what some Afrikaners affectionately call their brother-in-laws: Karel is my naaste heavy. Translated: “Carl is my closest brother-in-law.”


5. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Learn Afrikaans Family Terms

Family Quotes

We hope that we helped you expand your family in Afrikaans vocabulary, and that you now have a better idea of what family in Afrikaans culture looks like.

AfrikaansPod101, with its innovative online learning system, stands out among online learning platforms to help you master Afrikaans easily! Why not test it—quickly learn Must-Know Terms for Family Members in Afrikaans. Our lessons are culturally relevant, meaning they’re tailored not only to increase your language skills, but to also inform you of Afrikaner culture, such as the Afrikaans family structure.

When you sign up, you get instant access to tools like:

1- The Afrikaans Core 100 Word List
2- A new Afrikaans word to learn every day!
3- An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
4- A free Afrikaans online dictionary
5- Monthly video talks and shows to help you learn easier and faster, and stay motivated
6- Easy and fun ways to cement your new vocabulary by placing it in context, such as this recorded lesson about possessive pronouns called Who’s in These Family Photos?

Further speed up your learning with the help of a personal tutor, who will first assess your current Afrikaans language abilities to personalize your training and tailor it to your needs.

Hard work always pays off, and to help you in this, AfrikaansPod101 will be there every step of the way toward your Afrikaans mastery!

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Day of Reconciliation in South Africa

Day of Reconciliation in South Africa

On the Day of Reconciliation, South Africa both remembers its rocky, violent history and strives to move forward in peace and hope. The significance of Reconciliation Day in South Africa can’t be overstated, and if you want to really dig deep into the country’s culture, there may be no better place to start than here.

In this article, you’ll learn about the importance of Reconciliation Day in South Africa, as well as its history and modern-day observations.

Let’s get started.

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1. What is Reconciliation Day in South Africa?

Like many of the nation’s public holidays, the Day of Reconciliation was instituted in 1994 after apartheid ended and all South Africans were enfranchised.

So what is the purpose of Reconciliation Day?

South Africa has a very violent past with many reprobates taking power over the decades, and the Day of Reconciliation is all about instilling a sense of camaraderie among the different cultural groups that spent so many years with some in subjugation to others.

The public holiday aims to help South Africans move forward in hope and reconcile past events with a more positive future.

2. When is the South African Day of Reconciliation

Togetherness

Each year, South Africans celebrate the Day of Reconciliation on December 16. Later in this article, you’ll learn more about the date of the Day of Reconciliation South Africa chose.

3. Summertime in December: Holiday Celebrations

People Celebrating

How is the Day of Reconciliation Day celebrated in South Africa?

Read the Afrikaans text below to learn how many people in South Africa spend their December summertime and the holidays that accompany this time of year.

Die Dag van Versoening is ook die onoffisiële begin van die Suid Afrikaanse somer vakansie, wat 16 dae lank is. Gedurende die 16 dae is daar in totaal 4 openbare vakansiedae in Suid Afrika, die ander drie is Kersdag, Dag van Welwillendheid (ook bekend as Boxing Day) en Nuwejaarsdag. Dit is baie algemeen vir klein besighede om gedurende die somer vakansie te sluit omwille van al hierdie vakansiedae. Baie Suid Afrikaners reis ook gedurende die seisoen, met uitgebreide vakansies om te reis. Omdat Suid Afrika in die Suidelike Halfrond is, val Desember in die middel van die somer.

The Day of Reconciliation is also the unofficial beginning of South Africa’s summer holiday season, which lasts sixteen days. During those sixteen days, there is a total of four public holidays in South Africa, with the other three being Christmas Day, the Day of Goodwill, and New Year’s Day. It is very common for small businesses to shut down during the summer holiday season because of all these holidays. Also, many South Africans travel during the season, taking extended vacations to travel. Because South Africa is in the Southern Hemisphere, December falls in the height of summer.

4. Why December 16?

The date of December 16 is a poignant reminder of the past. This is the same date as holidays celebrated by two of the main groups in South Africa prior to the institution of the Day of Reconciliation. Here, we’ll review a little bit of the history of Reconciliation Day in South Africa.

1- Day of the Vow

The Afrikaner people observed the Day of the Vow on December 16 to remember a vow that the Voortrekkers made heading into a battle on that date in 1838.

The Voortrekkers had a hostile relationship with the Zulu tribe, fleeing them to prepare for a huge battle over a piece of land that—in a devious move—the Voortrekkers had tried to wrest away from the Zulu people.

The Voortrekkers vowed to build a church on the land and set a holiday to give thanks if they should win the battle.

Fewer than 500 Voortrekkers were able to defeat the over 10,000 Zulus who attacked them on December 16, 1838. This is because they had gunpowder and the Zulus did not.

While just three Voortrekkers were wounded in the battle, over 3,000 Zulus died in it. This was later called the Battle of Blood River.

2- African National Congress’ Spear of the Nation

Before the institution of the Day of Reconciliation, the Africans commemorated the founding of the African National Congress’ Spear of the Nation, the governing body’s armed division, in 1961.

5. Must-Know Afrikaans Vocabulary for Day of Reconciliation

A Scroll

Here’s some essential Afrikaans vocabulary you should know for the Day of Reconciliation!

  • Kerk — “Church”
  • Geskiedenis — “History”
  • Oorlog — “War”
  • Weermag — “Army”
  • Vier — “Celebrate”
  • Demokrasie — “Democracy”
  • Tradisie — “Tradition”
  • Publieke vakansiedag — “Public holiday”
  • Eenheid — “Unity”
  • Saam — “Together”
  • Apartheid — “Apartheid”

To hear the pronunciation of each word, and to read them alongside relevant images, be sure to check out our Afrikaans Day of Reconciliation word list!

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the Day of Reconciliation in South Africa? Does your country have any special holidays that promote peace and unity? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section!

South Africa certainly has a fascinating and deep history, and a colorful culture. If you’re interested in learning more about South Africa and her people, or if you want more words about summertime here, you may find the following pages useful:

Learning Afrikaans, and becoming familiar with South African history and culture, doesn’t have to be boring or overwhelming. With AfrikaansPod101.com, it can even be fun!

We hope you enjoyed this lesson and took away some valuable information!

If you’re serious about mastering the Afrikaans language, create your free lifetime AfrikaansPod101 account today.

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Most Common Travel Phrases in Afrikaans

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Sometimes, traveling to a foreign country where the natives speak a language completely different from your own can be rather challenging. In South Africa, you have more of a choice! English is one of the country’s eleven national languages, and so is Afrikaans.

While you’ll be able to find your way using English, having useful Afrikaans travel phrases under your belt will definitely make for much easier traveling in this gorgeous country! The native speakers will also appreciate your effort to learn travel words in Afrikaans. Certainly, in Afrikaans language-learning, travel phrases are essential.

We teach you the best basic Afrikaans travel phrases at AfrikaansPod101! With easy, online access to excellent learning materials and tools (like this Afrikaans travel phrases guide), you’ll sound like a native in no time.

Let’s take a tour while looking at the most common travel phrases in Afrikaans.

Table of Contents

  1. Afrikaans Travel Phrases in Transport
  2. Afrikaans Travel Phrases When Eating Out
  3. Other Useful Travel Phrases in Afrikaans
  4. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Learn Afrikaans Fast and Easily

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Airport Terminal


1. Afrikaans Travel Phrases in Transport

Preparing for Travel

So, you’ve landed at one of South Africa’s three international airports: O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, Cape Town International Airport, or Port Elizabeth International Airport.

All three are pretty modern, with good services available to tourists and foreigners in English. However, especially if you travel to the Mother City, Cape Town, you’ll elicit big smiles from the locals by using travel phrases in Afrikaans!

Afrikaans is spoken across the country as a first or second language by millions, but the greatest concentration of Afrikaans native speakers is probably to be found in and around Cape Town.

These handy Afrikaans travel phrases can serve you well at airports, and also around cities when you’re looking for transport.

Usage tip #1: If you’re not attracting a person’s attention, but simply addressing someone asking the following questions, you can leave out the main clause: Verskoon my (Or “Excuse me,” in English).

1- Verskoon my, waar kry ek die taxis, asseblief? OR Verskoon my, waar is die taxi-staanplek, asseblief?

Translation: “Excuse me, where can I find the taxis, please?” or “Excuse me, where can I find the taxi rank, please?”

Woman Getting Out of a Yellow Taxi.

Unfortunately, only the taxi transport service in the country is well-organized, and will probably be your preferred mode of transportation. South Africa has a good Uber network, so be sure to download the app on your phone before you come!

2- Verskoon my, waar is die bus stasie, asseblief? OR Verskoon my asseblief, waar kan ek ek op ‘n bus klim?

Translation: “Excuse me, where is the bus station, please?” or “Excuse me, where can I get on the bus, please?”

Besides the taxis, you’ll also find good shuttle services to hotels at all the main airports. Unfortunately, national bus service in town isn’t always reliable, so many tourists prefer to use taxis to commute. For inter-city travel, many tourists prefer coach services. (By the way, in Afrikaans, a “coach” is also referred to as a bus.)

It would be a good idea to consult with a reputable travel agent for references to good coach services in South Africa.

3- Verskoon my, waar is die trein stasie, asseblief?

Translation: “Excuse me, where is the train station, please?”

In the Gauteng province, the Gautrain is the only reliable and fairly modern rail system in and between Johannesburg and Pretoria. If you’re in one of these two cities, it would be best to ask for the Gautrain by name.

Fast Train Carriage, Yellow

Unfortunately, like the national bus service, the train service in South African cities and towns isn’t recommended. However, if you prefer to travel in style, you could consider either the famous Blue Train option, or book a safari on the equally breathtaking and locally-born Rovos Rail.

4- Verskoon my, hoe laat kom die taxi/trein/bus, asseblief?

Translation: “Excuse me, what time is the taxi/train/bus due, please?”

Always a handy phrase to have, even when you have the time schedule.

5- Baie dankie!

Translation: “Thank you very much!”

In most countries, knowing how to thank the locals in their own language will help you win friends and influence people! ;) In South Africa, this is no exception. When you receive the help you asked for, or even just an attempt to assist you, these are perfect Afrikaans travel words to use in response.

Usage tip #2: The majority of South Africans are friendly, generous people who respond to friendliness. If you address them politely and with a huge smile while looking them straight in the eye, you’re almost guaranteed a friendly reaction! Many will go out of their way to assist you, especially if you use a common travel phrase in Afrikaans. “Thank you” may just be one of the most important Afrikaans travel phrases for this reason.


2. Afrikaans Travel Phrases When Eating Out

Basic Questions

Eating should, ideally, always be a pleasure! Make sure your experiences in restaurants are positive with these useful Afrikaans phrases for tourists and visitors.

1- Goeiedag/goeienaand! ‘n Tafel vir [#], asseblief.

Translation: “Good day/good evening! A table for [#], please.”

Whether you’re booking by phone or as a walk-in at a restaurant, this is a good, casual phrase to use. Obviously, add your own number of diners.

2- Ons/Ek verkies om by ‘n venster te sit, asseblief. OR Ons/Ek verkies om buite te sit, asseblief.

Translation: “We/I prefer a window seat, please.” OR “We/I prefer to sit outside, please.”

Three Women Sitting at a Table Eating Outside at a Restaurant.

Eating outside or near a window isn’t always an option, obviously. But, especially Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (or simply PE, as it’s called by the locals) have restaurants with breathtaking sea and mountain views. You may want to specify where you’d like to be seated!

3- Verskoon my, mag ek die spyskaart/wynlys sien, asseblief?

Translation: “May I see the menu/wine list, please?”

In most restaurants, you’ll be offered the menu, and most likely the wine list, immediately upon being seated.

South Africans are big on wines. Like in huge. The country is considered one of the foremost wine producers in the world! So, if you enjoy the occasional glass of good wine, make sure your restaurant of choice is one of the upmarket ones in town. (Most restaurants will have a good selection, but the high-end eateries will treat you to pairing the best wines with your food.)

Cape Winelands

If you’re not a wine lover, but would like to enjoy a stronger beverage, you can still ask for the wine list. This is the term South Africans use to describe the menu for all alcoholic drinks.

And if you don’t have a clue what to order, you could always ask your waitron or maître d’ in perfect Afrikaans…

4- Wat kan jy/u aanbeveel, asseblief?

Translation: “What would you recommend, please?”

This is a catch-all phrase for both food and wine, so make sure you indicate which (by pointing to or holding up the menu).

If you need to be formal, you could use the pronoun U. In old English, this would translate as “Thou.” Like in the U.K., this form of address is no longer commonly used in South Africa. You can still use it if you’re talking to an obviously much older person, or a VIP whom you need to address formally.

Usage tip #3: South Africa has some award-winning restaurants, the best in the world. So relying on the chef’s recommendation could well ensure an unforgettable, superior gastronomic experience for you and your companions!

5- Mag ek die rekening kry, asseblief?

Translation: “May I have the bill, please?”

In some establishments, it’s considered improper for the person who waits on your table to ask if you would like the bill, so this is a good Afrikaans travel phrase to memorize! If you’re paying in cash, but you don’t need change, just look the waitron in the eye, smile, and say: Baie dankie! Then get up and leave. It will usually be understood that you’re leaving the money as their tip. If they return with your change anyway, then just say with a smile: Hou die kleingeld! (Or “Keep the change!” in English).

Alternatively, just hand them the money and wait for your change to be returned to you. Like in many other countries, a fifteen percent tip is acceptable; more, if the service and food were outstanding. (Less than fifteen percent will tacitly indicate that you weren’t pleased with something, especially in fine-dining restaurants.)

The final bill will very seldom include the tip, so be sure to leave one where warranted. Your generosity will be much appreciated! Working as waitrons is a low-paying job in most restaurants, yet it is many South Africans’ main or only source of income.


3. Other Useful Travel Phrases in Afrikaans

Survival Phrases

Our survival Afrikaans travel phrases guide wouldn’t be complete without these additional useful phrases! These Afrikaans words and phrases for travellers will help you out in a pinch.

1- Baie dankie vir alles!

Translation: “Thank you very much for everything!”

2- Daardie een/hierdie een, asseblief.

Translation: “That one/this one, please.”

3- Hoe laat maak die winkel/museum/teater oop, asseblief?

Translation: “What time does the shop/museum/theatre open, please?”

4- Hoe laat maak die winkel/museum/teater toe, asseblief?

Translation: “What time does the shop/museum/theatre close, please?”

5- Waar is die badkamer?

Translation: “Where is the bathroom?”


How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Learn Afrikaans Fast and Easily

We hope you enjoyed learning about Afrikaans travel phrases with us! Which ones do you see yourself using on your trip to South Africa? Let us know in the comments!

If you sign up for a free online course now, you create an account with lifetime access. Depending on the enrollment option, of which there are three different learning plans, you’ll also gain access to the following word and phrase lists. These can greatly augment your Afrikaans travel phrases:

You’ll make your life so much easier using these, especially once you learn Afrikaans travel phrases.

If you’re serious about your learning, don’t hesitate; enroll with AfrikaansPod101 straight away. Affordable, with thousands of lesson plans tailored to your needs, you’ll learn so much more than travel phrases in Afrikaans. And with enough hard work and determination, you’ll be able to speak Afrikaans like a native before you know it!

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