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The Best Ways to Say “I’m Sorry” in Afrikaans

Apologizing by saying “I’m sorry,” in Afrikaans, or any other language, is a very important relationship skill to have. It can make or break things between people, meaning that learning how to say sorry when learning Afrikaans is so important.

How do you say sorry in Afrikaans? There are many ways of expressing “sorry” in South Africa.

Saying “I’m sorry” in Afrikaans has different applications, and its use depends on circumstances, situations, etc. Sometimes it sounds like an apology, but it’s actually a sort of interjection used to smoothe over interactions in different social situations. Other times, it’s a sincere apology for a transgression. As said, this is a very important relationship skill that no close partnership or friendship can do without.

Learn at AfrikaansPod101 how to say “I’m sorry” in Afrikaans, and other ways of saying an apology in Afrikaans.

Couple with Man Offering Apology

Here, we’ll look at the different types of apologies with their social and linguistic nuances, and give examples of when and how to use each one. Consider this your “Sorry in Afrikaans” dictionary!

Saying sorry in Afrikaans words can become tricky, so let’s start with the easiest application. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Afrikaans Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

  1. Jammer, Verskoon my & Askies
  2. “I’m Sorry” or “Ek is jammer”
  3. 3. Ways AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You to Say “I’m Sorry” in Afrikaans

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1. Jammer, Verskoon my & Askies

3 Ways to Say Sorry

“Sorry” in Afrikaans is an apology that’s used pretty much the same way as in English. It’s often used as an interjection of sorts that serves mostly to indicate an acknowledgement of another person’s possible situation or feeling. Below is a “Sorry” in Afrikaans translation.

Tip: If you need to apologize for a serious transgression, this would not be the go-to apology!

Afrikaans: Jammer or Verskoon my or Askies.
Translation: “Sorry” or “Pardon me” or “Excuse me.”

Jammer, Verskoon my, or Askies can be used interchangeably, mostly based on the situation. In casual scenarios, and when addressing people you know, Jammer and Askies are most suitable. In formal situations, or when talking to strangers, Verskoon my is more appropriate. However, the distinction isn’t terribly important, and you won’t land in trouble if you mix up these three.

1- Situational Use

Like the British, the Afrikaans people consider it polite to apologize for nearly everything. It’s become part of their reflexive, interpersonal repertoire that seems rather odd, once you start analyzing it!

One psychologist speculates that people who apologize for everything might have a hard time differentiating between situations that do (or don’t) require an apology, or they may not fully understand how significant an apology to a loved one is.

Yet, whatever the reasons are behind reflexively saying sorry, knowing how the different forms are used in Afrikaans will help you understand the native speakers better, even if you choose not to apologize over every little thing yourself!

Open Hand with the Word Sorry Written on the Palm

1.) The Afrikaans people often use jammer to get someone’s attention and to apologize for disturbing them—a throwback to good manners in an excruciatingly polite English society. (Afrikaans culture is still very British.)

Example: Verskoon my, maar kan jy my sê hoe laat dit is asseblief?
Translation: “Excuse me, but could you tell me the time, please?”

Another example:

Example: Jammer, maar kan jy my verduidelik hoe om by die lughawe te kom, asseblief? (Here, Verskoon my would also be appropriate.)
Translation: “Sorry, could you direct me to the airport, please?”

In this instance, jammer stands in the place of this phrase: Jammer om jou te pla of Verskoon my dat ek pla, which literally means: “Sorry to disturb you” or “Excuse me for disturbing you.”

You could use the whole phrase, instead of only jammer. As you should see, these can be understood as polite ways of getting someone’s attention.

2.) There are more ways to apologize for a possible inconvenience caused, or to indicate understanding of someone’s discomfort. Again, this isn’t the best way to apologize if you need to say sorry in Afrikaans for a serious transgression, discomfort, or inconvenience.

Example: Jammer, maar ons het nie jou grootte skoen in die winkel nie. (Here, jammer can be replaced with askies, a more informal term.)
Translation: “Sorry, but we don’t have your size shoe in the shop.”

Another example:

Example: (When your cell phone rings at the dinner table, and it’s an urgent call.) Jammer, maar ek moet gou hierdie oproep neem. Ek sal nou terug wees.
Translation: “Sorry, I have to take this call, but I will be back soon.”

And then it’s important to return to your meeting or date as soon as possible! Sometimes interference can’t be helped, but in most situations, it’s considered impolite, even insensitive to interrupt or leave a meeting or date to take a phone call.

In this instance, Jammer takes the place of Ek is jammer vir enige ongerief, translated as “I’m sorry for any inconvenience.” It’s not common to use the long phrase to excuse yourself.

2. “I’m Sorry” or “Ek is jammer”

Say Sorry

Afrikaners use this sentence a bit differently than Jammer, but not much. From this phrase, you can also create more sincere apologies, like “I’m very sorry,” in Afrikaans.

1- Situational Use

Ek’s jammer, which is a contraction like “I’m sorry” (for “I am sorry” ) in Afrikaans, can be used interchangeably with Jammer, but there’s a subtle difference in nuance. This mostly depends on why you use it, meaning it will depend on what the situation is.


1. Casual Situational Use

Ek is jammer, or the contraction Ek’s jammer, can replace Jammer in all of the aforementioned samples. Use it when apologizing for something you should logically not have to say sorry for, as a show of being culturally correct! It is, as said, considered polite to use Jammer this way in Afrikaans, and it will show some sensitivity for the conversational culture on your side.

2. Other Situational Use

Apology for Harm Done

If you have, logically and clearly, caused someone inconvenience or discomfort, and it is appropriate to apologize, these two phrases are more appropriate to use than only Jammer.

However, even here we have subtle nuances which will determine how you use it.

That said—none of these are more important than heart-felt intent. It’s best to never underestimate the power of an apology when you were clearly in the wrong.

If your transgression is really not that serious, meaning that you haven’t caused any serious harm, you’ll probably use the contraction.

Example: (You’re late for your plane, and running to the terminal, you bump into someone. Fortunately, they are unharmed.) Ek’s jammer!
Translation: “I’m sorry!”

Another example:

Example: (You arrive fifteen-twenty minutes late for a date with an Afrikaans friend. Not a serious transgression, but you did keep them waiting.) Ek’s jammer ek is laat!
Translation: “I’m sorry I’m late!”

However, if you’ve caused someone serious inconvenience or hurt them intentionally or unintentionally, use the full phrase to say you’re sorry. This is a way of saying “I am really sorry” in Afrikaans, or “I am very sorry” in Afrikaans.

Couple with Woman Saying Sorry

Example: (After a fight.) Ek is jammer ek het my humeur verloor. Dit was onaanvaarbaar van my en ek wil nie baklei nie.
Translation: “I am sorry I lost my temper. It was unacceptable behavior on my part and I don’t want to fight.”

You may even want to add the adverb werklik as a sub-modifier to emphasize heartfelt regret, as in:

Example: Ek is werklik jammer ek het my humeur verloor. Dit was onaanvaarbaar van my en ek wil nie baklei nie. (You could also replace werklik with regtig, which is a bit more casual in nuance and closer to “really” in meaning.)
Translation: “I’m truly sorry I lost my temper. It was unacceptable behavior on my part and I don’t want to fight.”

You could use these phrases effectively in an apology letter in Afrikaans, or better perhaps, a card.

Another example:

Example: Ek is jammer ek het jou kar gestamp. Ek sal dit laat regmaak.
Translation: “I’m sorry I bumped your car. I will have it fixed.”

3. Apology to Offer Condolences

In English-speaking cultures, it’s definitely appropriate to use an apologetic form to express condolences or sympathy. This is the same in Afrikaans. It’s a way of expressing caring and empathy.

For example:

Example: Ek is jammer jy het nie die werk gekry nie.
Translation: “I’m sorry you didn’t get the job.”

Or, if someone close to your Afrikaans colleague or friend passes away, you express condolences this way:

Example: Ek is werklik jammer om te hoor van jou verlies. Laat weet gerus as ek kan help met enigiets.
Translation: “I’m truly sorry for your loss. Please let me know if I can help with anything.”

Tip: Offer help only if you do mean to assist. It’s a wonderful way to let the bereft feel supported. However, be discerning if a request for money is made. Asking for money for a funeral (or for personal use) from strangers is not a cultural habit in South Africa, but unfortunately, opportunists could take advantage of well-meaning foreigners. Don’t feel bad to politely decline financial assistance, or, alternatively, offer only a small sum.

If you want to avoid this potential problem, you could offer condolences this way:

Example: Ek is werklik jammer om te hoor van jou verlies. Ek dink aan jou.
Translation: “I’m truly sorry for your loss. You’re in my thoughts.”

If you want to comfort someone when they’re ill, or are clearly upset about something, you can also express empathy using “I am sorry” in Afrikaans.

Two Woman, One Comforting the Other

Example: Ek is jammer jy voel so sleg. Ek hoop jy voel gou beter.
Translation: “I’m sorry you feel so bad. I hope you feel better soon.”

3. Ways AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You to Say “I’m Sorry” in Afrikaans

We hope you enjoyed our article on how to say sorry in Afrikaans language! Do you feel more confident about how to say “I’m sorry” in Afrikaans, or are there still some things you’re fuzzy on? Can you think of any creative ways to say sorry in Afrikaans? Let us know in the comments!

Afrikaans, which is closely related to Dutch, is both an easy and challenging language to master, especially if your own is not Germanic-based.

Let us make it easier for you with our innovative approach to language learning. You can expect the following:

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Celebrating Cultural Heritage Day in South Africa

Cultural Heritage Day in South Africa

Each year, South Africans celebrate the diversity and uniqueness of their country’s many cultures and peoples. Essentially, the meaning of Heritage Day in South Africa is that of unity and togetherness in spirit as a country; this is especially vital for the country when considering the rough South Africa heritage history of apartheid leading up to this holiday’s creation.

In this article, you’ll learn some valuable information about Heritage Day in South Africa. In doing so, you should have a greater understanding of South African culture in general, and the significance of diversity therein.

At, we hope to make every aspect of your learning journey both fun and informative! So let’s get started, and delve into the rich meaning and history of South Africa’s Heritage Day.

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1. What is Heritage Day?

On Heritage Day, South Africans celebrate the diversity of their country’s culture, traditions, and beliefs. South Africa is very eclectic in terms of cultures and belief systems, and Heritage Day offers the nation’s people a way to become cognizant about the other cultures within the borders of their nation.

When did Heritage Day start in South Africa?

In 1996, then-President Nelson Mandela urged all people living in the country to have a barbecue on Heritage Day to celebrate their traditions with alacrity. South Africa has an extensive history of divisiveness, so having a day when attention is focused on embracing differences in congruity rather than clamoring against those differences is especially important.

Heritage Day is also about celebrating the many contributions of all people who live in South Africa today.

2. When is Heritage Day?

Heritage Day

Each year South Africa celebrates its Heritage Day on September 24.

3. How do South Africans Celebrate Heritage Day?

Food Grilling on BBQ

South Africans celebrate Heritage Day through a variety of events and activities held throughout the nation. For example, in Hout Bay, the residents celebrate with an army procession and a reenactment of a battle that happened there. However, celebrations can be vast, and there are many other public activities celebrating Heritage Day.

Another way to celebrate is through wearing South African Heritage Day outfits, which comprise of the different types of dress across the country’s many cultures and peoples. This display of different, unique clothing is a prime example of both pride and belonging of various groups throughout South Africa.

But is Heritage Day a public holiday in South Africa?

Yes! On Heritage Day, most people have the day off work and school to fully immerse themselves in the celebrations.

4. Many Names

Do you know what other names people have called Heritage Day?

Before 1995, September 24 was called Shaka Day to commemorate Shaka, the Zulu King. Shaka helped bring together the disparate Zulu clans into a single nation. The Zulu people gather every year at Shaka’s grave to pay homage to him on this date.

In 2015, there was a media campaign which attempted to rebrand Heritage Day as National Braai Day because of the focus on barbecuing together.

5. Useful Vocabulary for Heritage Day in South Africa

Cultural Icon

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Heritage Day!

  • Braai — “Barbecue”
  • Erfenis — “Heritage”
  • Pret — “Fun”
  • Kultuur — “Culture”
  • Geloof — “Belief”
  • Tradisie — “Tradition”
  • Diversiteit — “Diversity”
  • Geslagte — “Generations”
  • Gemeenskap — “Community”
  • Identiteit — “Identity”
  • Divisie — “Division”
  • Verenig — “Unite”

To hear each of these vocabulary words pronounced, check out our Afrikaans Heritage Day vocabulary list!

How AfrikaansPod101 Can Teach You More About South African Culture

We hope you enjoyed learning about Heritage Day with us! What are your thoughts on unity and diversity throughout South Africa? Does your country have a similar holiday? Let us know in the comments; we always love to hear from you!

To continue learning about the rich cultures of South Africa and the Afrikaans language, explore We offer an array of fun and effective learning tools for every learner, at every level:

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The Most Commonly Used Nonverbal Gestures in South Africa


Being understood in any language goes far beyond the spoken word. Everyone communicates with their entire body, not just with what they say. To muddy up communication even more, add cultural differences to the mix (take, for example, gestures in South Africa vs. the United States). This is succinctly explained in a quote from an article by Cynthia Ntuli, a student at the University of South Africa:

“As human beings, we use language, i.e., verbal and nonverbal signals to communicate and interact with one another and to link us to the world. Much of what we do when we interact with others is based on our cultural values and background. In this interaction we often encounter people who not only use different languages but who also come from cultures and backgrounds different from ours. Because of our differences, misunderstandings may occur in the process of communication and this may have a negative effect on people around us.”

Women in Suits Talking Around a Water Cooler

Therefore, it’s important to know typical gestures as they’re used by Afrikaans-speaking people, as well as the rude gestures in South Africa. In Afrikaans language-learning, body gestures and how they’re used could mean the difference between making friends or making enemies! This makes Afrikaans lessons about body language an essential aspect of your learning journey.

At AfrikaansPod101, we know that communication is a complex process, especially where Afrikaans body language is involved. So, read on for a quick and easy guide on the most commonly-used hand gestures in South Africa, as well as the ones to avoid. Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Afrikaans Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

  1. Hand Gestures in South Africa
  2. Rude Hand Gestures in South Africa
  3. What Makes AfrikaansPod101 Different?

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1. Hand Gestures in South Africa

Afrikaans Hand Gestures

The most important body language in South Africa for you to learn is hand gestures. Most hand gestures used by Afrikaans-speaking South Africans are fairly well-known in most Western cultures. There are only a few such Afrikaans body gestures that are fairly native to the language.

1- Shaking Your Hand to Show Commiseration with Pain

Let’s start with a typically South African gesture. This gesture in South Africa is used most commonly to indicate commiseration or empathy with someone when they’re experiencing physical pain or a situation of discomfort.

1. What the Gesture Looks Like

It’s not difficult—simply imagine injuring your finger painfully, like, for instance, getting it pinched in a door. What’s your first response? Universally, we either grasp the sore finger and squeeze it, or we vigorously shake the hand (usually with the palm towards the body and the fingers spread open), as if we’re literally trying to shake off the pain.

All human bodies are, in fact, designed to instinctively do this to draw more blood to the site of pain and injury. The movement initiates the process of healing, but South Africans commonly use it as an eloquent gesture. Try it now by pretending you hit your finger with a hammer…

Well, there you have the gesture! It’s custom to shake your hand approximately three times.

2. When to Use

Use this gesture if you witness someone injuring themselves. Usually, you would then suck in a breath through your teeth, and say something like: Eina! Is jy okey? meaning “Ouch! Are you OK?” Of course, you can offer help if the injury is serious and you know what to do. Otherwise, your simple empathy is enough.

This gesture is also used as a non-verbal cue to express commiseration when experiencing (or expecting) an uncomfortable situation. Such as:

Person 1: Ek skryf vandag eksamen en ek het deurnag gestudeer! Maar my brein voel sif, ek kan niks onthou nie!
Translation: “I’m writing exams today and I studied through the night! But my brain feels numb, I can’t remember anything!”

Person 2: *Pulls face in sympathy and uses this shaking gesture.* Eina! Ek hoop jy voel gou beter.
Translation: “Ouch! I hope you feel better soon.”

The gesture is common not only among Afrikaans-speaking South Africans, but in all other South African cultures too. Don’t use it to show sympathy for a serious incident or illness, though, such as death, a cancer diagnosis, or the like.

2- Rubbing Fingers to Indicate Money or Texture

This is yet another gesture in South Africa that’s so eloquent and universally understood that you don’t have to say anything to make yourself clear. It’s used to mean two things: money and the texture of soft fabric.

Money Gesture

1. What the Gesture Looks Like

Clench your hand in a loose fist, and then rub your forefinger and thumb together, as shown in the illustration above. Repeat about three times.

2. When to Use

Spice up your conversation with this gesture when someone mentions a lot of money or something expensive. Like this:

Person 1: Kyk daai Alfa 4C!
Translation: “Look at that Alfa 4C!”

Person 2: *Uses this rubbing gesture.* Ja, fantastiese karre en lekker duur!
Translation: “Yes, fantastic cars and very expensive!”


While using this popular gesture in South Africa, you could comment: Wys my die geld! meaning “Show me the money!”


Ek soek ‘n bloes in sagte materiaal.
“I’m looking for a blouse in a soft fabric.”

3- Holding Thumbs or the Good Luck Gesture

“Holding thumbs” is a positive, popular gesture in South Africa among the Afrikaans-speaking folk. It can even be called one of the South African gestures of respect.

The gesture itself means you’re rooting for someone and wishing them good luck. In both Afrikaans and English, hou duimvas, or “holding thumbs,” is a common expression too, and popularly used together with the gesture.

A Clover

1. What the Gesture Looks Like

Place your thumb flat onto the same hand’s palm. Now curl the rest of the fingers over the thumb, like infants are often seen doing. It’s similar to a fist clench, only the thumb gets placed under the other fingers, not over.

2. When to Use

Use this to indicate that you’re supporting someone in thought, and to wish them good luck for an important event. To properly use this gesture, you’d slightly raise your fist and say, for instance: Ek hou duimvas vir ons span! meaning “I’m holding thumbs for our team!”

In a conversation, you can use it like this, as well:

Person 1: Ek gaan my bestuurslisensie toets doen vanoggend.
Translation: “I’m going for my driver’s license test this morning.”

Person 2: *Slightly raises their fist in this gesture.* Voorspoed! Ek hou vir jou duimvas! Hoop jy slaag maklik.
Translation: “Fare well! I’m holding thumbs for you! Hope you will pass easily.”

Another gesture, crossing fingers, is similar but not completely identical in meaning. It’s also commonly used in many Western countries.

4- Crossing Fingers: A Gesture to Wish for Good Luck

This gesture in South Africa means the same as in many other countries. It’s based on an old superstition that you’ll be protected and/or gain good luck if you wish for it with your fingers crossed.

Woman Crossing Fingers

Crossing fingers has another, more nefarious meaning, also based on superstition. If you cross your fingers while telling a lie, or making a promise you’re not intending to keep, the belief is that you’re sort of asking God for forgiveness. Usually, you’d hold your crossed fingers behind your back.

1. What the Gesture Looks Like

Simply cross the middle finger of one or both hands over the index finger.

Man Holding Fingers Behind His back

2. When to Use

It’s slightly more common among Afrikaans speakers to wish someone else good luck by holding thumbs than by crossing fingers. The Afrikaners also don’t have a specific word or phrase that goes with this gesture. However, you could, for instance, raise your crossed fingers, and say something like: Voorspoed! meaning “Best wishes!”

If you’re betting or gambling, or if you wish good luck for yourself, simply cross your fingers and slightly raise your hands. Everyone will understand what you mean!

5- The OK Gesture

This is another popular gesture in South Africa that’s well-known in most Western countries. The OK gesture means just that—you’re fine and/or the situation is fine. It’s commonly used by divers who are underwater to indicate that everything is OK or safe.

Woman Showing OK with One Hand

1. What the Gesture Looks Like

Form an O with your thumb and forefinger. Keep the other three fingers lifted.

2. When to Use

Any time you wish to indicate that something is great (such as fantastic food, or a magnificent car), or that you’re personally OK, this gesture is good to use.

You could say something like: Alles reg hier! meaning “Everything OK here!” when you want to indicate that you’re fine.

Or you could comment Manjifiek! meaning “Magnificent!” if something is particularly to your liking.

6- Peace Sign and Bull’s Horns

These signs have their origins in old Western superstitions, but in many cultures they mean different things. The gestures are rooted in popular heavy metal and rap culture, and the meaning is usually benevolent, such as wishing peace or warding off evil.

In South Africa, you’ll usually see the younger generation using these gestures.

Young Man Making the Peace Sign

Two Men Showing the Bull's Horn Gestures

1. What the Gestures Looks Like

The Peace Sign is a raised fist with the index and middle fingers up. The palm is turned outward and away from the body.

The Bull’s Horns is also a fist, with the index finger and pinky raised, sometimes with the thumb raised too. The palm is turned towards the body.

2. When to Use

Use these gestures in South Africa when you want to extend a benevolent greeting or salutation, mainly to young people.

7- Tapping a Finger Against Your Head or Crazy/Clever Gesture

This South African gesture has two meanings: crazy or clever.

Man Tapping Finger Against Head

1. What the Gesture Looks Like

It’s pretty simple: Using the index finger, simply tap repeatedly against the temple.

2. When to Use

You need to be sensitive in your use of this gesture, or you could offend someone. If your gesture refers to someone who’s clearly suffering from mental health issues, you would be offensive to many. However, if you’re witnessing someone clowning around or making jokes, it would be appropriate to use this gesture with a smile while shaking your head. As if you’re saying: “What a crazy clown!”

Or, you could use this gesture to indicate someone who’s brainy or very clever. To make your meaning clear, you could add a comment, such as: Dis slim van jou! meaning “That’s clever of you!” or Slimkop! meaning “Clever head!”

So, these gestures are popular and positive ones to use when you’re in the company of Afrikaans-speaking people. There are a few rude ones, though.

2. Rude Hand Gestures in South Africa

The following gestures are rude and no-no’s for use in company. Completely avoid using these!

1- The Fig Sign

The fig sign is an important thing to note about body language in South African culture. This sign demonstrates the differences between cultures, because it’s considered to have an obscene, rude meaning in South Africa. It represents a common swear word. However, in Brazil, it’s used to ward off the so-called “evil eye,” and in Hindu culture, it has religious connotations.

Fig Gesture

1. What the Gesture Looks Like

Holding the hand in a clenched fist, push the thumb through the index and middle fingers.

2- Middle Finger Gesture

This gesture is universally offensive and considered quite aggressive. Walk away if someone shows you this one, because they’re nonverbally swearing at you!

Man Hand with Middle Finger in Obscene Gesture

1. What the Gesture Looks Like

As the image demonstrates, the hand is in a clenched fist, with only the middle finger raised. Usually, the hand is raised, too.

3- The Peace Sign with Palm Towards Body

This peaceful sign turned towards the body is, in some Afrikaans circles, considered an aggressive one. It means, more or less, the same as the middle finger, and serves as an offensive swear word.

Man Making Two Peace Signs

1. What the Gesture Looks Like

The hand is in a fist, with the index and middle fingers raised, like the Peace Sign. However, the palm is turned inward, and usually, the complete gesture involves shoving both fists upward from the waist. The inference should be clear…!

What Makes AfrikaansPod101 Different?

So, these common gestures in South Africa will go a long way to help you communicate with clarity. At AfrikaansPod101, we make that process even easier with our culturally-relevant content, and our practical, fun approach to learning.

When you enroll, you can expect to receive many benefits, including different membership options. Depending on your personal needs, these will unlock functions such as a personal tutor, available via text nearly 24/7, or access to knowledgeable, energetic hosts who are native Afrikaans speakers.

Also get access to downloadable apps and many other tools you can use on your Android or IOS phone, tablet, or laptop—everywhere and anywhere! You can practice, for instance, an Afrikaans word a day or these 100 Core Afrikaans Words anywhere you are! Or, on your own time, learn with the help of these Afrikaans vocabulary lists.

Get a new lesson delivered every day, and easily learn to speak Afrikaans like a native! Using popular gestures in South Africa, you’ll soon be fluent in every way. And with enough practice, you’ll be using them like a native.

Which is your favorite gesture? Are any of these Afrikaans hand gestures similar to those in your country? Let us know in the comments! Start with a bonus, and download your FREE cheat sheet - How to Improve Your Afrikaans Skills! (Logged-In Member Only)

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The Best Afrikaans Internet Slang and How to Use it!

South Africans call themselves ‘’The rainbow nation,” and with good reason. South Africa is home to a variety of very diverse cultures, with eleven official languages! Approximately 14% of the population speaks Afrikaans, which is a unique cousin of Dutch that was born on the African continent centuries ago.

Learn to speak this beautiful language with us at—starting with the most commonly used Afrikaans text and internet slang! You can use any of these in voice-conversations too, of course.

One thing you’ll notice is that most of these expressions are filler words. Afrikaans native speakers, locally called “Afrikaners,” just love them. You can safely and prolifically use most of these in almost any social conversation, and you’ll be appreciated and understood. Even if you don’t really understand what you’re saying. Yup, an uncommon language!

Table of Contents

  1. Siestog / Shame
  2. Jinne!
  3. Lekker!
  4. Jislaaik / Jissie / Jissis
  5. Sommer / Just sommer
  6. Ja-nee
  7. Nou-nou
  8. A jol
  9. Ag
  10.—Learn to Say it Like the Locals!

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1. Siestog / Shame

Because South Africa is such a hotchpotch of cultures and languages, naturally a lot of cross-pollination has taken place over time. Therefore, you’ll recognize some of the words, such as ‘’shame,'’ a loan word from English.

This is a common text slang in South Africa, and can also be used in daily speech.

However, the Afrikaans people don’t use it quite the way the English do.

Siestog (or shame as Afrikaans text slang) can express empathy, or adoration (mostly of small, cute things).

How to Use

If you visit the country, you’ll probably find your Afrikaans host a caring person. That’s a trait Afrikaners are well-known for.

A: “Can’t join you, sorry, I have a headache.”
B: “Shame / Siestog! Here’s a pain killer. And let me know if I can do anything more to help.”

“Shame” makes sense in this context, because it could be seen as a compound of an English expression: “Such a shame that you have a headache!”

But both words also get used in another way that’s just plain weird to everyone but Afrikaners.

Commenting on something youthful, adorable, or cute, such as a tiny baby or a kitten, most Afrikaans speakers will gasp: “Shame!” This doesn’t mean they’re feeling embarrassment or pity—their protective instincts, compassion, and adoration just get all mixed up, and are (at least to them) perfectly expressed with: “Siestog, how small…!”

It’s a mystery how the Afrikaners ended up using these particular interjections. Maybe it’s because they have roomy hearts and a generous nature? Who knows?

2. Jinne!

This Afrikaans text slang term is perhaps the Afrikaans word for “Wow!”, but it’s infinitely more expressive.

Smiling Woman Looking Surprised

How to Use

Jinne! from the lips of an Afrikaans native speaker can express surprise, excitement, amazement, appreciation, upset, or shock—it really depends on the situation. Its general function is to emphasize whatever you add after it. Or it can just be a noise to make when you feel you’re expected to comment.

A: “I caught a fish today!”
B: “Jinne, that’s amazing!”


Jinne! Don’t give me a fright like that!”


A: “The pap and wors you can chow at this spaza is just, like, the best in the whole world.”
B: (Not understanding much, nodding with a smile) “Jinne, hey!”

3. Lekker!

The English community in South Africa has adopted this word, and it’s now used…well, almost the same as Jinne! Meaning, you can use it liberally in any situation and context, and it’ll most likely be perfectly acceptable. This includes using it as a text slang term.

Lekker literally means “nice” or “tasty,” though, so it’s best employed in a positive context.

Woman Smelling Coffee

How to Use

Use it the same way you would the interjection “Cool!” in English.

Express your satisfaction with something:
Jinne, this coffee smells lekker today.”

Or, when you admire someone (usually males):
“My new boss is a lekker guy.”

In some conservative communities, “She’s a lekker girl,” could mean you’re saying a woman has loose morals. Obviously, you might get into trouble this way. Saying: “She’s a lekker mom” or “That woman we just spoke to seems like a lekker person,” should be okay, though.

Or you can use it simply if you agree with something someone says. (Fillers are big in Afrikaans, remember?)

A: “That party is going to be a blast.”
B: “Lekker, lekker!

This works well as Afrikaans text slang, as well as when you’re in company.

Tip: smile and nod emphatically in agreement.

4. Jislaaik / Jissie / Jissis

This interjection is probably closer in meaning to “Wow!” than Jinne! is, and is used prolifically by the Afrikaners.

How to Use

It’s often used to convey a sense of awe when witnessing or looking at something impressive. If you’re awestruck by, say, the height of the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai, commenting with only a Jislaaik will be sufficient. Afrikaners will get exactly what you mean. Or you could elaborate—Unnecessarily!—with:

Jislaaik, what a tall building.”

It’s also perfect to use when you’re in need of an expletive, but you’re afraid to offend. Accidentally hit your thumb with a hammer? A loud Jissis! should be okay, even in children’s company.

If you feel the need to emphasize a point, say it like this: “Jissie, but I’m hungry,” or “Jislaaik, but it’s cold outside!” or “Jissis, now I’m angry!”

5. Sommer / Just sommer

One meaning of this Afrikaans text slang is close to “(Just) because,” but it depends on the situation. It’s also used to describe a cavalier, easy-going attitude or manner of doing something. This can easily be used as a text slang in South Africa.

Sulking Guy in Suit

How to Use

Sommer can be a passive-aggressive reply of note:

A: “Why are you upset with me?”
B: “Sommer.” (Then keep quiet and sulk. Obviously not good for relationship-building, so rather limit using it this way.)

Sommer is also commonly used to express amazement over something easily done, as in: “He sommer shot that ball straight into the net!” Here, it could mean the same as “Just like that!”

Or say it to express a casual, easy-going attitude: “You can just sommer come as you are.”

You can also employ it to brush something away in a conversation, or when you’re not in the mood to think hard about a reply:

A: “Why are you laughing?”
B: “Just sommer.”

6. Ja-nee

This literally translates as: “Yes-no,” and it’s one of those infinitely expressive, yet utterly inexplicable, interjections in Afrikaans. Some say it means the same as the British: “Ja well no fine,” which conveys reluctance or hesitancy, but this isn’t really accurate.

How to Use

Basically, you can use Ja-nee as a conversation filler to convey your wholehearted agreement with a point someone’s making. Always use it at the start of a sentence.

A: “Politics can be so dumb!”
B: “Ja-nee, it certainly can be.”


A: “This course is really good.”
B: “Ja-nee, we’re learning Afrikaans easily with AfrikaansPod101!”

7. Nou-nou

This sounds like you’re saying “No, no,” but it’s not even close in meaning. It has to do with time, and is almost as mysterious in meaning as Ja-nee. It’s not difficult to use, though.

Watch on a Chain

How to Use

Nou-nou refers to an indefinite time in the near future. It could be very near, like within a minute or two, or not so very near, like within an hour or three.

This time-telling isn’t an exact science at all—it’s a non-committal way of giving someone a time.

A: “When are you coming?”
B: Nou-nou.


A: (On Christmas Eve: ) “Mom, when is Father Christmas coming?”
B: “Nou-nou. Be patient. He probably got stuck in a chimney.”

8. A jol

Afrikaans people say a jol to express that they’re having a good time. You’re really enjoying yourself when you’re having a jol. It can also mean the same as playing, or refer to an actual party.


How to Use

Very simple:

A: “So, how was your office Year End event?”
B: “Man, we had such a jol!”


“Let’s go jol tennis tomorrow.”

9. Ag

No list of Afrikaans text slang would be complete without Ag. Afrikaner babies are born knowing how to use it. It sounds the same as the Scottish “Ach,” another word for “Ah.” But it doesn’t mean the same thing at all.

How to Use

You can use it to depict disappointment, as in: “Ag no, man. We just missed the train!”

It can convey the sense that something isn’t as big, bad, important, or terrible as it may appear: “Ag, don’t worry about the spill. It was an old jacket anyway. And the red paint splatter looks kind of lekker.”

It can also be used to strengthen Jinne, and Shame / Siestog as in:

Ag jinne, that baby elephant is adorable!”


Ag shame, you must be really tired.”—Learn to Say it Like the Locals!

Be lekker; learn to speak Afrikaans. With, you won’t make a mistake, as you’ll be learning with the best team! From text slang in South Africa to more elaborate conversational and cultural information, we have you covered.

Sign up for a free online course now, and create a lifetime account. You’ll have access to the following and more:

What’s not to love?!

If you’re serious about your learning, make use of the three different learning plans—so affordable, the only suitable comment is Jislaaik! Just sign up, sommer now.

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July 18: Nelson Mandela Day in South Africa

Nelson Mandela Day in South Africa

Nelson Mandela is a respected and well-known person all around the world, and this is especially true for South Africa. It’s no surprise that in South Africa, Nelson Mandela is such an admired figure. Because of Nelson Mandela, South Africa became the “Rainbow Nation,” a name representing its post-apartheid status.

In this article, we’ll be going over Nelson Mandela’s life and legacy (including the development of the Mandela Rainbow Nation), as well as common Nelson Mandela Day celebrations.

By learning about this important figure in South Africa’s history and development, you’re putting the right foot forward in mastering the Afrikaans language. And at, we hope to make your learning journey both fun and informative!

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1. Who is Nelson Mandela?

Nelson Mandela was South Africa’s first black president and also the first president after the termination of apartheid and the first president elected there in a wholly democratic election. He served from 1994 until 1999.

He was also an apartheid abolitionist and a key figure in the battle to end segregation in South Africa. Because he was the first post-apartheid president, his administration was tasked with dismantling the system that institutionalized racism and promoting reconciliation among the races.

The struggle to end apartheid lasted for decades, and although at first Mandela endorsed peaceful protest of the regime, he later co-founded the militant wing of the African National Congress in 1961. The same year, he led a subversion crusade against the government, but was arrested the following year.

After nearly thirty years in prison, he joined the talks with President F.W. de Klerk to eradicate apartheid and set up multiracial elections, which finally took place in 1994.

As the candidate for the African National Congress, Mandela was voted into office. During his administration, he also led the Government of National Unity, which propagated a new constitution for the country.

2. When is Nelson Mandela Day?

Rainbow Nation Flag

Each year on 18 July, Nelson Mandela Day is celebrated, on the same date of Mandela’s birthday.

3. How is Nelson Mandela Day Celebrated?

Providing Service to Others

Though not a public holiday, Nelson Mandela Day celebrations abide in many countries, including South Africa.

When looking into traditions and celebrations on this day, first ask yourself “How did Nelson Mandela change South Africa?” In many ways, it was his striving for peace and harmony, as well as his determination to make South Africa a place of total equality and freedom, that allowed him to create the legacy he did for the country.

This in mind, many people choose to participate in volunteer work on this day. Further, organizations hold events to commemorate Nelson Mandela and his legacy, as well as encourage people to continue the pursuits he began for the country.

4. The Rivonia Trial

Read the Afrikaans text below to learn about the Rivonia Trial, and find the English translation directly below it.

Die Rivonia Verhoor het geduur vanaf 1963 tot 1964 in Suid-Afrika en buiten Nelson Mandela, was daar ook ‘n lang lys van mense wat aangekla is van en skuldig bevind is aan aanklagte van sameswering om die regering te saboteer en gevonnis is tot lewenslange tronkstraf. Die verhoor het sy naam gekry van die Johannesburg-voorstad Rivonia waar Mandela en die ander leiers van die revolusie gearresteer is. Dokumente wat verband hou met hul pogings is ook ontdek by Liliesleaf Farm. Die African National Congress het weggekruip op die plaas. Mandela het verskuif na die plaas toe in 1961 en polisie ontduik vir tyd lank onder die skyn van ‘n kok en tuinier genaamd David Motsam.

The Rivonia Trial lasted from 1963 until 1964 in South Africa, and in addition to Nelson Mandela, there was also a long list of people who were accused and convicted on charges of conspiracy to sabotage the government and sentenced to life in prison. The trial got its name from the Johannesburg suburb of Rivonia where Mandela and the other revolution leaders were arrested. Documents relating to their efforts were also discovered there at Liliesleaf Farm. The African National Congress hid out at the farm. Mandela moved to the farm in 1961 and evaded police for a time under the guise of a cook and gardener named David Motsam.

5. Vocabulary You Should Know for Nelson Mandela Day

Man Finding Inspiration

Here’s some vocabulary you should know for Nelson Mandela Day!

  • Verander — “Change”
  • Regte — “Right”
  • Vryheid — “Freedom”
  • Versoening — “Reconciliation”
  • Inspireer — “Inspire
  • Geregtigheid — “Justice”
  • Leierskap — “Leadership”
  • Diens — “Service”
  • Bemagtiging — “Empowerment”
  • Reënboog nasie — “Rainbow nation”
  • Impak — “Impact”
  • Omskep — “Transform”

To hear each vocabulary word pronounced, check out our Afrikaans Nelson Mandela Day vocabulary list!


We hope you enjoyed learning about Nelson Mandela Day with us! Did you learn anything new about Nelson Mandela? Let us know in the comments! We look forward to hearing your thoughts.

To continue learning Afrikaans, explore and take advantage of our fun and practical learning tools! Read more insightful blog posts like this one, study free Afrikaans vocabulary lists, and make the most of your time with our mobile applications! By upgrading to Premium Plus, you can also begin using our MyTeacher program with a more personalized learning plan and your own Afrikaans teacher!

Know that the hard work and effort that you’re putting into your language studies will pay off, and you’ll be speaking, writing, and reading Afrikaans like a native speaker before you know it! AfrikaansPod101 will be here with you on each step of your journey to Afrikaans mastery!

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Most Interesting Untranslatable Afrikaans Words

At AfrikaansPod101, we know that language is a wondrous thing! It gives ’shape’ to people’s thoughts and experiences, but is also much more than that.

As humans, we share a “consensus reality,” which comprises experiences, traits, concepts, and so on. (Everyone experiences food and air, and can breathe and eat, for instance.) Yet all of these are filtered through different lenses, such as geography, history, religion, and a host of other factors. Our differences, in turn, can be enriching, informative, and fun to share with others, and language is the tool to confer this magic! What a great incentive to learn!

Take the untranslatable Afrikaans word springmielies, for instance. Literally translated, it means “jumping corn,” but actually refers to popcorn. Yet, you see the aptness of the Afrikaans word?!

Hands Shaped in a Heart with South African Flag Painted on them

However, it’s good to remember that having unique concepts doesn’t necessarily indicate a progressive culture, nor does it indicate language, cultural, or other superiority in any way. This is explained very well in an excellent article in The Conversation:

“While careful experimentation has shown that having words for concepts makes them easier or faster to name, it is not true that lacking a concept means you cannot conceive of it, and vice versa. For instance, many languages have gender-neutral pronouns (the same word is used for he and she) but are spoken in cultures with very poor levels of gender equality.”

Therefore, it’s better to see how we can enrich our view of the world and connect with others by familiarizing ourselves with the untranslatable words in other languages, including Afrikaans phrases with no English equivalent!

Table of Contents

  1. List of Untranslatable Afrikaans Words
  2. AfrikaansPod101 for Learning the Best Untranslatable Afrikaans Words

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1. List of Untranslatable Afrikaans Words

Here are some of the most unique untranslatable words in Afrikaans. Afrikaans is a literal language with a vocabulary that often paints clear, evocative pictures. We hope you enjoy and love these Afrikaans words that are untranslatable as much as we do!

1- Dwaal

A Man Walking

Literal translation: This word doesn’t have a literal translation.

What it actually means: Dwaal’s English approximate is “roam” or “wander,” but it denotes something subtly different, which is probably why it was recently included in the Oxford Dictionary. This is definitely one of the most popular Afrikaans words with no English translation!

When or where you’d use the word: You can use it to translate “roam” or “wander” to a degree, but it means…more. Melancholy? Bored? Absent-minded, or just needing space? Then you’d dwaal away from the crowd. Or you’d wander directionless through a mall in a mindless, almost spaced-out way. You never dwaal when you’re upbeat and happy (except in the first crazy, stupid-happy, cross-eyed flush of infatuation, of course). But then your brain isn’t working too well, so yeah. Dwaal, by all means.

Example: Waarheen dwaal jy? OR Ek was in ‘n dwaal en het die afdraai gemis.
Translation: “Where are you going to?” OR “I was in a daze and missed the turn-off.”

2- Koeksister

Twin Sisters

Literal translation: “Cake sister”

What it actually means: A word on the theme of foods, this is a confection some consider a South African delicatessen. It’s closely related to pastries like doughnuts or apple fritters, but not entirely similar. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful untranslatable Afrikaans words for those with a sweet tooth! Koeksisters are pretty, very sweet, and slightly chewy, and can probably induce secondary diabetes with their binge-worthiness.

When or where you’d use the word: The word is appropriate for use anywhere you find the pastry.

How to use the word: Jy kan my maklik in ‘n wip vang met koeksisters.
Translation: “You can easily catch me in a trap with koeksisters.”

Other notes: In Kaaps Afrikaans, a dialect found mostly in the Western Cape province of South Africa, it’s pronounced without the second “k,” like in koe’sister.

3- Kattekwaad

Angry Kitten

Literal translation: “Cat’s anger”

What it actually means: If you can guess the actual meaning of this word, you deserve something special. Because, like candy floss, it’s nowhere close in meaning to the literal words. Kattekwaad is an adjective which describes naughty behavior, and “pranks” is the English approximate. Usually, this word refers to the kind of behavior you’d expect among teenage boys, but grown men are known to engage in the same for fun.

When or where you’d use the word: This isn’t a clear-cut positive or negative expression. It can refer to naughty but relatively harmless activities, such as brothers playing pranks on their sister, for instance. Hanging her bicycle in a tree during the night would be described as kattekwaad—it’s somewhat shocking, and therefore not exactly innocent, but it’s not truly harmful either. However, if your neighbor comes over to complain about your kids’ kattekwaad in his yard, then pay attention. The kids have probably crossed a line.

How to use the word: Geniet die vakansie maar moenie te veel kattekwaad aanvang nie, asseblief!
Translation: “Enjoy the holiday but don’t play too many pranks, please!”

4- Geluksalig

Woman Lying in Grass Listening to Music

Literal translation: “Blissful happiness”

What it actually means: Well, it actually does mean “blissful happiness,” but there’s no single English word that encompasses the meaning of geluksalig. It’s commonly used in Christian churches from the pulpit to describe divinely inspired joy, but isn’t limited to places of worship. Geluksalig is also used to express a sense of superior relaxation, enjoyment, and gratification in any situation.

When or where you’d use the word: When it comes to untranslatable Afrikaans words to English, it’s considered quite a fancy word to use, but it’s safe in meaning and can be used as you see fit in any situation.

How to use it: Ons vakansie was geluksalig. OR Hy kyk na sy nuwe kar met ‘n geluksalige uitdrukking.
Translation: “Our holiday was blissfully fantastic/wonderful.” OR “He regards his new car with an expression of blissful worship.”

5- Verpletter

Literal translation: There’s no literal translation for this one!

What it means: Verpletter describes a particularly harsh form of destruction or demolition. It’s English approximates are probably “shatter” and “utterly destroy.”

When or where you’d use the word: This word has a certain tonal value that denotes utter destruction. It’s used, for instance, to describe a disastrous event with grave consequences, as well as a particular emotional state. In such a case, it’s a pretty strong word to use. Or, it can also be used to (gleefully) describe a victory in competitive sports, such as how your favorite rugby team destroyed their opponents during a match. (Rugby is big in South Africa, much like football in the U.S.A. and soccer in the U.K. Expletives and hyperboles abound.)

How to use the word: Die nuus van haar dood het die man verpletter. OR Die Blou Bulle is verpletter in vanoggend se wedstryd!
Translation: “The news of her death destroyed the man.” OR “The Blue Bulls were utterly destroyed during this morning’s match!”

6- Rymkletser

Old Couple, Old Woman Talking

Literal translation: “Rhyme babble mouth”

What it actually means: Well, if you’re astute, you can probably guess this one’s meaning. A kletser in Afrikaans is a person (typically an older, bored lady) who talks and talks and talks and…you get the idea. Combine this with “rhyme” and you get…? That’s right—a rapper! This is one the most unique Afrikaans phrases with no English equivalent, for sure.

When or where you’d use the word: Any time you want to describe a rapper, this is your go-to Afrikaans word. You may need to explain it to some locals, as it’s not that widely used. However, you should still invest in memorizing it, because the Afrikaners will love you for it!

How to use it: Die Antwoord is Suid Afrika se bekendste rymkletsers.
Translation: “Die Antwoord are South Africa’s most famous rappers.”

7- Skedonk

Literal translation: There’s no translation for this one either!

What it means: Skedonk (which has also recently earned Oxford Dictionary-status) refers to an old, often broken or malfunctioning car. Its English approximate is the phrase: “Old, broken vehicle.” The untended, missing-a-tire, nineteen-years-ago Chevy in your backyard that you just can’t bear to part with—that’s a textbook skedonk.

When or where you’d use the word: The word often denotes a fond relationship with said buggered-up motorcar, but it can be successfully used to describe any old or broken vehicle, too.

How to use it: Ja, dis tyd dat ek die skedonk verkoop. OR Ons vliegtuig was ‘n regte skedonk.
Translation: “Yup, it’s time I sell this old vehicle.” OR “Our airplane was really old and rickety.”

8- Papbroek

Porridge, Oatmeal

Literal translation: “Grits/oatmeal pants” OR “Deflated pants”

What it actually means: Well, another easy one for the astute. This word’s approximate is “coward,” “whimp,” or “weak man,” and if it conjures an image of a hunched, rather sad (if not sneaky) guy with baggy, saggy pants, you probably got the meaning. It denotes someone without a backbone, and who’s too afraid to take any risk that can cause him even the slightest harm. It also indicates a person of weak character.

When or where you’d use the word: This isn’t a flattering term in any way, even if it’s apt. It’s usually used to insult men, but women can be papbroeke, too. So, if you need to use it to describe someone other than yourself, be sure you can trust the listener to keep your confidence. And don’t use papbroek as an insult to someone’s face in a bar, as you may just learn they’re not that—the hard way.

How to use it: Hy sien homself nie as ‘n papbroek nie.
Translation: “He doesn’t see himself as a coward.”

9- Voetstoots

Man Pushing Car

Literal translation: “Foot push”

What it actually means: Another recent Oxford Dictionary addition, this untranslatable Afrikaans word has no English approximate. It refers to buying or selling any property without a warranty, meaning if you buy it and it breaks, there’s no return policy.

When or where you’d use the word: Definitely one to remember when you make a sale or buy something from an Afrikaner! It’s not offensive, so it can be freely used.

How to use it: Hy het die wasmasjien voetstoots gekoop.
Translation: “He bought the washing machine without warranty.”

10- Voetsek!


Literal translation: “Foot-(something)”; there’s no literal translation, really!

What it means: It’s got very little to do with a foot, unless it’s one kicking someone’s figurative butt. Voetsek is a strong command (definitely insulting and derogatory) that means “Leave now!”, but it can also denote someone’s speedy exit. Afrikaner farmers would shout Voetsek! to shoo away stray animals, such as feral dogs and cats, or a predatory jackal, from their sheep.

When or where you’d use the word: The command is more reserved for bothersome animals; otherwise, it’s a rude way to strongly advise someone to leave immediately. And you’d shout it, probably. But the friendship would be over then, or in need of serious patching up, so it’s best to use it conservatively. It’s not something to shout or say to any officer of the law, no matter how much you itch to. You could also use voetsek to self-deprecatingly describe your own hasty departure from any situation, but reserve this for informal conversation.

How to use it: Ag nee, my vroutjie is te kwaai vanoggend. Ek gaan maar voetsek. OR Die man het voetsek geskree vir die bobbejane by die asblik.
Translation: “My wifey is too angry this morning. I’m rather going to leave now.” OR “The man shooed away the baboons at the dustbin.”

2. AfrikaansPod101 for Learning the Best Untranslatable Afrikaans Words

Best ways to learn

We hope you enjoyed our list of untranslatable Afrikaans words in Afrikaan language and learned something you can use soon! These untranslatable words from South Africa can make any conversation a little more colorful and fun. :)

Afrikaans can be a fun language, as it often describes the thing as it is. Learn it in entertaining ways with us, and you won’t be sorry!

Upon signing up, you immediately receive many free learning tools to help you master untranslatable words in Afrikaans without a struggle.

These tools include:

  1. An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
  2. A new Afrikaans word every day to memorize and use
  3. Fast access to an invaluable Afrikaans Core 100 Word List
  4. A free Afrikaans online dictionary
  5. Culturally-relevant lessons and numerous tricks to make your studies easier, such as this lesson on Painless Afrikaans Grammar tricks.

Fast-track your learning with the assistance of a personal tutor, who will first let you take an assessment test to personalize your training. You’ll also be guided to record yourself pronouncing these super-cool untranslatable Afrikaans words, so don’t hesitate to join our team now! You’ll sound like a native before you know it.

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How to Say “My Name is…” in Afrikaans & More!

There’s a perception in the world that Afrikaans-speaking South Africans are racist and nasty. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

South African Flag Painted on Hand Make a Heart Shape

While overt racism isn’t dead in South Africa, it’s common only among a tiny percentage of the nation. Most South Africans ignore color, creed, and nationality.

Let AfrikaansPod101 help you to endear yourself to them quickly! Knowing how to introduce yourself in Afrikaans will help oil the wheels of conversation. It will also ease your way with local clients, and help you to more easily connect with your colleagues. Introducing yourself in Afrikaans language doesn’t have to be difficult or frightening!

Starting with “My name is,” in Afrikaans, we’ll show you all you need to know about introductions, and more information on how to introduce yourself in South Africa. This way, you can easily learn Afrikaans and introduce yourself with flying colors!

This introduction will follow greetings in Afrikaans, which another blog post introduced. It’s generally considered polite to wait for others to introduce themselves first, but if you’re feeling confident and they’re looking shy, fall in through the door with “My name is …” in Afrikaans!

Table of Contents

  1. Identifying Yourself with Your Name, Age, and Nationality
  2. Placing Yourself in Society
  3. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Afrikaans Easily and Effortlessly


1. Identifying Yourself with Your Name, Age, and Nationality

When it comes to how to introduce yourself in Afrikaans language, begin by talking about your name in Afrikaans. “My name is…” in Afrikaans looks similar to written English. However, it sounds somewhat different.

Afrikaans: My naam is Eun Jung.
Translation: “My name is Eun Jung.”

With “My name is,” in Afrikaans, and any other self-introduction in Afrikaans, you can lead with a specific introductory phrase: Aangename kennis. It’s slightly formal, but still commonly used among Afrikaners when meeting people for the first time. (Note: If you’re giving a speech in front of an audience to introduce yourself, you will not start with this phrase.)

Use it this way:

Afrikaans: Aangename kennis. My naam is Eun Jung.
Translation: “Pleased to meet you. My name is Eun Jung.”

Normally, you won’t offer information about your age right off the bat in conversations. Like most Westerners, the older Afrikaners get, the less they want to broadcast just how old they are. But as a foreigner, you’ll likely be forgiven most gaffes. Also, talking about your age in Afrikaans isn’t considered a big social no-no, so if you’re specifically asked for more personal details about yourself, feel free to share this bit of information.

Afrikaans: Ek is twee-en-twintig jaar oud.
Translation: “I am twenty-two years old.”

Sharing your nationality is a good idea, as your new friends or hosts will want to know where you’re from. Also, it’s a nice conversation-starter.

Afrikaans: Ek is van Suid Korea en ek bly in Seoul.
Translation: “I’m from South Korea and I live in Seoul.”

1- Situational Use

Barbeque with Meat and Veg

1. Informal

When you introduce yourself in Afrikaans phrases, the phrase below is suitable to use when you’re meeting new friends or colleagues in a casual, mostly social situation, such as at a party or the inevitable (and famous) South African barbeque, called a braai.

Afrikaans: Hallo. Ek is Eun Jung.
Translation: “Hello. I am Eun Jung.”

Using “I am …” in Afrikaans is the most casual, informal means of introducing yourself.

This will usually suffice, along with simultaneously offering your hand for a handshake with a warm, friendly smile. (Afrikaans men tend to shake hands every time they see each other, while women only do so when meeting someone for the first time. If you do proceed to become friends, you can expect a light hug when seeing them again, but be sure to let them initiate any embrace.)

Handshakes work in both formal and informal situations; never forget to look the person straight in the eye with a friendly smile when you do so. To Afrikaans-speaking South Africans, this indicates confidence and honesty. In more formal situations, don’t expect hugs, unless you know the person well and they initiate it.

Man and Woman Shaking Hands

2. Formal

Use these phrases when you greet and introduce yourself to a much older and senior colleague, boss, or dignitary. Also offer a firm handshake while looking them in the eye with a friendly smile.

Afrikaans: Goeiedag. Goed om u te ontmoet. My naam is Eun Jung.

The pronoun “u” is slightly dated and formal, but still a very polite way to address Afrikaans-speaking people. If you’re introducing yourself to a younger VIP, or if the situation warrants a more casual form of address, you can use “jou” instead of “u.”

Translation: “Good day. Pleased to meet you. My name is Eun Jung.”

2. Placing Yourself in Society

You’re still chatting with new colleagues or friends who are curious about your personal details. Don’t disappoint them—rather, blow their socks off with your excellent Afrikaans!

Afrikaans: Ek studeer pediatriese chirurgie by Yonsei University Medical School. OR Ek is ‘n loodgieter.
Translation: “I study pediatric surgery at Yonsei University Medical School.” OR “I am a plumber.”

This should be enough to oil the conversational wheels, but if not, you can go on to share more about your family.

Among Afrikaans-speaking South Africans, it’s socially acceptable to divulge your marital status upon introduction. Here’s an example of talking about your family in Afrikaans:

Afrikaans: Ek is getroud en het twee kinders. OR Ek is ongetroud en enkellopend.
Translation: “I am married and have two children.” OR “I am unmarried and single.”

Asian and Black Woman Chatting with Coffee

1- Situational Use

It’s acceptable to share this type of information with both a formal and an informal audience, with one exception: In a formal situation, it would be best to wait for a specific request to share more personal details about yourself. This can be done in a one-on-one conversation, but more likely when you’re specifically asked to give an introductory speech (like to your new work’s Board of Directors or such).

Informally, however, you can offer this voluntarily in any casual situation. Your openness will likely be met with appreciation, and most possibly, reciprocation.

Afrikaners like people, and they like to know about people. They’re curious that way! But, it’s seldom appropriate to over-share intimate details when you first meet people, such as relating the woes of your recent bunion operation, or your daughter’s maniac ex-boyfriend who set himself on fire in her bedroom. Save those details for later, when you’ve developed a closer friendship.

Most of the time, you can relax and just be yourself. Afrikaners are generally a rather forgiving bunch, and the odd social gaffe won’t get you excommunicated. To them, most of the time, emphasis is on social interaction and making strangers feel welcome and safe.

2- Sharing More Personal Titbits

So you’re on a roll; you’re talking to a captive audience and feel they want more from you. Now you can delight them with personal details, like your hobbies, any sport you partake in, any special interests you have, etc.

Do it this way:

Afrikaans: My stokperdjie is om natuur videos te skiet. Ek is ook baie lief vir lees en tennis speel.
Translation: “My hobby is to shoot nature videos. I also love reading and playing tennis.”

Sharing little bits of information about ourselves like this makes us more relatable and “human.” It can furthermore be a good way to find friends with similar interests.

Pets are also an acceptable topic of conversation among Afrikaans-speaking people.

Afrikaans: Ek is lief vir diere en het ‘n hond en twee katte by die huis.
Translation: “I love animals and have a dog and two cats at home.”

A Selection of Pets

3. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Afrikaans Easily and Effortlessly

So, reader, do you know how to introduce yourself in South Africa after reading our article? Do you feel comfortable enough to introduce yourself in Afrikaans words? If so, why not tell about yourself in Afrikaans in the comments? We’d love to hear from you and look forward to reading your self-introduction in Afrikaans!

Afrikaans is mostly a phonetic language (meaning you mostly pronounce the words as they are written), but then you have to be able to read Afrikaans. AfrikaansPod101 takes the lead with many free learning tools to help you master Afrikaans reading easily, and in fun ways.

These tools include:

  1. An extensive vocabulary list, regularly updated
  2. A new Afrikaans word to learn every day
  3. Quick access to the Afrikaans Core 100 Word List
  4. A free Afrikaans online dictionary

Learn more efficiently with the help of a personal tutor, who will first let you take an assessment test to personalize and tailor your training. You’ll also be guided to record your self-introduction in Afrikaans!

Getting a tutor is also a good option if you meet challenges in your learning, or need to fast-track correct pronunciation and enunciation. Your very own friendly, Afrikaans-speaking teacher will be only a text away on a special app, anywhere, anytime. Using a guided learning system, developed by experts in language and online education, you’ll receive personal feedback and constant support to improve in no time. You’ll also be tasked with weekly assignments in reading, writing, and speaking to really hone your Afrikaans speaking skills.

Imagine how impressed your South African friends will be when you display your excellent Afrikaans in conversation! With AfrikaansPod101, getting there will be easy and fun.


10 Best Afrikaans Movies to Watch!

Watching movies can be a great way to improve your Afrikaans speaking and listening skills. Enjoy watching the best Afrikaans movies while you’re learning at!

Watching Afrikaans movies with English subtitles is a fantastic language learning aid. It allows you to listen to native speakers, as well as watch their lips to see how words are pronounced. It’s also a great way to learn more about the Afrikaner culture! Impress your AfrikaansPod101 facilitator with your knowledge by watching Afrikaans movies online.

When it comes to free Afrikaans movies to watch online, free copies and services are unfortunately sparse. Subscribing to sites such as Filmdoo, or a service such as Showmax, will broaden your options. These services aren’t expensive, so they might be worth the investment.

Here are ten of the best African movies to watch for fun and learning. Memorize the most famous quotes from these films, and ask your facilitator to help you with pronunciation, if you’re not sure! Here are some tips to improve your pronunciation while watching movies in Afrikaans.

Ways to improve pronunciation

Table of Contents

  1. Afrikaans Thriller Movies
  2. Afrikaans Comedy Movies
  3. Afrikaans Drama Movies
  4. Free Afrikaans Movies to Watch Online
  5. Conclusion: Why Study with AfrikaansPod101?

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Movie genres

1. Afrikaans Thriller Movies

Afrikaans people prefer comedies, human dramas, and romance—these genres abound on their screens! However, they have a chilling taste for serial killer movies too… Here are two of the best Afrikaans films in this category. And interestingly, both of these African movies of horror have a wolf as the central theme…

1- Wolf Wolf

In some African movies, history plays a big role.

Set in the 1970s, rural South Africa, Wolf Wolf involves a disgruntled married woman, a man in a wheelchair, a journalist, a serial killer, and a few plot twists. Adriana Wolfaardt, a ballet teacher, decides to spend some time alone on her and her husband’s farm, Duiwelslaagte. En route, she picks up who she thinks is her husband’s cousin…but is he?

Quote: Ja, maar wanneer het jy hom vir die eerste keer ontmoet?
Translation: “Yes, but when did you meet him for the first time?”

Watch the trailer, and see if you’re up for a nail-biting experience…

2- Wolwedans in die Skemer

Translated, the title means “dance of the wolves at dusk.”

The story deals with a pretty young woman, Sonja Daneel, who’s involved in a serious car accident after spotting a wolf on the road. This is significant, since no wolf has ever been spotted in these woods.

She completely loses her memory after hitting her head in the accident.

She remains working as a receptionist at the luxurious lobby of Hotel Njala, but, of course, all is not as benign and harmless as it seems… With the help of a police constable, Sonja starts piecing back her identity (which is the reason she works at Hotel Njala).

Watch this tale of family intrigue, brutal serial killings, and a farm called Wolwedans in one of the most picturesque areas of South African inland.

Wolwedans is one of the slicker Afrikaans productions on the scene, and is based on a riveting radio story of the same name. It was written and produced by South African author and movie maker Leon van Nierop.

Quote: Jy moet jouself oopmaak vir die wolwe, Diana.
Translation: “You must open yourself to the wolves, Diana.”

2. Afrikaans Comedy Movies

As we mentioned earlier, the Afrikaans people love to laugh, which means that there are plenty of Afrikaans comedy movies around. Get your share of fun in Afrikaans with these popular movies.

1- Semi Soet

One of South Africa’s most successful romantic comedies, Semi Soet tells the story of a young advertising executive, Jaci, who would do everything in her power to save her company from landing in the jaws of a giant corporation. This can only be done if she lands a contract with a prestigious wine farm estate, Vrede en Lust.

To do this, Jaci has to jump through several hilarious hoops on her prospective client’s beautiful farm. And, of course, there’s a big surprise in the plot for the heroine…

Funny and convincing, this romcom gained four stars on IMDb. An easy and entertaining view, it’s ideal for whiling away a lazy Saturday afternoon.

Quote: Al wat jy moet doen is net om te maak asof jy my smoor verliefde verloofde is vir twee ure.
Translation: “All you have to do is pretend to be my deeply besotted fiancé for two hours.”

2- Liefling, die Movie

In African movies, a love story is always appreciated.

Probably the best known of all Afrikaans musical movies, this 2010 romcom was a blockbuster in South Africa. Theaters filled to watch the story of a young, beautiful woman, an engineer student, and their obstructed path toward each other and true love.

The male lead is played by one of South Africa’s most beloved and successful male singers, Bobbie van Jaarsveld.

Quote: Wanneer jy jou eerste liefde ontmoet, is dit soos ‘n sprokies verhaal.
Translation: “When you meet your first love, it is like a fairy tale.”

Watch this film for light entertainment, and learn the songs in Afrikaans to sing along!

3- Vir die Voëls

This is yet another romantic Afrikaans movie, but differs from the others. Irma, young and pretty, isn’t your run-of-the-mill girl at all. She’s headstrong, and not a follower of societal norms. Of course, her free spirit lands her in trouble many times, but how did she end up in front of the pulpit?

Watch this fun Afrikaans comedy to find out.

Quote: Die ding is, ek is nie seker of ek die res van my lewe saam met daardie man wil spandeer nie.
Translation: “Thing is, I don’t know if I want to spend the rest of my life with this man.”

Definitely a heroine with a mind of her own!

4- Hollywood in my Huis

Jana is one of her school’s losers. Pretty but not popular, she nevertheless dreams of accompanying the school’s heartthrob, Brandon, to their Matric Farewell dance. She makes plans to change her destiny, but of course, not all goes as planned.

Note: The South African Matric Farewell dance is similar to the Prom night in the U.S.

Quote: Hierdie is die nag waarin jou wildste drome gaan waarkom.
Translation: “This is the night where your wildest dreams will come true.”

5- Die Windpomp

This award-winning comedy centers around the coming-of-age of a young schoolboy named Hendri. Hendri eventually needs to move to his grandfather’s retirement village, where he meets a motley crew of colorful characters…with interesting results.

Quote: Is jy lus om jonk te wees?
Translation: “Do you feel like being young?”

A gentle, fun watch with a bit more to it than meets the eye.

6- Vir Altyd

When she gets dumped in front of the altar, Nina finds herself fighting against the feeling that her last chance for happiness is gone. Despite the groom’s betrayal, she decides to go on a honeymoon anyway, and takes a long-lost childhood friend with her.

The film is beautifully shot in gorgeous locations—pure escapist fun.

Quote: Ek kannie wag om jou vrou te wees nie.
Translation: “I can’t wait to be your wife.”

A tad formulaic, Vir Altyd nevertheless made millions at the box office in South Africa.

3. Afrikaans Drama Movies

While it’s true that South Africans love a good comedy, they’re also able to get very serious in their cinema. Here are some of the best tearjerkers with grit.

1- Raaiselkind

Called a “powerful drama” by reviewers, Raaiselkind is based on a book about the life of Ingrid, the mother of an autistic boy who’s found dead in a bathtub at home. She’s being investigated for his murder. The movie tells her difficult, heartbreaking story.

Getting eight stars on IMDb, this drama is worth the watch, even if it isn’t easy viewing.

Quote: ‘n Spieel het gebreek tussen my en hom.
Translation: “A mirror broke between me and him.”

2- Krotoa

The movie deals with the history of a bright, eleven-year-old Khoi girl named Krotoa from the Goringhaicona tribe in the Cape, South Africa. She gets taken away from her close-knit family to serve her uncle’s trading partner, Jan Van Riebeeck. Despite many hardships, she grows up to become a visionary, strong woman and a Dutch interpreter for Van Riebeeck. The man later became the first Governor of what was formerly the Cape Colony.

While the film won numerous international cinema awards, critics and the public bashed it for being historically incorrect, and racially biased. Beautifully shot, it’s nevertheless worth the watch.

Quote: Sy sal u nie teleurstel nie.
Translation: “She will not disappoint you.”

4. Free Afrikaans Movies to Watch Online

So, after viewing our African movies list, are there Afrikaans films/African movies free online for you to watch?

Unfortunately, there’s not a great amount of free Afrikaans movies to watch online, as mentioned earlier. When it comes to African movies, YouTube is probably your best bet, where the keyphrase: “full Afrikaans movies” or “Afrikaans movies full” will get you some good hits.

Many of these, however, aren’t great quality, and are without English subtitles. Perhaps these should be saved for when you can speak Afrikaans better, because there are some cinematic gems among them! Here are the most common Afrikaans vocabulary that you may find in the movies.

Top verbs

5. Conclusion: Why Study with AfrikaansPod101?

AfrikaansPod101, like all Innovative Language Learning ventures, takes the pain out of learning a new language by adding a lot of fun. Signing up will instantly give you access to numerous free learning tools, such as these Afrikaans key phrases.

Different membership options unlock benefits such as a personal tutor, available nearly 24/7, or access to knowledgeable, energetic hosts. Learn to speak like a native, instructed by a native speaker.

Also gain access to apps and other tools you can use on your phone, tablet, or laptop, anywhere you are. For instance, practice these 100 Core Afrikaans Words anywhere you are! Or, learn an Afrikaans word a day…anywhere, anytime.

Get a new lesson delivered every day. Because with millions of lessons already delivered, you can’t go wrong with AfrikaansPod101! So, sign up now and watch your hard work turn you into a masterful Afrikaans speaker!

In the meantime, let us know if you plan on watching African movies to learn Afrikaans. If so, which South African movie(s) do you want to see most? Let us know in the comments!

Start with a bonus, and download the Must-Know Beginner Vocabulary PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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Popular South African TV Shows to Help You Learn Afrikaans!

Imagine a weekend on the sofa after a tiring work week, bowls filled with freshly popped popcorn, and a popular African TV show to binge-watch… There, you have all the elements of leisure! Also, you get to freshen up on your Afrikaans in an easy and fun way, which is exactly how we like it at AfrikaansPod101!

It may be difficult to find many African TV shows on Netflix or African series on YouTube. We recommend that you look at subscribing to Showmax, a Netflix equivalent, to watch Afrikaans TV shows online. You can also look for places to download Afrikaans TV shows or other Afrikaans TV series downloads.

Two Women Watching TV with Popcorn

How Does Watching South African TV Shows Help When Learning Afrikaans?

  • Firstly, watching TV shows and movies in the language you’re learning is an entertaining way to get used to how it’s spoken by native speakers.
  • Not only are you exposed to different accents and nuances such as inflection, but you also get to observe the actors’ facial and lip movements—all elements that prime your mind for easy learning!
  • In addition, you get to learn about South African culture, its people, and some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world.

Here, we list some popular South African TV shows and other Afrikaans television series to choose from. Enjoy!

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Table of Contents

  1. Reality and Lifestyle Shows
  2. Soapies, Telenovelas, and Dramas
  3. Comedies
  4. Mystery and Suspense
  5. How Can AfrikaansPod101 help you to learn Afrikaans Faster?

1. Reality South African TV Shows and Lifestyle Shows

1- Boer Soek ‘n Vrou

Translation: Farmer Looks for a Wife

Farmer in Field in Front of Machine

By far the most popular reality show still running on South African TV, Boer Soek ‘n Vrou brings successful bachelor or bachelorette farmers, and single, aspiring farm-wives or husbands together.

The dating reality show is usually hosted by a friendly, gorgeous lady who introduces ten bachelor (or bachelorette) farmers to the country every season. Viewers then get to write to the participants to introduce themselves and send photos. A meeting is arranged and, well, Cupid’s arrow does (or doesn’t) hit the mark.

Many matches were made over the years, with several enduring marriages to boot. Yet, one couple’s story stands out. In 2014, an older, single farmer captivated the nation’s heart with her sad, courageous story. Lize Cooper’s husband had died in 2012, followed only four months later by her twenty-year-old son.

Two years later, she decided to give the dating reality show a try in a bid to find love and happiness again. She didn’t have much hope, though, and later confessed that she didn’t think she would receive a single letter.

She was wrong. There were plenty of interested men.

However, her luck wasn’t to be found among the gentlemen who made it onto the show. Rather, it was a viewer. Hardie Meyer, a gentle-hearted farmer, saw her on TV one evening. Afterwards, he couldn’t stop staring at her photo in one of the local participating magazines. But he couldn’t muster the courage to write her a letter. Ek is nie een vir die kollig nie (”I am not one for the spotlight“), he explained later.

But their story was meant to be. It turned out that one of Lize’s family members knew one of Hardie’s family members, and these two arranged a meeting. During a coffee date, Lize and Hardie immediately felt chemistry. They fell in love, got married two months after meeting (Lize’s episode aired when she was already married!), and now their children manage their respective farms while they supervise, travel, and enjoy one another’s company.

Says Lize: My lewe het letterlik verander van trane na lag. Dis ‘n wonderlike ding wat mens vir niemand kan beskryf nie.

Translation: “My life literally changed from tears to laughter, and it’s a wonderful thing you can’t describe to anyone.”

This Afrikaans television series is sure to pull on your heart strings!

2- Jan Braai vir Erfenis

Translation: John Barbeques for Heritage

img src=”” alt=”Barbeque.” />

If you’re a foodie learning Afrikaans, this is a South African TV show not to miss.

Jan Braai’s real name is Jan Scannell, and he travels the country chasing barbeque recipes and techniques, as well as gorgeous picnic spots to share with the country’s viewers. Barbequing, or braai-ing as it’s locally known, is one of South Africa’s favorite cooking methods. Jan is the creator and host of this exceedingly popular series, and is even credited as the founder of the National Braai Day on September 24 each year.

He has since written two recipe books, both instant best-sellers.

Favorite quote: Ek sê nog altyd, jy kan enige ding braai, en enigiets smaak beter as jy dit oor die kole voorberei het.

Translation: “I always say that you can barbeque anything, and anything tastes better when you prepare it over a fire.”

Another must-watch for foodies is the Edik Van Nantes series by local celeb comedian, singer, writer, cook, and business person, Nataniël.

3- Edik Van Nantes

Translation: Vinegar from Nantes (also a word-play on Edict of Nantes)

Fresh Fish with Oil or Vinegar Pouring

Nataniël is one of South Africa’s best-known celebrities, popular for his acerbic wit, his music, and his excellent taste in food. His signature look reminds one strongly of Uncle Fester of the famed Addams Family film series.

His love of good food was born in his grandmother’s kitchen. Later, this culinary passion was fueled “by his friendships with several South African food personalities and favourite chefs.” His cooking and entertainment skills have since become known and loved by the country, which resulted in a radio show, another cooking show called Die Nataniël Tafel (The Nataniël Table) and currently, Die Edik van Nantes.

In this series, he co-hosts with his brother and confidante Erik Le Roux, and the two share food secrets, traditions, recipes, and history native to Nantes in France.

Explaining his shows, Nataniël quips: Dis rerig alles oor goeie produkte, goeie geselskap en ‘n bietjie verbeelding.

Translation: “It really is about good produce, good company, and a bit of imagination.”

But eating too much of anything delicious is bound to pile on unwanted kilos (or pounds). For this, South African TV has a solution too…enter Slank, a series about health and weight loss.

4- Slank

Translation: Slender

Woman's Waist with Measuring Tape

This thirteen-episode Afrikaans TV show is a lifestyle documentary series aimed at helping and motivating wanna-be weight-losers who’ve tried everything under the sun to lose weight. Hosted by South African actress Leandie Du Randt, you could garner many a health- and weight-loss tip in Afrikaans.

The series boasts the Slender Wonder weight loss program that’s touted to be very successful. It follows the participants over a period of four months on their kilo-shedding journey.

Elize Ras, a contestant who lost almost fifty kilograms on the show, says: Oor die jare het ek talle diëte beproef, maar ja, soos hulle sê, ‘n ‘quick fix’ bestaan nie.

Translation: “Over the years, I tried many diets, but yes, as they say, a quick fix doesn’t exist.”

And once you’re slim, you can learn to be beautiful too on a popular Afrikaans TV show: Glam Guru.

5- Glam Guru

Woman Putting Makeup on a Model's Face

Despite its English name, Glam Guru is presented in Afrikaans by native speaker Hannon Bothma. Hannon used to own a hair and beauty salon. He created a series of exclusive hair products, and proceeded to turn himself and his brand into big business.

His claim to fame is in his ability to help any woman to become a beauty princess, using tips and tricks from the entertainment and performance industry.

Hannon isn’t all about the outside. Once a week, he donates time to charities across the country in the form of image workshops and makeover shows.

Favorite quote: As jy nie kan gee nie, kan jy nie ontvang nie.

Translation: “If you can’t give, you can’t receive.”

Binging on reality shows can become a bit tedious, so why not indulge in some escapism with the best of South African soapies?

2. Soapies, Telenovelas & Drama South African TV Shows

Would you prefer to watch soap opera South African TV shows? There are plenty of binge-worthy soapies and dramas on South African TV. Let’s start with the most popular ones.

6- Binnelanders

Translation: People from Inland

Doctors Around Operating Table in Theater

If series like Grey’s Anatomy, The Good Doctor, House, and Scrubs keep you nailed in front of the box, this is one of the Afrikaans TV shows not to miss.

Binnelanders is the story of the medical staff in a fictitious private clinic called Binneland, which takes place in Pretoria, the capital city of South Africa. The series sports some of the best-known actors and actresses in the country, and has enthralled audiences for over thirteen years already.

Erik Holm, paraplegic after a car accident in 2007, is a hugely popular actor and comedian in South Africa. He plays recurring roles as a disabled character, Rian Malherbe, in the TV series. He’s also an advocate for the country’s disabled community.

Here’s a favorite quote by Karen Meiring, director of kykNET TV channels: Binnelanders verander mense se lewens terwyl hulle dit kyk op ‘n daaglikse basis.

Translation: “On a daily basis, Binnelanders changes people’s lives while they’re watching it in their living rooms.”

7- Getroud Met Rugby

Translation: Married to Rugby

Sport Stadium with Crowd and Lights

Some say the sport rugby is the Afrikaans people’s religion. In general, most of them are very passionate about this sport, and support it religiously.

Previously a drama series, Getroud met Rugby is now a soapie and is aired every weekday. Before its premiere in 2009, it was marketed as the Afrikaans version of the UK’s Footballers’ Wives.

Hugely popular, it tells the story of three professional rugby players and their families. This soapie will teach you a lot about upper-middle-class Afrikaans culture and communities.

3. Comedies

South Africans love to laugh, and are quite fond of making fun of themselves. Their comedies are full of sketches joking with, well, everyone and everything in South Africa!

8- Ouboet & Wors

Translation: Older Bro and Sausage

People Laughing in a Theater

Ouboet & Wors is a South African TV series based on characters from other much-loved and popular TV series. The title roles are played by veteran South African comedians, Frank Opperman and Willie Esterhuizen, and all the characters in the series are modern business owners.

Fun slapstick with a heart.

Referring to the characters, Willie Esterhuizen said: Hulle pas by mekaar soos legkaartstukke.

Translation: “They fit together like a puzzle.”

Willie wrote, directed, and also starred in the series.

9- Molly en Wors

Translation: Molly and Sausage

Entwined Feet

Yes, it’s the same Wors from Ouboet & Wors! Gain some context and understanding of the previously-discussed show by watching this Afrikaans drama series first.

The popular comedy TV series deals with the lives of the slightly dysfunctional Visagie family of four: Wors, Molly, their oldest son Vaatjie, and their daughter Blapsie. (Blapsie literally means “small mistake” in Afrikaans.)

Vaatjie is studying at the local cooking school to become a chef, and Blapsie, in her final year of school, is spending more time with her boyfriend than in front of the books. This show is relatable and funny, if slapstick is your thing.

Favorite quote from Wors: Dis ‘n man se prerogatief om ‘n ou wit leuntjie te vertel om sy vrou se gevoelens te beskerm.

Translation: “It’s a husband’s prerogative to tell a little white lie to protect his wife’s feelings.”

4. Mystery and Suspense

Perhaps you have a taste for something a bit edgier? Nothing better than a good crime series.

10- Die Boland Moorde

Translation: The Boland Murders

Hooded Man Pointing Gun

Treat yourself to some nail-biting fun with this award-nominated series. Center-stage are, of course, Lieutenants André Fourie and Shane Williams, who get to unravel heinous crimes and catch numerous criminals against the backdrop of one of the country’s most beautiful regions: the Boland.

Every episode is approximately ninety minutes long, and the format is based on British whodunnits, like Midsummer Murders, Vera, and Lewis.

Favorite quote from Stian Bam, the actor who plays André Fouche: Geweld en aksie is nie die sentrale tema van die reeks nie. Maar daar is defnitief geen tekort aan spanning nie!

Translation: “Violence and action are…not the focal point of this series. But there is definitely no shortage of suspense!”

5. How Can AfrikaansPod101 Help You to Learn Afrikaans Faster?

AfrikaansPod101 stands out among online learning platforms, with many free learning tools to help you master Afrikaans easily.

These 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, regularly updated
  4. A free Afrikaans online dictionary

Speed up your learning with the help of a personal tutor, who will first assess your Afrikaans language abilities to personalize and tailor your training to your needs. Sign up now!

Know that your hard work will pay off, and AfrikaansPod101 will be here each step towards your Afrikaans mastery!

In the meantime, we hope you’ve centered in on some interesting South African TV finds from our list. Whether you plan to watch African TV shows online or elsewhere, there’s so much to be enjoyed in this niche. These Afrikaans TV shows of 2019 are sure to keep you entertained and learning for many binge-hours!

Which TV shows in Afrikaans do you most want to watch? Let us know in the comments!

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Agencies that help you find a job in South Africa & More!

Have you ever tried to find a job in Africa? It’s not an easy process. Good jobs are rather scarce on the continent, and South Africa is no different.

Yet, it is not impossible, as foreign employment is not only allowed in South Africa—in some sectors, it is preferred and even encouraged.

People Standing in Career-Related Gear, Such as a Chef, a Doctor, Office Worker Etc.

Like in any other country, the competition is tough, but there are ways to increase your chances of finding employment. One of the best ways, of course, is to be able to speak and understand one of South Africa’s national languages. This will help you immensely, so consider signing up to learn one of South Africa’s—Afrikaans. More about this later.

Start with a bonus, and download the Business Words & Phrases PDF for FREE! (Logged-In Member Only)

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First, let’s look at what you need to consider.

Table of Contents

  1. Find Me a Job in South Africa—Using A Recruitment Agency
  2. Work Visas For South Africa
  3. Critical Skills List of Possible Careers
  4. How Can Help You Find A Job in South Africa?

1. Find Me a Job in South Africa—Using A Recruitment Agency

Using the services of a good recruitment agency should probably be your first stop. This will be the easiest way to find a good job in South Africa, and will help to seal deals with reputable employers.

Diversify your search and submit your application with a few recruiters.

Here’s how to spot a good recruitment agency:

  • Critical Skills: They will be able to tell you immediately whether your skills are needed and/or sought after in South Africa. (Read on for more about the Critical Skills List.)
  • Multinational Companies Use Recruiters. This means that the agency is most likely to know of the best advertised jobs available within many major multinationals. These are usually the employers with large budgets also for recruitment agency services. Go find them there.
  • Agencies Know What Their Clients Need: Recruitment agencies are the Cupids of the labour and job-finding world, and it’s in their best interest to make the best matches possible.
  • The Agency Will Know All About the Work Visas. Currently, South Africa is revising their visa policies and regulations. A good recruiter will be aware of these, and will be able to assist you to get the correct visa for your situation. This can be an intricate, rather difficult process, and you want to have specialists to consult with.
  • Agencies Can Help You With Your CV. Normally, your Curriculum Vitae is your responsibility, so be sure to submit a well-written one even to the agencies. However, some have services available to help you tweak yours so your suitability will be immediately clear to any prospective employer.
  • They Can Give You Tips and Support: Finding a job, and later, living and working in a foreign country can be daunting for anyone. In general, good recruiting agencies understand this, and will make provision for support. Very often, their consultants are highly-trained people who have probably already dealt with hundreds of applicant and client issues. Their focus is to serve and make sure things go smoothly and stay that way for everyone. After all—when all their clients are happy, so are they. So, be sure to enquire about before and after-placement support from the agency, especially if you’re completely new to the country and its culture.

1- List of International Recruitment Agencies and Platforms

Please note - this list is not exhaustive; we’ve whittled the number of job-seekers platforms and recruitment agencies down to some of the major ones for your convenience.

  1. Initiate International has four offices on different continents and is, according to their site, “a specialist recruitment agency for digital marketing, IT, finance, property, sales, online gaming, contact centres, office administration and executive jobs in South Africa”. They are over 10 years old and know the industry well. They also seem to specialize in finding clients with positions that need foreign language speaking professionals.
  2. MASA (Measured Ability South Africa) is part of a group holdings (Pty Ltd), which had its beginnings over three decades ago. Here, you will find advertisements for a great variety of white and blue collar jobs, temporary and permanent. Their website positions them to provide: “Blue collar recruitment, labour broking, labour outsourcing, white collar temp and perm recruitment, nursing, cleaning, [and] independent offshore services”. They make placements not only in South Africa, but also the rest of the African continent, plus the Middle East.
  3. Careers in Africa a Global Career Company with a niche market. They help qualified professionals currently working internationally to find work in their home country again. Their novel aim is specifically to help countries with “emerging markets”, doing this by pairing already-successful candidates with already-successful companies in the candidate’s home country.
  4. JobnetAfrica has the same goal—to accommodate expats and currently foreign professionals to build careers in Africa. Theirs is a job search site of which the team comprises professionals who have worked in Africa before. It was founded by a South African lady who worked in other countries on the continent, and knows the market well.
  5. Find A Job In Africa was founded in 1999, also with the same unique aim as Careers in Africa—to assist emerging markets on the African continent. It is not a recruitment company per se, but an “employment search engine”, as they call it. If you’re an African, you can post your CV here and get in contact with prospective employers.
  6. Online recruitment platforms that don’t only serve the African continent includes Indeed and LinkedIn. On these platforms, you can create online profiles that include video clips and uploaded documents to increase your visibility as a target for the right employer.
  7. Craigslist provides limited job-search opportunities for foreigners. An option for search, but not one of the best.

How to find a job in South Africa can be made easier by going via a recruitment agent or doing a job search online.

Yet, it will still benefit you to know a few things about the South African visa requirements and processes.

Union Buildings in South Africa, Governmental Offices in Pretoria

2. Work Visas For South Africa

Getting a work visa is, of course, your first port of call after you’ve landed a position in the country. Usually, you should be able to work this together with your new employer.

Or, you could do this together with a South African work visa specialist. The advantage of making use of their services is that they know their way around a jungle of requirements and bureaucracy.

Alternatively, scour the South African governmental site for work visa details, or contact the South African embassy in your own country for details.

South Africa is heavily burdened by unemployment, so the government’s first focus is on jobs for South Africans.

Don’t let that put you off, though.

The government also recognizes the need for foreign knowledge and expertise to inform their own base of labor knowledge. For this purpose, they have compiled a list of the most critical skills needed in the country. If you have experience and qualifications for any position relating to a skill on this list, your chances of landing the job is so much better.

Also, you should find the visa-application process much easier and in your favor. (This is understandable, as you won’t be considered “competing” with a local for a job.)

3. Critical Skills List of Possible Careers

As mentioned, the visa regulations are to be updated this year, including those pertaining to work visas. Also, an expanded Critical Skills List is expected. Currently you can find the list here, but be aware that the information will be outdated within the foreseeable future.

However, as said, the list is not likely to be shorter than it is, which bodes well if you’re looking to find a job in South Africa.

Car Mechanic, Working Underneath a Car

1- Blue Collar Jobs

Blue collar or manual labor jobs are generally not plentiful, as these positions are usually filled by local laborers. They do exist though—one manual labor job apparently always lacking applicants is sheep shearing. Denuding four-legged wool makers is an acquired skill, so experience and/or training will be a requirement for application.

If you are qualified and experienced in certain trades, you could well find a manual labor job as one of the following:

  • Millwright
  • Boilermaker (for Strategic Infrastructure Projects)
  • Mechanic
  • Pipe Fitter
  • Double Coded Welder
  • Rigger
  • Moulder

Again—these do not necessarily have plenty of job openings. Your best bet would still be to submit a CV online or connect with with a suitable recruiter.

2- Language Teaching and Office Jobs

Unfortunately, with 11 national languages, and South Africa being essentially a third-world country, learning a foreign language is not high on the locals’ Must Do list. There are always a need for well-qualified English teachers everywhere in the world, but in South Africa, these are usually filled by the local teachers and professionals.

Teaching a foreign language could land you a job at a language school, or even in a multinational company, but these positions are scarce.

Office Workers in Open Plan Office

Your native tongue could well land you a job, though, if you have good experience in another field.

Foreign language speakers for specialist language support and technical or sales support are on the Critical Skills list for speakers of

  • German,
  • Swiss German,
  • Flemish,
  • Greek,
  • Swedish,
  • Danish,
  • Italian,
  • Dutch,
  • Spanish,
  • Mandarin and
  • French.

Unfortunately, the same applies to low-level office jobs such as secretarial, personal assistance, call centre and the like. It’s not impossible to find an office job, though.

Keep your eyes open for positions of this kind in multinational companies. Sometimes they will need someone for an office-based position who can also speak your language.

And, again—if you can also speak and understand one of the local languages, especially English or Afrikaans, your chances of landing this job in South Africa is almost assured. Consider signing up right now… and imagine saying “Dankie!” to your new employer on the first day!

3- Health, Science and Technology

If you have a good qualification or certification, plus experience in the fields of health, science or technology, you can almost be sure of finding a job in South Africa. There are plenty of these positions open, and a recruiter will be very happy to receive your CV.

Nurse Speaking with Patient

Important tip: it would be best to find this type of job through a reputable and experienced recruiting agent, especially in healthcare. Some employers in South Africa offer these positions with reasonable pay, but conveniently forget to mention challenges such as very poor work conditions, a harsh collegial environment, no or very poor housing etc. A good agent will know how to steer clear of the chancers for you.

4. How Can Help You Find A Job in South Africa?

To enhance your chances of landing that dream job a millionfold, though, consider learning to speak Afrikaans fluently. This will greatly assist you in your job too.

As mentioned, the country has 11 national languages, but Afrikaans is understood, if not spoken, by the majority of its citizens.

It is also important to know how to pronounce correctly, or most locals will not be able to understand you. That can be daunting when you have to adopt not only to a new job, but also a new country with a foreign language. So, saying it like the natives do is actually very important if you want to enjoy your new adventure!

So, fast-track your job application process by learning from a native speaker, and blow the socks off prospective employers with your excellent accent and knowledge!

Language Learner with Earphones

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  2. A comprehensive Lesson Library you can really dig into at any time, any where.
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How to find a job in South Africa can only be made easier when you know how to speak like the natives do. Don’t hesitate—enroll now with AfrikaansPod101!

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