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Most Common Travel Phrases in Afrikaans

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

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

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

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

Table of Contents

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

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Airport Terminal

1. Afrikaans Travel Phrases in Transport

Preparing for Travel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Woman Getting Out of a Yellow Taxi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fast Train Carriage, Yellow

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

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

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

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

5- Baie dankie!

Translation: “Thank you very much!”

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

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

2. Afrikaans Travel Phrases When Eating Out

Basic Questions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cape Winelands

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

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

4- Wat kan jy/u aanbeveel, asseblief?

Translation: “What would you recommend, please?”

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

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

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

5- Mag ek die rekening kry, asseblief?

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

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

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

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

3. Other Useful Travel Phrases in Afrikaans

Survival Phrases

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

1- Baie dankie vir alles!

Translation: “Thank you very much for everything!”

2- Daardie een/hierdie een, asseblief.

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

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

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

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

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

5- Waar is die badkamer?

Translation: “Where is the bathroom?”

How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Learn Afrikaans Fast and Easily

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

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

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

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

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