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Your Easy Guide to Understanding Afrikaans Grammar

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Before we delve into this Afrikaans grammar guide, let’s get this out of our systems: Grammar in any language is a strange bird. Look at this joke in English, for instance:

Question: What is the longest sentence in the English language? 
Answer: “I do.”

Did you get it? If you didn’t and you’re an AfrikaansPod101 Premium PLUS student already, why not ask your tutor?

Male Hands in Handcuffs

If you’re not a member (or a punster), let me explain. “Sentence” means two things in English. This is how the online dictionary defines it:

A “sentence” is:

1. a set of words in most languages that is complete in itself, usually containing a subject and a clause that states something about the subject (A clause is a phrase or a part of a sentence.)

2. the punishment assigned to a defendant found guilty by a court, or fixed by law for a specific offence

Punning is the art of using an alternate meaning of a word in a comical way. This joke would not be funny if you didn’t know the second meaning of “sentence.”

But that’s not all—context is important too. So how does “I do” relate to a long prison sentence? Well, it’s simple, because there’s only one place where you would commonly use those words in relation to a lengthy commitment. Fortunately not for all, but for some, that’s marriage!

Male and Female Hands Together, Showing Wedding Bands

Yes, it’s not simple. Some students compare grammar to math and music studies—quite complex! So, for your convenience, we’ve compiled this free online Afrikaans language grammar guide. Study these principles thoroughly and you will get well ahead on your journey to learn Afrikaans.

Context can only be understood if you know a country’s culture and language well. For this, you’ll need to have the basics of the language’s grammar under your belt! 

The grammar of most languages can be subdivided and explained under two headings: lexicology and syntax.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Afrikaans Grammar: “Lexicology” / Woordleer
  2. Afrikaans Grammar: “Syntax” / Sintaksis
  3. AfrikaansPod101 – Your Excellent Afrikaans Grammar Companion!

1. Afrikaans Grammar: “Lexicology” / Woordleer 

Afrikaans is a West-Germanic language, very closely related to Dutch. These are the basics of its lexicological complexities.

1.1 “NOUN” / NAAMWOORD

DefinitionJust like in English, a naamwoord most often indicates something you can perceive with any one of your senses. These also include abstract things.
How to IdentifyTo spot a noun, ask the following questions:

a) Can I use it with an article, or lidwoord, such as ‘n (“a”) or die (“the”)? 

b) Does it have a plural form?

c) Can I turn it into a diminutive?

If you answer yes to these questions, then it’s a noun!
ExamplesJust like English nouns, Afrikaans nouns decline for number. Different from English, they also inflect for diminutives.

‘n rok / “a dress”
‘n rokkie / “a little dress”
die rokke / “the dresses”
Main Sub-categories
  • Soortnaam / “Appellative” or “Common/concrete noun”

    These are things you can count, such as: stoel (“chair”), Arabier (“Arab”),  waterdruppels (“water drops”), motorkar (“motor car”).

  • Abstrakte naamwoord / “Abstract noun”

    These include abstract things you cannot touch, such as: liefde (“love”), gedagte (“thought”), ideologie (“ideology”).

  • Massanaam / “Uncountable/mass noun”

    These are things you cannot count, such as: goud (“gold”), water (“water”), musiek (“music”), or hout (“wood”).

  • Maatnaam / “Noun of measurement”

    These are words that indicate the measured amount of a mass noun, such as: kilogram goud (“kilogram gold”), druppel water (“drop of water”), sakvol hout (“bagful of wood”).

  • Eienaam / “Proper noun”

    An eienaam can be the name of a specific person, place, publication, organization, brand, and so forth. These sometimes don’t take plural forms, and they can be categorized as: persoonsnaam (“personal names”), pleknaam (“name of a place”), organisasienaam (“name of an organization”), and so on.

  • Kollektiewe selfstandige naamwoord / “Collective noun”

    These nouns represent groups, such as: gehoor (“audience”), koor (“choir”), span (“team”).

  • Saamgestelde selfstandige naamwoord / “Compound noun”

    These are made up of two or more nouns, such as: waterbottel (“water bottle”), seekos (“seafood”), roomys (“ice cream”).

  • Werkwoordelike selfstandige naamwoord / “Verbal noun” 

    These nouns are derived from verbs, such as: die besluit (“the decision”), ‘n aanval (“an attack”), ‘n gebou (“a building”).

Water Droplets on Wood

WATERDRUPPELS OP HOUT (“WATER DROPS ON WOOD”)

1.2 “VERB” / WERKWOORD

DefinitionVerbs usually depict some sort of action, including abstract actions.
How to IdentifyTo identify a verb, ask the following questions:

a) Can I use a pronoun, such as “he,” “she,” or “we” (hy, sy, or ons), in front of it? Or, in other words, can someone or something perform this action?

b) Can it take a past tense form?
ExamplesAfrikaans verbs conjugate for tense, mood, and voice, but not for noun, pronoun, or number. So, we don’t worry about subject-verb agreement in Afrikaans. 

Here, we’ll discuss only the basics of tense conjugation. For more details, take a look at this article: All About Verb Conjugation in Afrikaans.
    Present Tense: Unlike English verbs, Afrikaans verbs conjugate exactly the same way for every pronoun and number in the present tense.

    Examples:
    Hy / Sy vlieg. (“He / She flies.”)
    Ons lag. (“We laugh.”)
    Julle bly. (“You stay/remain.”)
    Die honde blaf. (“The dogs bark.”)
    Past Tense: Afrikaans verbs typically conjugate with an auxiliary verb of time: het (“have” / “has”), which is used in front of a deelwoord (“past participle”). The latter is formed by adding the prefix ge- to the infinitive verb. Again, this conjugation remains the same for all of the pronouns.

    Examples:
    Hy / Sy het gevlieg. (“He / She flew.”) OR (“He / She has flown.”)
    Ons het gelag. (“We laughed.”) OR (“We have laughed.”)
    Julle het gebly. (“You stayed/remained.”) OR (“You have stayed/remained.”)
    Die honde het geblaf. (“The dogs barked.”) OR (“The dogs have barked.”)

    Future Tense: For the future tense, the auxiliary verb of modality (also called a modal verb) sal is used the same way as “will” (i.e., with the infinitive verb).

    Examples:
    Hy / Sy sal vlieg. (“He / She will fly.”)
    Ons sal lag. (“We will laugh.”)
    Julle sal bly. (“You will stay/remain.”)
    Die honde sal blaf. (“The dogs will/would bark.”)
    Historic Present Tense: This tense is sometimes used to describe something that happened in the past, but the verb remains in the present tense. Then we use the word toe (approximate: “when”).

    Example:
    Toe ek opstaan, glimlag hy vir my. (Lit. “When I stand up, he smiles at me.”) 

    It would not be incorrect to change it to the past tense, though.
Main Sub-categories
  • Oorganklike hoofwerkwoord / “Transitive main verb” 

    These verbs are identified when there is an object in the sentence. 

    Example:
    Hy drink koffie. (“He drinks coffee”). 
    “Coffee” is the object.

  • Onoorganklike hoofwerkwoord / “Intransitive main verb”

    These verbs are identified when there’s no object in the sentence. 

    Example:
    Ons slaap. (“We sleep.”)
    Sy lag spontaan. (“She laughs spontaneously.”) 

    Note: spontaan (“spontaneously”) is an adverb.

  • Hulpwerkwoorde / Lit: “Helping Verbs”

    These include two types of auxiliary verbs: the auxiliary verb of time het (“has”) and auxiliary words of modality, or modale hulpwerkwoorde. The latter category includes: sal, wil, moet, and probeer (“shall,” “will,” “must,” and “try”). 

    Example:
      Present: Die honde probeer blaf. (“The dogs try to bark.”)
      Past: Sy het gevlieg. (“She flew.”) / Ons het gelag. (“We laughed.”).
        ♦ Note: het is an auxiliary verb of time.
      Future: Julle sal bly. (Lit.: “You shall stay.”)
        ♦ Note: sal is not considered an auxiliary verb of time, but rather one of modality.

  • Koppelwerkwoorde / “Linking Verbs 1”

    In Afrikaans, we differentiate between two types of linking verbs. 

    Koppelwerkwoorde link the subject to a quality. Again, these remain unchanged for every pronoun and number. 

    Example:
      Present: Sy is mooi. (“She is pretty.”) / Ons is moeg. / (“We are tired.”)
      Past: Sy was mooi. (“She was pretty.”) / Ons was moeg gewees. (“We were tired.”)
        ♦ Note: gewees can be omitted for the past tense.
      Future: Sy sal mooi wees. (“She will be pretty.”) / Ons sal moeg wees. (“We will be tired.”)
        ♦ Note: the auxiliary verb wees is never omitted for the future tense.

  • Skakelwerkwoorde / “Linking Verbs 2”

    The second type of linking verb usually links auxiliary verbs with main verbs.

    Example:
      Past: Sy het net gelag. (“She just laughed.”)
      Future: Julle sal kom bly. (Lit.: “You will come stay.”)

A Woman Laughing

SY HET NET GELAG (“SHE JUST LAUGHED”)

1.3 “ADJECTIVE” / BYVOEGLIKE NAAMWOORD or ADJEKTIEF

DefinitionThese types of words modify or describe nouns.
How to IdentifyTo identify an adjective, ask the following questions:

a) Can I use the word in front of a noun?

b) Will it still say something about the noun if I use it after a linking verb (koppelwerkwoord)?

c) Does the word have degrees of comparison?
Examples1. In front of a noun: ‘n Gelukkige man (“a happy man”) / ‘n Opgewonde kind (“an excited child”)

2. After a linking verb / koppelwerkwoord: Hy is gelukkig. (“He is happy.”) / Die kind is opgewonde. (“The child is excited.”)

3. Degrees of comparison: Gelukkig, gelukkiger, gelukkigste (“Happy, happier, happiest”) / Opgewonde, meer opgewonde, die mees opgewonde (“Excited, more excited, the most excited”)
Main Sub-categoriesLike in English, there are two types of adjectives. The classification is based on their position in a sentence relative to the noun.
  • Attributief / “Attributive” – The attributiewe byvoeglike naamwoord (“attributive adjective”) stands in front of the noun.

    Example:
      Die mooi vrou (“The pretty woman”)

  • Predikatief / “Predicative” – Usually, the predikatiewe byvoeglike naamwoord (“predicative adjective”) stands after the koppelwerkwoord (“linking verb”).

    Example:
      Die vrou is gelukkig. (“The woman is happy.”)
Of course, you can use both types in the same sentence: Die mooi vrou is gelukkig. (“The pretty woman is happy.”)

Pretty Woman Laughing

DIE MOOI VROU IS GELUKKIG. (“THE PRETTY WOMAN IS HAPPY”)

1.4 “ADVERB” / BYWOORD

DefinitionThe adverb describes the verb or verbal clause in a sentence.
How to IdentifyWhich word says something about what happens or what is being done? The adverb should answer questions such as, “How?” “When?” “Where?” or “How much?”

Some adverbs have degrees of comparison.
Examples
  • Ons baklei nooit. (“We never fight.”)
  • Die kinders speel buite. (“The children play outside.”)
  • Sy ma is baie oud. (“His mom is very old.”)
Main Sub-categoriesAs you probably noticed in the examples, there are several types of adverbs. Following are the four main categories:
  • Bywoorde van tyd / “Adverbs of time”
    • gister, vandag, more (“yesterday,” “today,” “tomorrow”)
    • Example: Jou pakkie kom vandag. (Lit.: “Your parcel arrives today.”)

  • Bywoorde van plek / “Adverbs of place”
    • daar, hier (“there,” “here”)
    • Example: Die potplant staan hier. (“The potted plant stands here.”)

  • Bywoorde van graad / “Adverbs of degree”
    • ver, lank, werklik, baie (“far,” “long,” “really,” “very”)
    • Example: Die pad was lank. (“The road was long.”)

  • Bywoorde van wyse / “Adverbs of manner”
    • vinnig, stadig, hoog, hard (“fast,” “slow,” “high,” “hard”)
    • Example: Sy werk hard. (“She is working hard.”)

Tarred Road with Mountain on Background

DIE PAD WAS LANK. (“THE ROAD WAS LONG”)

1.5 “PRONOUN” / VOORNAAMWOORD

DefinitionA pronoun is a word that acts as a replacement for a noun in a sentence.
How to IdentifyAsk this question:

Can the word stand in place of the noun? In other words, does it refer to a person or a thing?
Examplesek, jy, hy, ons, dit, niemand, wie, hierdie, daardie (“I,” “you,” “he,” “we/us,” “it,” “nobody,” “who,” “this,” “that”)
Main Sub-categories
  • Persoonlike voornaamwoorde / “Personal pronouns”
    • Hy, sy, julle, ons (“he,” “she,” “you [plural],” “we”)
    • Example: Hy eet. (“He eats.”)

  • Onpersoonlike voornaamwoord / “Impersonal pronoun”
    • dit (“it”)
    • Example: Dit staan in die straat. (“It is standing in the street.”)

  • Besitlike voornaamwoorde / “Possessive pronouns”
    • Syne, hare, joune (“his,” “hers,” “yours”)
    • Example: Die tas is syne. (“The suitcase is his.”)

  • Vraende voornaamwoorde / “Interrogative pronouns”
    • Wie, wat, waar, wanneer (“who,” “what,” “where,” “when”)
    • Example: Wie is hierdie? (“Who is this?”)

  • Aanwysende voornaamwoorde / “Demonstrative pronouns”
    • Hierdie/dié, daardie (“this,” “that”). These function as determiners of the nouns.
    • Example: Hierdie is lekker. (“This is tasty.”)

  • Onbepaalde voornaamwoorde / “Indefinite pronouns”
    • Niemand, menige (“nobody,” “many”)
    • Example: Menige het opgedaag. (“Many came.”)

  • Betreklike voornaamwoord / “Relative pronouns”
    • Wie se, wie, wat (“whose,” “who,” “that”)
    • Example: Die vliegtuig wat nou opstyg is groot. (“The plane that is taking off now is large.”)

  • Wederkerige voornaamwoorde / “Intensive pronouns”
    • Myself, jouself, onsself (“myself,” “yourself,” “ourselves”)
    • Example: Jy vergeet van jouself op die verhoog. (“You forget yourself on stage.”)
    • Note: In sentences with these pronouns, the subject and the object are referring to the same person.

  • Wederkerende voornaamwoord / “Reciprocal pronoun”
    • Mekaar (“each other” / “one another”)
    • Example: Hulle het mekaar lief. (“They love each other.”)
    • Note: In sentences with this pronoun, the subject and the object are not referring to the same person.

A Couple Laughing at a Table

HULLE HET MEKAAR LIEF. (“THEY LOVE EACH OTHER.”)

1.6  “PREPOSITION” / VOORSETSEL

DefinitionPrepositions show a relationship between an object and another element in the sentence. It usually precedes the object of the sentence (which is a noun, a pronoun, or a clause/phrase with either). Prepositions indicate time or location, or introduce an object.
How to IdentifyAsk yourself if you can add an article and/or a noun after a voorsetsel (“preposition”).
Examplesonderaan, langs, agter, by, vir (“underneath,” “next to,” “behind,” “by,” “for”)
Main Sub-categoriesThere are three main types of prepositions.
  • Preposition of Time:
    • teen, voor, na, vandat, vanaf (“by,” “before,” “after,” “since,” “from”)
    • Example: Teen middagete was almal honger. (“By lunchtime everyone was hungry.”).

  • Preposition of Location:
    • op, teen, agter, bo-op, onder, binne in, van (“on,” “against,” “behind,” “on top of,” “under,” “right inside,” “from”). It is usually followed by an article and a noun, except in the case of proper nouns.
    • Example: Hulle is op die strand. (“They are on the beach.”) / Man van Atlantis (“Man from Atlantis”)

  • Preposition Introducing an Object:
    • vir, teenoor (“for/at,” “towards”)
    • Example: Ons lag vir die komediant. (“We laugh at the comedian.”)
Note: A common mistake is to label en (“and”) a preposition. “And” is a conjunction, because it joins words, phrases, and clauses. 

A Rear View of Couple Sitting on Deck Chairs on the Beach

HULLE IS OP DIE STRAND. (“THEY ARE ON THE BEACH.”)

1.7 “ARTICLE” / LIDWOORD

DefinitionArticles are short words that define nouns as nonspecific or specific. They are determiners that modify nouns.
How to IdentifyThere are only two articles in both English and Afrikaans: ‘n (“a”) and die (“the”). 
Examples‘n rekenaar (“a computer”)
die neef (“the cousin”)
Main Sub-categoriesTwo types of articles can be discerned:
  • Bepaalde lidwoord / “Definite article”
    • die (“the”) – This article modifies the noun to indicate only one, specific thing.
    • Example: Koop die rok maar nie die skoene nie. (“Buy the dress but not the shoes.”)

  • Onbepaalde lidwoord / “Indefinite article”
    • ‘n (“a”) – This article modifies the noun to indicate something general and non-specific.
    • Example: Dra ‘n rok, enige rok. (“Wear a dress, any dress.”)

Woman in Long Red Dress

DRA ‘N ROK, ENIGE ROK. (“WEAR A DRESS, ANY DRESS.”)

1.8 “CONJUNCTION” / VOEGWOORD

DefinitionA conjunction links words, phrases, and clauses, or ideas and thoughts—both literally, and in meaning.
How to IdentifyDepending on the conjunction, you could ask yourself this question: 

Can I discern two independent sentences by removing the conjunction?
ExamplesJan slaap terwyl ons werk. (“John sleeps while we work.”)
Patricia en Lukas was by die begrafnis. (“Patricia and Lukas were at the funeral.”)
Main Sub-categoriesUnlike in English, which categorizes conjunctions into three groups, Afrikaans categorizes them into only two groups. Some voegwoorde fall into both categories.

1. Neweskikkende voegwoord / “Coordinating conjunction”

These conjunctions join independent clauses, which are phrases that can function as sentences and still make sense when you remove the conjunctions. These conjunctions include: en, maar, want, of, dog, terwyl (“and,” “but,” “because,” “or,” “yet,” “while”).

Example: Hy slaap en ons werk. (“He sleeps and we work.”)

2. Onderskikkende voegwoord / “Subordinating conjunction”

This type of conjunction only joins dependent clauses. These are clauses that cannot function as a sentence, nor do they make sense when you remove the conjunction. These conjunctions include: hoewel, omdat, terwyl (“however/though,” “because,” “while”).

Example: Terwyl hy slaap, werk. (Lit.: “Though he sleeping was, were we working.”)

Sleeping Man

HY SLAAP EN ONS WERK. (“HE SLEEPS AND WE WORK.”)

1.9 “PARTICLE” / PARTIKEL

DefinitionParticles are short auxiliary words or parts of words that have no semantic meaning on their own. They modify nouns and verbs for negation, possession, comparison, etc.
How to IdentifyAsk yourself questions pertaining to the categories. For example: 

Is the word used to indicate negation? Is it used to indicate possession?
Examplesso…soos (“as”)
nie…nie (“not”)
se / (” ‘s “) – genitive
van (“of”)
Main Sub-categoriesMany of the following Afrikaans partikels are found in English, even though English doesn’t necessarily categorize them as such.
  • Ontkenningspartikel l “Negative particle”

    Afrikaans is known for its system of so-called double negation. It involves using the particle nie (“not”) twice to indicate negation. The two particles usually flank nouns, clauses, or phrases.

    Example: Ek is nie moeg nie. (“I am not tired.”) 

    The first nie is also an adverbial preposition.

  • Besitspartikel / “Genitive particle”

    These particles indicate possession, and include se and van (“genitive ‘s” and “of”).

    Example: Kieran se meisie is mooi. (“Kieran’s girlfriend is pretty.”) / Die meisie van Kieran is mooi. (“The girlfriend of Kieran is pretty.”)

  • Vergelykingspartikel / “Comparison”

    So…soos (“as…as”) are labeled specifically as particles in Afrikaans, and indicate a comparison between two things or ideas.

    Example: so vars soos ‘n oggendbries (“as fresh as a morning breeze”)

  • Deelpartikel / “Preposition”

    The preposition van (“of”) links words and phrases that indicate possession. 

    Example: Sewe van die nege vrouens is blond. (“Seven of the nine women are blond.”)

  • Infinitiefpartikel / “Infinitive particle”

    Om…te (“to + infinitive”) is always used with the base form of a verb to indicate the infinitive.

    Example: Hy sukkel om te loop. (“He struggles to walk.”) / Die kat is gelukkig om hierdie kos te eet. (“The cat is happy to eat this food.”)

  • Werkwoordpartikel / “Verb particle”

    These include op, af, uit, weg (“up,” “down,” “out,” “away”). Like in English, this particle modifies the verb.

    Example: Eet jou kos op. (“Eat up your food.”) / Hulle breek weg van die groep. (“They break away from the group.”) / Sy het haar kêrel afgesê. (“She broke up with her boyfriend.”) 

    Note: Uitmaak and its translation “made out” mean the exact opposite. In Afrikaans, it means that a couple plans to break up their relationship when you say: Hulle gaan uitmaak. However, in the translation “They will make out,” “making out” is an euphemism for sexual intercourse.

  • Graadpartikel / “Adverb particle”

    The particle te (“too”) modifies the verb to indicate excess. 

    Example: Dis te warm in die woestyn. (“It’s too hot in the desert.”)

Desert Dunes

DIS TE WARM IN DIE WOESTYN. (“IT’S TOO HOT IN THE DESERT.”)

1.10 “NUMBER WORDS” / TELWOORDE

DefinitionThese words indicate numbers or an amount.
How to IdentifyAsk yourself these questions:

a) Can I symbolize the word with numbers, like 1,2,3…? (With the exception of onbepaalde hooftelwoorde [“indefinite pronouns”].)

b) Can I turn the word into a rangtelwoord (i.e. ordinal number)?

c) Is it impossible to grade the word? (Number words cannot be expressed in grades. We cannot say, for instance, “one-er” or “one-est.” “One” is and can only be that—a single thing!)

d) Is this word indispensable in its modification of the noun? (A noun in a sentence will still “work” if adjectives are removed. However, most often, determiners such as numbers are indispensable to the meaning of the noun.)
Exampleself (“eleven”)
twee-en-twintig (“twenty-two”)
tiende (“tenth”)
massas (“masses”)
Main Sub-categoriesAll number words function as determiners of nouns (and not as adjectives).
  • Bepaalde hooftelwoord / Lit: “Definite cardinal-number word”

    These words denote quantity: een, twee, drie (“one,” “two,” “three”).

  • Onbepaalde hooftelwoord / Lit: “Indefinite cardinal-number word”

    These are also indefinite pronouns: hordes, massas, talle (“hordes,” “masses,” “many/countless”).

  • Bepaalde rangtelwoord / Lit: “Definite ordinal-number word”

    These words indicate rank: eerste, tweede, derde (“first,” “second,” “third”).

  • Onbepaalde rangtelwoord / Lit: “Indefinite ordinal-number word”

    laaste, soveelste (“last,” “umpteenth”)

1.11 “INTERJECTIONS” / TUSSENWERPSELS

DefinitionAn interjection is an utterance or exclamation that conveys a certain meaning or emotion.
How to IdentifyAsk yourself if the word can:
  • stand alone in a sentence, and
  • be followed by an exclamation mark.
There are some common interjections in every language, such as “Wow!”, and these are easily understood. However, every language also has culture-specific interjections, with nuances that won’t be easily discerned by a non-native speaker. It’s also difficult to describe their meaning to a non-native. Only by regularly practicing your Afrikaans with natives could you gain the subtler meanings of some interjections. (Others you may never fully understand!)
Examples
  • Eina! (“Ouch!”)
  • Sjoe! (Approximate: “Wow!”) This is commonly used in any situation that inspires awe.
  • Aitsa! (Approximate: “Wow! That’s great!”) This is used only if you’re impressed by something, usually positive. 
  • Haai?! (Approximate: “Huh?!”)
  • Siestog / Foeitog (Approximate: “It’s a shame”)
  • Awê (“Hi there”)
  • Aikona (“No”)
Main Sub-categoriesNone.

Woman Looking Amazed

SJOE! (“WOW!”)

Got it? Probably not, but don’t despair. No valuable discipline is ever gained overnight! 

Now let’s move on to the next point of basic Afrikaans grammar: how Afrikaans words get strung together into sentences.

2. Afrikaans Grammar: “Syntax” / Sintaksis

Syntax, which is the basic grammatical structure of sentences, can be a gruellingly complex subject in any language. Correct Afrikaans grammar largely depends on your ability to form sentences according to the proper structures and rules. However, the basics are fairly similar to English. 

Buckle up!

2.1 Enkelvoudige Sin (“Simple Sentence”) VS Saamgestelde Sin (“Compound Sentence”)

A) Simple sentences in both English and Afrikaans follow a simple Subject-Verb (SV) format. For example: Die kind eet. (“The child eats.”)

Notes: 

  • Simple sentences can have only one verb or gesegde. In Afrikaans syntax, single verbs and clauses are referred to as gesegdes (approximately: “clauses”). Read on for more about this.
  • Also remember: a gesegde comprising an auxiliary verb + main verb  = only one verb! 

B) Compound sentences always contain two verbs or gesegdes (“clauses”). For example: Die kind eet terwyl die hond blaf. (“The child eats while the dog barks.”)

2.2 Parts of Simple and Compound Sentences

Sentences consist of other parts, too. Very briefly, the following:

A) Enkelvoudige sinne / “Simple sentences”

1. Onderwerp (“Subject”)
Who or what performs the action in the sentence or phrase? The answer is always the subject. For example: Clint vlieg die vliegtuig. (“Clint flies the airplane.”)

2. Voorwerp (“Object”)
In a sentence, the object usually follows the subject (except in the passive voice). The object is that which the action is performed upon. For example: Clint vlieg die vliegtuig. (“Clint flies the airplane.”)

Note:

  • Direkte voorwerp / “Direct object”

    The direkte voorwerp (“direct object”) always follows the main transitive verb. For example:

      Vlieg (“fly”) = main verb
      Vliegtuig (“airplane”) = direkte voorwerp (“direct object”)

  • The indirekte voorwerp / “Indirect object”

    An indirekte voorwerp (“indirect object”) always follows a preposition. For example: Clint vlieg die vliegtuig vir Paul. (“Clint flies the airplane for Paul.”)

    The preposition vir is followed by Paul, the indirekte voorwerp (“indirect object”).

3. Gesegde (“Clause”)
As mentioned, all verbs and clauses are called a gesegde (approximate: “clause”) in Afrikaans syntax. They are sometimes referred to as a werkwoordstuk. (Lit: “verb piece”).

Example: Clint het die vliegtuig gevlieg. (“Clint flew the airplane.”)

    Het (“has”) = auxiliary verb of time
    gevlieg (“flew”) = main verb, simple past tense

(Refer back to Auxiliary Verbs of Time under the previous section for more information on the prefix ge-.)

Fighter Plane Pilot in the Cockpit

CLINT HET DIE VLIEGTUIG GEVLIEG. (“CLINT FLEW THE AIRPLANE.”)

4. Byvoeglike & Bywoordelike Bepalings (“Adjective and Adverbial Clauses”)

i) Byvoeglike Bepalings: In Afrikaans syntax, all adjective words or clauses are grouped under byvoeglike bepalings. Like in English, these describe nouns.

Example 1 [Single word adjectives]: Die honger kind eet die lekker kos. (“The hungry child eats the tasty food.”) 

Example 2 [Adjective phrases]: Die kind met die rooi trui eet die kos met baie kaas. (“The child with the red jersey eats the food with lots of cheese.”) 

ii) Bywoordelike Bepalings: All adverbial words or clauses are called bywoordelike bepalings in Afrikaans syntax. As in English, these describe actions or verbs. Adverbial words or clauses are divided into four groups: time, place, manner, and degree. 

Refer back to Bywoorde (“Adjectives”) under the previous section for examples of single words that fall into this category. Following are examples of adverbial clauses:

Example 1: Voor haar vertrek moet sy eers groet. (“Before her departure she must first greet.”) 

Here, the underlined = bywoordelike bepaling van tyd (“adverbial clause of time”).

Example 2: Hulle gaan oorslaap in die beste hotel. (“They are going to sleep over in the best hotel.”)

Here, the underlined = bywoordelike bepaling van plek (“adverbial clause of place”).

Couple Standing at a Hotel Reception

HULLE GAAN OORSLAAP IN DIE BESTE HOTEL. (“THEY ARE GOING TO SLEEP OVER IN THE BEST HOTEL.”)

B) Saamgestelde sinne / “Compound sentences” 

Compound sentences consist of two or more clauses or simple sentences with ideas that relate to each other. As mentioned, in Afrikaans syntax these always contain two gesegdes (“verbs” or “clauses”).

1. Neweskikkende sin / “Coordinating sentence”

Parts of sentences are grouped under this heading when they are of equal importance in terms of meaning. In Afrikaans, they also still make sense when the neweskikkende voegwoord (“coordinating sentence”) is removed, and can function as simple sentences.

Example: Jan wil skei maar Marta weier. (“John wants to divorce but Martha refuses.”) 

2. Onderskikkende bysin / “Subordinating sentence”

Compound sentences can also contain a main sentence and one or more subordinating clauses. The latter is identified by the fact that it doesn’t make sense when it stands alone. In such a case, the subordinating sentence or clause is called a bysin.

Example: Die man wat in die rooi sportsmotor ry, moet voor parkeer. (“The man who’s driving the red sports car must park in the front.”

Here, the underlined = Onderskikkende bysin.

Red Sports Car

DIE MAN WAT IN DIE ROOI SPORTSMOTOR RY MOET VOOR PARKEER. (“THE MAN WHO’S DRIVING THE RED SPORTS CAR MUST PARK IN THE FRONT.”)

2.3 Basic Word Order – STOMPI

Like most Germanic languages, such as English, Dutch, and French, the basic Afrikaans sentence follows the SVO pattern:

Subject: Ek
Verb: drink
Object: koffie

Translation: “I drink coffee.”

A Cup of Coffee with Coffee Beans

Obviously, things get more complex as you expand sentences. Throw adjectives, adverbs, conjunctions, etc., into the mix, and you soon sit with a more difficult sentence pattern. 

For this, we have a rule-of-thumb in Afrikaans: the oft-quoted STOMPI rule. It’s beguilingly simple because almost every sentence will more-or-less follow this pattern. Stick to this pattern, and you’re very unlikely to mess up your word order.

Note: Only in much-extended sentences will you be able to apply the STOMPI rule completely. This topic is thoroughly covered in our Afrikaans Word Order article, so be sure to study that too.

STOMPI is the easy acronym we use, but since we’re dealing with grammar, that’s not the whole picture. This is because it actually includes two silent verbs, and therefore stands for:

Subject              Die reën
(V1) Verb 1        kom
Time                  soms
Object               vir die Kapenaars
Manner             saggies
Place                 oor die berge
(V2) Verb 2        gesluip
Infinitive             om verligting te bring.

Translation: “The rain sometimes sneaks quietly over the mountains for the Capetonians to bring relief.”

As you can see, this is a very long, descriptive sentence. The following one is simpler, but also correct.

Subject            Die reën
(V1) Verb 1      sluip
Time                soms
Object               –
Manner             
Place                oor die berge
(V2)                   
Infinitive            om verligting te bring.

Translation: “The rain sometimes sneaks over the mountains to bring relief.”

3. AfrikaansPod101 – Your Excellent Afrikaans Grammar Companion!

Well, this is a whopper of a double-cream, super-sized article that hopefully whet your appetite for more! Do you have any comments or Afrikaans grammar questions? Don’t be shy! Post them below.

Also be sure to enroll right away so you can immediately start with some Afrikaans grammar exercises. As you can see, there’s a lot to know. But relax—AfrikaansPod101 really does take the lead in Afrikaans learning.

We offer you several excellent Afrikaans learning tools to help you master the language easily and almost effortlessly. There are so many learning options available! 

Our well-researched tools include:

1. An extensive vocabulary list page, updated regularly.

2. A new Afrikaans word to learn every day. Master these words easily with our recordings and flashcards!

3. Access to numerous recordings, such as those in this Afrikaans Vocab Builder.

4. A free Afrikaans online dictionary.

5. An excellent 100 Core Afrikaans Words list!

Learn much faster with the help of a personal tutor, who will first let you take an assessment to personalize your training. From there, he or she will work one-on-one with you to help you reach your goals and overcome obstacles.

Happy learning!

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The Best Afrikaans Quotes About Life, Love, and More!

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Do you know what one of the best things about the Afrikaans language is? Its array of colorful sayings and quotes! 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to the best Afrikaans quotes on every aspect of life. You’ll recognize some of these Afrikaans quotes, as they have equivalents in English; others will be unfamiliar to you because they’re unique to Afrikaans. Let us know in the comments which of them have equivalents in your language!

At AfrikaansPod101, we aim to enhance your language learning experience at all times. Sayings and quotes are so particular to a language—knowing and using them will introduce you to Afrikaans and the Afrikaner culture in a unique, almost intimate way!

Are you ready to up your Afrikaans game? Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. A) Top 10 Afrikaans Quotes for Inspiration and Life
  2. B) Top Afrikaans Wedding and Love Quotes
  3. C) Top Birthday Quotes in Afrikaans
  4. D) Top Afrikaans Friendship Quotes
  5. E) Top Funny Afrikaans Quotes
  6. Good Ways To Use Afrikaans Quotes
  7. Make Use of AfrikaansPod101’s Lessons and Tools to Learn Afrikaans!

1. Top 10 Afrikaans Quotes for Inspiration and Life

You can derive a lot from learning the typical quotes and sayings that are native to your target language. The following Afrikaans quotes about life include admonitions, words of wisdom, and inspiration in equal measure. 

1. Dit is die klein jakkalsies wat die wingerde verniel.

Translation: “It is the small jackals that harm the vineyard.”

Meaning: 

Literally, the quote refers to small jackals stealing grapes from vineyards (which they love to do). The little scoundrels’ diet is omnivorous, meaning that they eat small animals as well as berries and other fruits. Obviously, their scavenging can do a lot of harm to a farmer’s vineyard. 

Underneath the literal meaning, this saying refers to the hidden harm caused by small irritations or problems in life if they’re left unattended. It infers that one should pay attention to those little niggles as they arise, instead of only focusing on the bigger problems.

A Bunch of Dark, Ripe Grapes

2. Wie heuning wil eet, moet steke verdra.

Translation: “Those who want to eat honey must endure the stings.”

Meaning: 

Literally, this quote refers to someone taking honey from a beehive and getting stung. That much is obvious. But the saying also states a universal truth: If you want to attain something good or sweet in life, you’ll need to tolerate some painful things in the process. This saying can be used to reframe a setback or an unpleasant experience at work, in relationships, or concerning important projects.

3. As die hemel val, is ons almal dood.

Translation: “If the sky falls, we’re all dead.”

Meaning: 

This quote uses a bit of humor to state the obvious about terrible calamity. It’s used as a slightly sarcastic retort in response to someone who’s always pointing out the negative in any situation.

4. Sukses is nie finaal nie, mislukking is nie fataal nie; dit is die moed om voort te gaan wat tel.

Translation: “Success isn’t final, failure isn’t fatal; it’s the courage to continue that counts.”

Meaning: 

The meaning of this inspirational quote is obvious: Don’t give up! Continue with what you started (including your Afrikaans language lessons!), because your persistence will pay off. Just imagine! With a good knowledge of Afrikaans, you can travel to the country and have a much richer experience.


Photo of Airplane Taking Off With Luggage in the Foreground

5. Om bymekaar te kom is ‘n begin; om saam te bly is vordering; om saam te werk is sukses.

Translation: “Coming together is a beginning; staying together is progress; working together is success.”

Meaning: 

The meaning of this Afrikaans quote is pretty clear, as it describes the different stages and inherent value of teamwork.

6. Soos ’n handvol vlieë.

Translation: “Like a handful of flies.”

Meaning: 

How useful is a handful of flies? Yes, precisely—unless you’re an entomologist, my guess is that a handful of these insects is pretty useless. You can use this saying to comment on something that’s useless to you, like this:

Hierdie mes is omtrent so bruikbaar soos ‘n handvol vlieë om sop mee te eet.
“This knife is about as useful as a handful of flies to eat soup with.”

7. ‘n Goeie gewete is ‘n sagte kussing.

Translation: “A good conscience is a soft pillow.”

Meaning: 

This quote refers to the easy sleep of someone with a good conscience. It praises the value of not suppressing your conscience (which would probably keep you awake all night if you tried ignoring it)!

Man Sleeping with a Calm Expression on His Face

8. Wees die verandering wat jy wil sien in die wêreld.

Translation: “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Meaning: 

This quote is often erroneously attributed to Gandhi, the great world leader from India, but there’s no evidence that he actually said this. Rather, it appears to have come from a book written by a teacher named Arleen Lorrance, called The Love Project. The quote refers to people’s tendency to emulate others’ behavior. So, if you feel that the world needs more love and kindness, then be loving and kind! The world will soon follow.

9. Nou gaan die poppe dans.

Translation: Literally, “Now the dolls are going to dance.” / Equivalent, “Now the fat is in the fire.”

Meaning: 

When someone says this, it means that trouble is on the way! This trouble can be as innocuous as the disciplinary action mischievous school pupils can expect from their headmaster, or as serious as the fallout of one country declaring war on another. 

10. Kyk maar die kat eers goed uit die boom uit.

Translation: Literally, “First check out the cat from the tree.”

Meaning: 

This saying has nothing to do with felines, but pertains to decision-making. It’s a cautionary idiom, and is used to warn someone that they would be better off not acting impulsively. For instance, if your friend enthuses about a business opportunity that sounds too good to be true, this is what you would tell them!

Black and White Cat Sitting

2. Top Afrikaans Wedding and Love Quotes

Our list could never be complete without mentioning quotes in Afrikaans about love, relationships, and weddings.

Tip: Afrikaners tend to have romantic souls! So showing what’s going on in your heart will usually be appreciated and reciprocated.

11. Jy is my oogappel. / Jy is die appel van my oog.

Translation: “You are my eye-apple.” / “You are the apple of my eye.”

Meaning: 

This one is also well-known in English, and it means that you’re someone’s favorite person. One can use this saying at any stage of the relationship—read on for tips on how to use all of these phrases!

Happy Couple Cooking Together

12. My hart pomp tjoklits vir jou.

Translation: “My heart is pumping chocolate for you.”

Meaning: 

This is a humorous, casual way of indicating that you’re in love with someone. Instead of blood, your heart is pumping the candy of love: sweet chocolate. What a vivid image! This somewhat non-committal, but still loving, statement is suitable for use anywhere along the timeline of your relationship.

Tip: If you’ve been with the person for a while, then adding the adverbial time word steeds (“still”) after the verb pomp (“pump”) will be suitable. Like: My hart pomp steeds tjoklits vir jou. (“My heart still pumps chocolate for you.”)

13. Ek smaak jou stukkend.

Translation: Literally, “I taste you till you break.”

Meaning: 

This rather odd-sounding saying is another way of letting someone know you like them excessively, almost to the point of breaking! Think of a child who is so overwhelmed by their adoration of a toy that they hug it so tightly it gets crushed. 

No, we don’t literally break our loved ones in South Africa! This phrase simply expresses almost overwhelming feelings of adoration and admiration. Some say it means the same thing as “I love you,” but that is open to interpretation.

Happy Couple Hugging

14. Ou liefde roes nie.

Translation: “Old love doesn’t rust.”

Meaning: 

This quote means that if love is true, it endures eternally. Unlike most metals (a.k.a. superficial relationships), true love is long-lasting because it doesn’t degrade (i.e. rust) with age. 

This is what you can say of that couple who met and fell in love when they were young, but who were kept apart by circumstances. Then, they meet again when they’re older and find that their special connection is intact. In such a case, you would say that Ou liefde roes nie (“Old love doesn’t rust”).

It’s also a nice anniversary affirmation for a couple that’s been together for years and years. Especially, or maybe only, if it’s clear that they still love one another!

15. Ek was nie jou eerste liefde nie, maar ek wil beslis jou laaste wees.

Translation: “I wasn’t your first love, but I definitely want to be your last.”

Meaning: 

This quote is pretty straightforward, and it’s especially good for use among couples who are a bit older. But even if you and your partner are younger, you can use this phrase if you know they’ve been in love before. It’s a nice proposal quote, too.

Old Couple Playing on the Beach

16. Vriendskap in ‘n huwelik is die vonk wat ‘n ewige vlam aansteek.

Translation: “Friendship in marriage is the spark that lights an everlasting flame.”

Meaning: 

This quote is attributed to the writer and creator of The Happy Wives Club, Fawn Weaver. It’s self-explanatory and underscores the importance of marrying someone you can be friends with, too.

17. Hou jou hart vol liefde. ‘n Lewe daarsonder is soos ‘n sonlose tuin wanneer die blomme dood is. Die bewussyn van liefde en om liefgehê te word bring warmte en rykdom aan die lewe wat niks anders kan bring nie.

Translation: “Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead. The consciousness of loving and being loved brings warmth and richness to life that nothing else can bring.”

Meaning: 

This quote is attributed to author and playwright Oscar Wilde. He died lonely, so it’s poignant that he knew how important love was, but never got to fully experience it himself. This quote is great for wedding or engagement speeches, as well as a meaningful anniversary affirmation.

Couple Holding Hands in Front of a White Wall, Smiling at Each Other

18. As ek my lewe kon oorhê, sou ek jou vroeër wou vind.

Translation: “If I could repeat my life, I would want to find you sooner.”

Meaning: 

This is a bittersweet sentiment from someone who is regretful that they haven’t spent their whole life with the person they love. It implies that with their beloved, life is sweeter and better than ever before. It’s suitable as an intimate love message to the one you’re going to spend the rest of your life with, or even someone you’ve already been with for a long time.

19. Sonder jou liefde is die graaf te swaar vir my en val die geil reëns van die berge sonder doel.

Translation: Literally, “Without your love, the shovel is too heavy for me and the wanton rain in the mountains falls without purpose.”

Meaning: 

This beautiful line is from a poem called Dank (“Thank”), written by one of South Africa’s finest poets from a different era, D.J. Opperman. It expresses how the poet valued his wife’s love—his life would have been meaningless without it. How quietly passionate and intimate!

Couple in Love Laughing with Mountains in the Background

20. Liefde is ‘n beter onderwyser as ‘n sin vir verantwoordelikheid.

Translation: “Love is a better teacher than a sense of duty.”

Meaning: 

This is a quote from Einstein, taken from a letter he wrote. Biography writer Walter Isaacson used these letters to tell the story of the genius’ life in a book called Einstein: His Life and Universe

With this quote, Einstein was probably referring to something other than romantic love, but the principle still applies. Love will always be the most inspiring quality of any relationship, and it ensures we don’t miss the lessons we need to learn in life. And remaining in a relationship only because of a sense of duty will surely teach you how barren a loveless existence is.

Sometimes love comes to an end and you need to break up with someone. Here are some Breakup Quotes to consider—but we hope you won’t need to use or receive them often!

3. Top Birthday Quotes in Afrikaans

Birthdays are special. Make sure to enchant your Afrikaans friends with one of the best Afrikaans quotes for the occasion on their special day.

21. Mag jou lewe elke jaar beter wees.

Translation: “May your life get better every year.”

Meaning: 

This is a simple birthday wish that is universally useful. It expresses a positive and benevolent wish for someone to enjoy an exceedingly good life.

Friends at a Table Raising Their Wine Glasses in a Toast

22. Ek hoop hierdie verjaarsdag is net so wonderlik soos jy!

Translation: “I hope this birthday is just as wonderful as you are!”

Meaning: 

The meaning is pretty straightforward. This is a positive and uplifting birthday message for a friend, a family member, or any special person! 

23. Navorsing wys dat mense met die meeste verjaarsdae leef die langste.

Translation: “Research shows that people with the most birthdays live the longest.”

Meaning: 

Yeah well, duh…! This is a funny birthday quote in Afrikaans that could, for instance, be used in a speech before a birthday party.

24. Tel jou seëninge en nie jou plooie nie!

Translation: “Count your blessings and not your wrinkles!”

Meaning: 

Another fun birthday quote you can use to tease the birthday person! However, it’s best not to use this with a woman if you don’t know her well yet.

Three Older Woman and One Man Playing Cards while Laughing

25. Oudword is onvermydelik; grootword is nie!

Translation: “Growing old is inevitable; growing up is not!”

Meaning: 

Another lighthearted quote that invites you to enjoy life with the innocence of a child, no matter what age you are.

26. ’n Warm hart steek ander aan die brand. Dankie vir jou wonderlike hart!

Translation: “A warm heart ignites others. Thank you for your wonderful heart!”

Meaning: 

This is a flattering character testimonial that’s well-suited for a speech at a birthday party or as a message in a card. Use this only if the person is indeed inspiring and warm-hearted, of course.

4. Top Afrikaans Friendship Quotes

What would our world be without friends and friendship? Celebrate your Afrikaner friends with these Afrikaans quotes on friendship, or simply marvel in their wisdom.

Older Ladies in the Same Funny Clothes Having Fun Next to a Pool

27. Allemansvriend is niemandsvriend.

Translation: “Everyman’s friend is no man’s friend.”

Meaning: 

This is an admonition to strive for more than likeability in your relationships. Not every person will like you or want to be your friend—that’s just life! Authenticity and being who you really are, no matter who you deal with, is of the greatest importance if you want good outcomes in life.

28. As die berg nie na Mohammed wil kom nie, moet Mohammed na die berg toe gaan.

Translation: “If the mountain doesn’t want to come to Mohammed, Mohammed should go to the mountain.”

Meaning: 

This quote, which is also well-known in English, refers to humility and the necessity of sometimes giving in in relationships. Every friendship involves both giving and taking. In essence, this saying reminds us to not always take or be stubborn.

Hiker Standing with Spread Arms on a Mountain

29. Hulle breek nie brandhout van dieselfde tak nie. 

Translation: “They don’t make firewood of the same branch.”

Meaning: 

This Afrikaans quote refers to people who cannot stand each other, so it could be used to describe a friendship or relationship gone wrong.

30. Boontjie kry sy loontjie.

Translation: Literally, “Every bean gets his rightful dues.” 

Meaning: 

This somewhat gleeful quote simply means that what comes to you is probably what you deserve. It’s not always used in a positive sense, though, especially not in friendships. If someone has done you harm, for instance, and then harm comes to them in some way or another, you might use this saying to comment on the situation. 

31. ‘n Ware vriend stap in wanneer ander uitstap.

Translation: “A true friend walks in when others walk out.”

Meaning: 

Another well-known saying in English. Sometimes, friends walk away from you when things get hard. But the true friends remain by your side, which is what the quote refers to. The saying is popularly attributed to columnist Walter Winchell, yet a version of it was recorded as early as 1916 in an Atlanta magazine called The Presbyterian of the South.

Young Man Opening a Door and Waving Hello

32. ‘n Enkele roos kan my tuin wees; ‘n enkele vriend, my wêreld.

Translation: “A single rose can be my garden; a single friend my world.”

Meaning: 

This quote expresses the value of true friendship. It’s accredited to American author and motivational speaker Felice Leonardo “Leo” Buscaglia, also known as “Dr. Love.” It means that one doesn’t need a lot of friends to be happy in life. A single good friend can mean the world and make all the difference.

33. Vriendskap is die enigste sement wat die wêreld by mekaar sal hou.

Translation: “Friendship is the only cement that will ever hold the world together.”

Meaning: 

Attributed to U.S. President Woodrow Wilson, this quote expresses the superior value of true friendship. It suggests that the world would fall apart if it weren’t for friendships.

Two Happy Couples, with the Men Carrying the Women on Their Backs

34. Vriende is daardie rare mense wat vra hoe dit met jou gaan en dan wag om jou antwoord te hoor.

Translation: “Friends are those rare people who ask how (we) are and then wait to hear the answer.”

Meaning: 

This slightly adapted quote was said to be first uttered by Ed Cunningham, U.S. TV sports announcer and personality. It suggests that people who care really listen to one another.


5. Top Funny Afrikaans Quotes

Sometimes you need a funny one-liner to open a meeting or lighten the mood in a conversation! We’ve translated a few great quotes in the Afrikaans language that you can use to this effect.

35. Dis beter om stil te bly en dwaas voor te kom as om te praat en so alle twyfel te verwyder.

Translation: “It’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Meaning: 

This quote means that it’s better to keep quiet and only appear stupid than to say something that is actually stupid! It’s popularly attributed to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln, but it more likely belongs to Maurice Switzer, who mentioned it in his book Mrs. Goose, Her Book (1906). Yet, a similar bit of wisdom was expressed much earlier in the Christian Bible, in Proverbs 17:28: “Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”

Young Man with His Forefinger in Front of His Mouth, Indicating: Keep Quiet

36. As ek ‘n tweegesig was, sou ek hierdie een gedra het?

Translation: “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?”

Meaning: 

A variation of this funny quote was apparently uttered by President Abraham Lincoln in a debate with Stephen Douglas, who accused him of being two-faced. Lincoln’s original retort was: “If I had two faces, would I be wearing this one?” 

To be “two-faced” means that you’re being inconsistent in what you say and how you deal with people. This quote often refers to someone who adapts the truth to suit the company they’re in, a trait which makes you unreliable, or even dishonest.

The particular saying is self-deprecating (joking about your own looks!) and a marvelous retort to an unfair accusation of duplicity.

37. Wat het oor jou lewer geloop?

Translation: “What walked over your liver?”

Meaning: 

This is an original Afrikaans saying and a funny way of asking someone why they’re angry. Just as the heart is traditionally considered the “seat” of love, the liver is the “seat” of anger. If asked in a non-confrontational manner, it could ease the atmosphere and allow the angry person to blow off steam.

38. As een deur toegaan en ‘n ander maak oop spook dit waarskynlik in jou huis.

Translation: “If one door closes and another opens, your house is probably haunted.”

Meaning: 

This line makes fun of the cliché that when one opportunity is lost, another one appears. While true, clichés can sound insincere when you’re placating or consoling someone.

If a friend feels really stuck, trying to soothe them with words that don’t correspond to their current life experiences could alienate them, even if you mean well! Rather, spoil them with something you know they like (such as chocolate or a glass of wine), and just hang around as a friend. Using this funny saying could also help lighten the mood!

Spooky Old House

39. Wees lief vir jou vyande. Dit maak hulle so kwaad.

Translation: “Love your enemies. It makes them so (damned) mad.”

Meaning: 

This quote is attributed to a P.D. East from the book Of Wit N Humor by Vincent Thnay.

It’s a reference to the verses in all holy scriptures that teach us to forgive and love our enemies, so as to relieve ourselves of the burden of pain and/or guilt. The quote is obviously a humorous take on this truth!

40. Natuurlik praat ek met myself. Soms het ek kundige advies nodig.

Translation: “Of course I talk to myself. Sometimes I need expert advice.”

Meaning: 

This is a well-known quip that’s been doing the rounds. It’s unclear where the saying originated from, but it’s a good retort if someone complains about you mumbling to yourself.

41. Die pen is magtiger as die swaard en heelwat makliker om mee te skryf.

Translation: “The pen is mightier than the sword and considerably easier to write with.”

Meaning: 

Comedian Marty Feldman was the first to utter this silliness, which could underscore the need to negotiate first and fight later! However, the saying originally referred to the immense power of the word, which should not be underestimated.

Hand and Books of a Person Busy Writing

42. Te veel van ‘n goeie ding is fantasties!

Translation: “Too much of a good thing is fantastic!”

Meaning: 

The literal wisdom of this quote is debatable, but that probably depends on the context! It’s a celebratory remark that could be a reminder to enjoy life.

43. Hy is so skelm, hy bid onder ‘ n skuilnaam.

Translation: “He’s such a crook, he prays under a pseudonym.”

Meaning: 

This funny quote is pretty self-explanatory! However, don’t use it to describe someone whose favor you want to win or keep, unless they know you’re joking.

44. Ondervinding is iets wat jy eers kry nadat jy dit nodig het.

Translation: “Experience is something you only get after you need it.”

Meaning: 

A truthful observation about life and how experience is gained!

6. Good Ways To Use Afrikaans Quotes

This is not difficult to do! Show off your newly learned Afrikaans in the following ways:

1. Puzzle and/or impress your friends with these quotes on Facebook or Twitter. 

2. Create a graphic with a stunning photo and an inspirational quote for your desktop background. But post it on Insta first!

3. Use a suitable quote in a birthday or wedding card for your Afrikaans friend and make their day! Your gesture will show that you care enough to wish them well in their own language, which will be appreciated.

4. Combine creativity and Afrikaans—paint or draw a poster for your room or classroom with a suitable quote in Afrikaans.

5. Make your own learning tool! Create a video or other visual media (with one of the many apps available online), using all of these quotes plus your favorite images or footage! Playing this over and over again will help you learn and remember full Afrikaans sentences. There are countless possibilities.

6. Memorize the quotes and their meanings, and pepper your Afrikaans conversations with them! Using idioms will make you sound more like a native Afrikaans speaker.

7. Make Use of AfrikaansPod101‘s Lessons and Tools to Learn Afrikaans!

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we’ve taught thousands of satisfied users to speak foreign languages. How do we do this? First, we inject fun and ease into learning! 

With us, students are assisted as they master vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation through state-of-the-art and fun online learning methods. 

A library replete with learning resources allows self-paced learning, in your own space at home! Our resources include thousands of video and audio recordings, culturally relevant lessons, and learning apps for your mobile devices. Each month, we add benefits with FREE bonuses and gifts to improve your experience. Our online Afrikaans Dictionary is indispensable and free!

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How to Tell Time in Afrikaans – It’s Easy!

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Like knowing your way around dates in Afrikaans (learn about that in our blog!), being able to tell time in Afrikaans is an equally important conversational skill to master. Also, it could save you a lot of embarrassment. 

What good would it be if you knew you had to pitch somewhere on Dinsdag (Tuesday), but you didn’t know the meaning of agtuur (“eight o’clock”)? Or which agtuur of the day was being referred to? 

Let AfrikaansPod101 make it easy for you. If you want, you can start with recorded vocabulary lessons like Talking about Time and dialogue examples such as Arriving at the Right Time in South Africa

First, let’s quickly get clarity on the two ways we tell time. Both are used to indicate time in Afrikaans.

Twelve-Hour Clock

This way of telling the time divides the twenty-four-hour day into two twelve-hour periods. These are referred to as a.m. (ante meridiem) and p.m. (post meridiem).  

Wristwatch

Afrikaners use this clock the most. The terms commonly used are voormiddag or the abbreviation v.m. (to indicate “ante meridiem/a.m.”), and namiddag or its abbreviation n.m. (to indicate “post meridiem/p.m.”).

These are most employed in writing, such as in: elf v.m. (“eleven a.m.)” or 09h00 n.m. (“09h00 p.m.”). 

In conversations, though, you’ll most likely use other adjectives that indicate p.m. or a.m. in Afrikaans. Read on for more about this.

Twenty-Four-Hour Clock

The twenty-four-hour clock is also called military or astronomical time. This time format is based on the entire twenty-four-hour period, with each hour of the day having its own number. 

When keeping time this way, the day starts at midnight and is indicated like this: 00:00. The last minute of the day is written as 23:59, or one minute before the next midnight. This system is clever and efficient. Therefore, it’s used by armed forces, pilots and airlines, astronomists, governments, hospitals, emergency services, and so forth. 

Apple Watch

In South Africa, this way of indicating the time isn’t commonly used colloquially, but more in writing.

How to write time in Afrikaans depends on the type of document you’re writing it down for. If you’re indicating the time in a non-fiction document, such as in a formal report, statement, or legal document, you can use either 12h00 or 12:00. Depending on which clock you use, you’ll either omit or add p.m. or a.m. in Afrikaans.

If you’re noting the time in a work of fiction, such as part of a dialogue, you’ll write it out in full, such as in “six o’clock” (sesuur).

Let’s get cracking on how to ask what time it is in Afrikaans, and how to tell it!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Time Phrases in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. How to Ask for the Time in Afrikaans
  2. Hours / Ure
  3. Minutes / Minute
  4. Periods of Time in Afrikaans
  5. General Time References
  6. Adverbs of Time in Afrikaans
  7. BONUS! Time Proverbs, Sayings, and Odd Terms in Afrikaans
  8. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Tell the Time in Afrikaans in No Time!

1. How to Ask for the Time in Afrikaans

Time

1- Formal

The following are polite and socially refined ways of asking the time in excellent Afrikaans. Use it if you want to impress someone! 

Afrikaans: Kan u my sê wat die tyd is, asseblief?

Translation: “Could you tell me the time, please?”

Note: The u (“you”) in Afrikaans is the formal type of address, mostly used when talking to complete strangers, dignitaries, or older people you don’t know well. You can also use this sentence with the informal “you,” which is jy.

Afrikaans: Mag ek verneem wat die tyd is, asseblief?

Translation: “May I ask the time, please?”

2- Informal

Afrikaans: Hoe laat is dit nou, ‘seblief?

Translation: “What’s the time now, please?”

Note: “How late is it now, please?” is the literal translation of this Afrikaans sentence, but in English, you’d ask the question in a specific context. You’d use it, for instance, if you wanted to know how late at night it is, to which an answer could be: “very late” or “still early.”

In Afrikaans, though, this question is a common way of asking the time. Also note the contraction of asseblief (“please”). If you don’t know the person very well, or if you’re addressing a parent or older family member, it’s polite to use ‘seblief. If it’s your mate and you’re comfortable with one another, it’s okay to omit this word when asking for the time.

Afrikaans: Wat’s die tyd?

Translation: “What’s the time?”

Note: The same applies for ‘seblief as above. Also note the contraction for wat is to wat’s. (Like “what is” becomes “what’s.”)

Afrikaans: Hoe lank gaan dit neem om daar te kom?

Translation: “How long will it take to get there?”

Passengers Walking at Airport

Afrikaans: Hoe laat/Watter tyd moet ons by die lughawe wees?

Translation: “How late/What time must we be at the airport?”

What would the reply look like to questions like these?

2. Hours / Ure

There’s no distinction between a formal and informal way of telling time in Afrikaans. Keep in mind that you can also use an approximation with adverbs or adjectives.

Afrikaans: Dis nou presies agtuur.

Translation: “It’s now exactly eight o’clock.”

Afrikaans: Dit neem ongeveer ‘n uur om daar te kom.

Translation: “It takes approximately an hour to get there.”

Afrikaans: Ons vlieg nege-uur vanaand. So ons moet om-en-by sewe by die lughawe wees.

Translation: “We’re flying at nine o’clock tonight. So we must be at the airport around seven.”

Note: Just like with “o’clock,” the uur is sometimes omitted in casual conversations.

3. Minutes / Minute

Like in most casual and conversational English, noting the precise number of minutes isn’t very common in Afrikaans. Simply add the appropriate number to minuut (singular) or minute (plural). 

Afrikaans: Hy hardloop vir ‘n minuut.

Translation: “He runs for a minute.”

Afrikaans: Ek gaan vir so twintig minute stort.

Translation: “I’m going to shower for approximately twenty minutes.”

Afrikaans: Die winkel is nog oop vir ‘n uur en vyftien minute.

Translation:The shop is still open for an hour and fifteen minutes.”

Frustration, Payphone Wristwatch

Afrikaans: Sy praat nou al vir ses-en-dertig minute!

Translation: “She’s been talking for thirty-six minutes already!”

4. Periods of Time in Afrikaans

Improve Listening

This has got nothing to do with Downton Abbey or Outlander. It refers to the divisions of an hour into quarters and halves. 

This is how we say it in Afrikaans:

Afrikaans: kwart oor drie and kwart voor vyf

Translation: “quarter past three” and “quarter to five”

Note: Here, “quarter” and kwart are contractions of “quarter of an hour” and kwartier. It is, of course, a fifteen-minute increment.

Afrikaans: half vier

Translation: “half past three”

Note: Nope, it’s not wrong, and it can seem confusing. But it’s very easily explained. In English, talking about half of an hour (“half past three”) literally means: “It’s now a half-an-hour past/after three o’clock.” In Afrikaans, instead, talking about half of an hour (half vier) means: “It is now a half-an-hour to/before four o’clock.” Same thing, different angles, so to speak! It takes a bit of practice if you’re not used to it, but once you understand the concept, it’s very easy.

Afrikaans: Ons vertrek oor ‘n halfuur van die huis af.

Translation: “We’re leaving home in half an hour.”

Taxi

Afrikaans: Die taxi gaan oor ‘n driekwartier hier wees.

Translation: “The taxi will be here in three quarters of an hour/forty-five minutes.”

5. General Time References

The following time words in Afrikaans are common references pertaining to time.

Afrikaans: oggend and aand

Translation: “morning” and “evening”

Example: Die oggend is koel, net soos die aand. 

Translation: “The morning is cool, just like the evening.”

Afrikaans: nag and middernag

Translation: “night” and “midnight”

Example: Die nag is stil en middernag is donker.

Translation: “The night is quiet and midnight is dark.”

Afrikaans: vroegoggend and laataand

Translation: “early morning” and “late in the evening”

Example: Ons vertrek vroegoggend en keer laataand terug.

Translation: “We leave early in the morning and will return late in the evening.”

Afrikaans: laatnag

Translation: “late at night”

Example: Hy verkies dit om laatnag te ry.

Translation: “He prefers driving late at night.”

Afrikaans: sonsopkoms

Translation: “sunrise”

Example: Die sonsopkoms is asemrowend mooi. 

Translation: “The sunrise is breathtakingly beautiful.”

Sunrise or Sunset

Afrikaans: sonsondergang

Translation: “sunset”

Example: Die sonsondergang is net so mooi.

Translation: “The sunset is equally beautiful.”

Afrikaans: vanmiddag

Translation: “afternoon”

Example: Wat gaan ons vanmiddag eet? 

Translation: “What are we eating this afternoon?”

Afrikaans: middag

Translation: “midday”

Example: Teen die middag was hy gesond. 

Translation: “By midday, he was well.”

6. Adverbs of Time in Afrikaans

Afrikaans: onmiddelik

Translation: “right now” or “immediately”

Example: Hy wil sy kos onmiddelik hê. 

Translation: “He wants his food right now.”

Man Eating Food

Afrikaans: oombliklik

Translation: “instantly” 

Example: Die kos is oombliklik reg.

Translation: “The food is instantly ready.”

Afrikaans: ‘n oomblik

Translation: “momentarily”

Example: Sy bly ‘n oomblik stil.

Translation: “She pauses momentarily.”

Afrikaans: tans

Translation: “currently”

Example: Dis tans winter by ons.

Translation: “It’s currently winter here.”

Afrikaans: intussen 

Translation: “meanwhile”

Example: Intussen, neem die pynstillers tot die dokter beskikbaar is.

Translation: “Meanwhile, take the painkillers until the doctor is available.”

Afrikaans: voor en na

Translation: “before” and “after” OR “afterward”

Example: Moenie die pille neem voor jy geëet het nie. Neem dit na die tyd.

Translation: “Don’t take the pills before you’ve eaten. Take them afterward.”

Pills

Afrikaans: terselfdertyd OR die selfde tyd

Translation: “simultaneously”

Example: Moenie pille en drank terselfdertyd neem nie.

Translation: “Don’t take pills and alcohol simultaneously.”

Afrikaans: binnekort and amper 

Translation: “soon” and “almost”

Example: Ons gaan binnekort ry. Ek is amper reg.

Translation: “We’re leaving soon. I’m almost ready.”

Afrikaans: nou-nou

Translation: “in a while”

Example: Die taxi is nou-nou hier.

Translation: “The taxi will be here in a while.”

Afrikaans: vir ‘n lang tyd

Translation: “for a long time”

Example: Gaan julle ‘n lang tyd weg?

Translation: “Are you going away for a long time?”

Afrikaans: lankal

Translation: “for a long time already/now”

Example: Ons is al lankal hier.

Translation: “We’ve been here for a long time already.”

Afrikaans: enige tyd 

Translation: “anytime”

Example: Bel my enige tyd.

Translation: “Call me anytime.”

Afrikaans: so gou as moontlik

Translation: “as soon as possible”

Example: Ek sal jou so gou as moontlik kontak.

Translation: “I will call you as soon as possible.”

Phonecall

7. BONUS! Time Proverbs, Sayings, and Odd Terms in Afrikaans

Afrikaans is a colorful, literal language, and some of its sayings about time are very quaint. Here are the most common and interesting Afrikaans time sayings! 

Afrikaans: Moenie wors in ‘n hondehok soek nie.

Translation: “Don’t look for sausage in a kennel.”

Meaning: Don’t waste time on a lost cause!

Afrikaans: draaikous

Translation: Literally, this translates as “turn sock.” Nope, we don’t know either! But it means the same thing as “dawdler.”

Example: Die seun is ‘n regte draaikous!

Meaning: “That boy is a real dawdler!”

Afrikaans: hanna-hanna

Translation: There’s not a literal translation for this term.

Meaning: It’s an old Cape-Afrikaans saying that gets used when someone takes their time doing something.

Example: Jy hanna-hanna nou lekker met jou huiswerk, nê?

Translation: Approximation – “You’re dawdling with your homework, hey?”

Afrikaans: Die oggendstond het goud in die mond.

Translation: “Early dawn has gold in the mouth.”

Meaning: This means that those who rise early get more done.

Afrikaans: hoeka

Translation: Another one without a translation! An approximation would be “for a while now,” which means almost the same as lankal (discussed under the previous heading).

Example: Hy wag hoeka vir daardie verslag. 

Translation: “He’s been waiting a while already for the report.”

Afrikaans: gevrek

Translation: “dead”

Meaning: Literally, it means something is dead, but it’s often used to indicate that someone is very slow and takes their time. It’s not a very flattering or polite way to describe a person, though!

Example: Die diens hier is maar gevrek!

Translation: “The service here is very slow!”

Do you have a favorite proverb or saying about time in your language? Share with us in the comments!

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8. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Tell the Time in Afrikaans in No Time!

Basic Questions

Don’t be a draaikous and waste precious time—enrol now with AfrikaansPod101! As a beginner, you’ll get access to helpful audio lessons, such as Choosing a Delivery Time in South Africa. Intermediate learners get access to dialogue examples such as What Time is it in South Africa? All of our lessons are designed to teach you how to sound like a native speaker from the word “go!”

That’s not all—you’ll have plenty of FREE learning tools at your disposal, such as many culturally-relevant vocabulary lists, a fantastic online Afrikaans Dictionary, and thousands of lessons in different formats!

Easily learn and practice Afrikaans grammar, vocabulary, reading & writing, comprehension, and much more with AfrikaansPod101!

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Afrikaans Etiquette in South Africa: What You Need to Know

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

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

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

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Table of Contents

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

1. Afrikaans Etiquette in General

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

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

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

1- Do’s

1. Do be Straightforward and Honest

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

Women Sticking Out Hand for Greeting

2. Greeting Etiquette in South Africa: Initial Greetings

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

3. Making Friends & Body Language

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

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

Party People Laughing Toast

4. Ask How They Are

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

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

5. Gift-Giving Etiquette in South Africa

Thanks

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

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

6. Wedding Etiquette

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

Wedding Couple

7. Etiquette Rules in South Africa for Expressing Condolences

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

8. Hygiene and Dress Code

Hygiene

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

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

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

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

2- Don’ts

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

1. Don’t be Disrespectful or Dishonest

Bad Phrases

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

2. No Spitting in Public

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

3. Cover Your Mouth When Yawning

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

Man Yawning

4. Avoid Political Discussions

Business

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

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

5. Avoid Religious Discussions

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

2. Dining Etiquette in South Africa

Women Restaurant

1- Table Manners

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

2- Tipping Etiquette in South Africa

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

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

3- Saying Thank You

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

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

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

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we’ve taught thousands of satisfied users to speak foreign languages. How do we do this? First, we inject fun and ease into learning!

With us, students are assisted as they master vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation through state-of-the-art and fun online learning methods.

A library replete with learning resources allows self-paced learning, and in your own space at home! Resources include thousands of video and audio recordings, culturally-relevant lessons, and plenty of learning apps for your mobile devices. Each month, we add benefits with FREE bonuses and gifts to improve your experience. Our online Afrikaans Dictionary is indispensable and free!

Speed up your learning by enrolling in Premium Plus, and get your own teacher! Our lively, friendly native-Afrikaans hosts will do an assessment test to determine your level, and then tailor lessons to suit your needs.

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

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

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

Table of Contents

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

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1. Background – The Gregorian Calendar

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

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

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

Dates!

Dates

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

2. The Calendar Months of the Year in Afrikaans

Months

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

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

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

3. The Calendar Days of the Week in Afrikaans

Weekdays

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

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

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

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

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

1 Januarie
or
30 Desember

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

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

or

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

4. Vocabulary Related to Dates

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

Airplane in Flight

1- “Day” / Dag

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

2- “Date” / Datum

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

3- “Month” / Maand

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

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

4- “Week” / Week

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

5- “Weekend” / Naweek

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

5. Important Days on the South African Calendar

Numbers

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

The most important national holidays are the following:

1- March 21 – Human Rights Day / Menseregte Dag

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

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

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

2- April 27 – Freedom Day / Vryheidsdag

South African Flag Freedom Day

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

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

3- June 16 -Youth Day / Jeugdag

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

Multiracial Hands Together, Pact

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

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

Today, their sacrifice is commemorated as Youth Day.

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

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

Women Protesting

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

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

5- September 24 – Heritage Day / Erfenisdag

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

South African Heritage Day, Woman in Traditional Gear

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

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

6- December 16 – Reconciliation Day / Herenigingsdag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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How to Say Happy New Year in Afrikaans & New Year Wishes

Learn all the Afrikaans New Year wishes online, in your own time, on any device! Join AfrikaansPod101 for a special Afrikaans New Year celebration!

How to Say Happy New Year in Afrikaans

Can you relate to the year passing something like this: “January, February, March – December!”? Many people do! Quantum physics teaches us that time is relative, and few experiences illustrate this principle as perfectly as when we reach the end of a year. To most of us, it feels like the old one has passed in the blink of an eye, while the new year lies ahead like a very long journey! However, New Year is also a time to celebrate beginnings, and to say goodbye to what has passed. This is true in every culture, no matter when New Year is celebrated.

So, how do you say Happy New Year in Afrikaans? Let a native teach you! At AfrikaansPod101, you will learn how to correctly greet your friends over New Year, and wish them well with these Afrikaans New Year wishes!

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Table of Contents

  1. How to Celebrate New Year in South Africa
  2. Must-Know Afrikaans Words & Phrases for the New Year!
  3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions in Afrikaans
  4. Inspirational New Year Quotes
  5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes
  6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages
  7. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Learn Afrikaans

But let’s start with some vocabulary for Afrikaans New Year celebrations, very handy for conversations.

1. How to Celebrate New Year in South Africa

How to Celebrate New Year

In South Africa, New Year’s day is a time for carousing with big soirees all over the country. In South Africa, January 1 is a public holiday, just as it is for all African countries, whether or not they celebrate New Year’s Day on that date or not. The holiday falls during the hot summer, so many South Africans spend it outside.

The nation’s beaches are a popular destination, especially the Eastern and Western Cape and the KwaZulu-Natal beaches, and South Africans have a penchant for barbecuing on the beach or at a garden or park. Hotels and bars also host huge parties for the holiday. Cape Town’s Victoria and Alfred Waterfront plays host to one of South Africa’s largest New Year’s Day celebrations with cavorting, music, fireworks, feasting, and lots to do and see. For some on New Year’s, sobriety is out of the question.

Often the parties spill into the second day of the year as well, and many people attend the Cape Carnival in Cape Town on January 2, which marks the one ephemeral day a year when slaves were allowed to take a day off. Participants spend many months rehearsing the songs or dances they will perform at the carnival. They also spend a lot of time preparing their costumes. Sometimes the preparations for the carnival start as early as August or even July. Minstrels are a big part of the Cape Carnival, with up to 10,000 banjo players performing in the District Six streets on the way toward Green Point Stadium.

Happy Near Year!
Gelukkige Nuwe Jaar!

2. Must-Know Afrikaans Words & Phrases for the New Year!

Afrikaans Words & Phrases for the New Year

1- Year

jaar

This is pretty self-explanatory. Most countries follow a Gregorian calendar, which has approximately 365 days in a year, while in some cultures, other year designations are also honored. Therefore, New Year’s day in South Africa could fall on a different day than in your country. When do you celebrate New Year?

2- Midnight

middernag

The point in time when a day ends and a new one starts. Many New Year celebrants prefer to stay awake till midnight, and greet the new annum as it breaks with fanfare and fireworks!

3- New Year’s Day

Nuwejaars dag

In most countries, the new year is celebrated for one whole day. On the Gregorian calendar, this falls on January 1st. On this day, different cultures engage in festive activities, like parties, parades, big meals with families and many more.

You can do it!

4- Party

partytjie

A party is most people’s favorite way to end the old year, and charge festively into the new one! We celebrate all we accomplished in the old year, and joyfully anticipate what lies ahead.

5- Dancing

dans

Usually, when the clock strikes midnight and the New Year officially begins, people break out in dance! It is a jolly way to express a celebratory mood with good expectations for the year ahead. Also, perhaps, that the old year with its problems has finally passed! Dance parties are also a popular way to spend New Year’s Eve in many places.

6- Champagne

sjampanje

Originating in France, champagne is a bubbly, alcoholic drink that is often used to toast something or someone during celebrations.

7- Fireworks

vuurwerk

These are explosives that cause spectacular effects when ignited. They are popular for announcing the start of the new year with loud noises and colorful displays! In some countries, fireworks are set off to scare away evil spirits. In others, the use of fireworks is forbidden in urban areas due to their harmful effect on pets. Most animals’ hearing is much more sensitive than humans’, so this noisy display can be very frightful and traumatising to them.

Happy Near Year!

8- Countdown

aftelling

This countdown refers to New Year celebrants counting the seconds, usually backward, till midnight, when New Year starts – a great group activity that doesn’t scare animals, and involves a lot of joyful shouting when the clock strikes midnight!

9- New Year’s Holiday

Nuwejaarsdag Vakansie

In many countries, New Year’s Day is a public holiday – to recuperate from the party the previous night, perhaps! Families also like to meet on this day to enjoy a meal and spend time together.

10- Confetti

confetti

In most Western countries, confetti is traditionally associated with weddings, but often it is used as a party decoration. Some prefer to throw it in the air at the strike of midnight on New Year’s Eve.

11- New Year’s Eve

Oujaarsdag

This is the evening before New Year breaks at midnight! Often, friends and family meet for a party or meal the evening before, sometimes engaging in year-end rituals. How are you planning to give your New Year greetings in 2018?

12- Toast

roosterbrood

A toast is a type of group-salutation that involves raising your glass to drink with others in honor of something or someone. A toast to the new year is definitely in order!

13- Resolution

resolusie

Those goals or intentions you hope to, but seldom keep in the new year! Many people consider the start of a new year to be the opportune time for making changes or plans. Resolutions are those intentions to change, or the plans. It’s best to keep your resolutions realistic so as not to disappoint yourself!

14- Parade

parade

New Year celebrations are a huge deal in some countries! Parades are held in the streets, often to celebratory music, with colorful costumes and lots of dancing. Parades are like marches, only less formal and way more fun. At AfrikaansPod101, you can engage in forums with natives who can tell you what Afrikaans New Year celebrations are like!

3. Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions List

So, you learned the Afrikaans word for ‘resolution’. Fabulous! Resolutions are those goals and intentions that we hope to manifest in the year that lies ahead. The beginning of a new year serves as a good marker in time to formalise these. Some like to do it in writing, others only hold these resolutions in their hearts. Here are our Top 10 New Year’s resolutions at AfrikaansPod101 – what are yours?

Learn these phrases and impress your Afrikaans friends with your vocabulary.

New Year's Resolutions

1- Read more

Lees meer.

Reading is a fantastic skill that everyone can benefit from. You’re a business person? Apparently, successful business men and women read up to 60 books a year. This probably excludes fiction, so better scan your library or Amazon for the top business reads if you plan to follow in the footsteps of the successful! Otherwise, why not make it your resolution to read more Afrikaans in the new year? You will be surprised by how much this will improve your Afrikaans language skills!

2- Spend more time with family

Spandeer meer tyd saam met familie

Former US President George Bush’s wife, Barbara Bush, was quoted as having said this: “At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict, or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, a parent.” This is very true! Relationships are often what gives life meaning, so this is a worthy resolution for any year.

3- Lose weight

Gewig verloor

Hands up, how many of you made this new year’s resolution last year too…?! This is a notoriously difficult goal to keep, as it takes a lot of self discipline not to eat unhealthily. Good luck with this one, and avoid unhealthy fad diets!

4- Save money

Spaar geld

Another common and difficult resolution! However, no one has ever been sorry when they saved towards reaching a goal. Make it your resolution to save money to upgrade your subscription to AfrikaansPod101’s Premium PLUS option in the new year – it will be money well spent!

5- Quit smoking

Ophou rook

This is a resolution that you should definitely keep, or your body could punish you severely later! Smoking is a harmful habit with many hazardous effects on your health. Do everything in your power to make this resolution come true in the new year, as your health is your most precious asset.

6- Learn something new

Leer iets nuuts

Science has proven that learning new skills can help keep brain diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s at bay! It can even slow down the progression of the disease. So, keep your brain healthy by learning to speak a new language, studying towards a qualification, learning how to sew, or how to play chess – no matter how old you are, the possibilities are infinite!

7- Drink less

Drink minder

This is another health resolution that is good to heed any time of the year. Excessive drinking is associated with many diseases, and its effect can be very detrimental to good relationships too. Alcohol is a poison and harmful for the body in large quantities!

8- Exercise regularly

Oefen gereeld

This resolution goes hand-in-hand with ‘Lose weight’! An inactive body is an unhealthy and often overweight one, so give this resolution priority in the new year.

9- Eat healthy

Eet gesond

If you stick with this resolution, you will lose weight and feel better in general. It is a very worthy goal to have!

10- Study Afrikaans with AfrikaansPod101

leer Afrikaans met AfrikaansPod101.com

Of course! You can only benefit from learning Afrikaans, especially with us! Learning how to speak Afrikaans can keep your brain healthy, it can widen your circle of friends, and improve your chances to land a dream job anywhere in the world. AfrikaansPod101 makes it easy and enjoyable for you to stick to this resolution.

4. Inspirational New Year Quotes

Inspirational Quotes

Everyone knows that it is sometimes very hard to stick to resolutions, and not only over New Year. The reasons for this vary from person to person, but all of us need inspiration every now and then! A good way to remain motivated is to keep inspirational quotes near as reminders that it’s up to us to reach our goals.

Click here for quotes that will also work well in a card for a special Afrikaans new year greeting!

Make decorative notes of these in Afrikaans, and keep them close! Perhaps you could stick them above your bathroom mirror, or on your study’s wall. This way you not only get to read Afrikaans incidentally, but also remain inspired to reach your goals! Imagine feeling like giving up on a goal, but reading this quote when you go to the bathroom: “It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop.” What a positive affirmation!

5. Inspirational Language Learning Quotes

Language Learning Quotes

Still undecided whether you should enroll with AfrikaansPod101 to learn a new language? There’s no time like the present to decide! Let the following Language Learning Quotes inspire you with their wisdom.

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As legendary President Nelson Mandela once said: “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” So, learning how to say Happy New Year in Afrikaans could well be a way into someone special’s heart for you! Let this year be the one where you to learn how to say Happy New Year, and much more, in Afrikaans – it could open many and unexpected doors for you.

6. How To Say Happy New Year in 31 Languages

Here’s a lovely bonus for you! Why stop with Afrikaans – learn how to say Happy New Year in 31 other languages too! Watch this video and learn how to pronounce these New Year’s wishes like a native in under two minutes.

7. Why Enrolling with AfrikaansPod101 Would Be the Perfect New Year’s Gift to Yourself!

If you are unsure how to celebrate the New Year, why not give yourself a huge gift, and enroll to learn Afrikaans! With more than 12 years of experience behind us, we know that AfrikaansPod101 would be the perfect fit for you. There are so many reasons for this!

Learning Paths

  • Custom-tailored Learning Paths: Start learning Afrikaans at the level that you are. We have numerous Learning Pathways, and we tailor them just for you based on your goals and interests! What a boon!
  • Marked Progress and Fresh Learning Material Every Week: We make new lessons available every week, with an option to track your progress. Topics are culturally appropriate and useful, such as “Learning how to deliver negative answers politely to a business partner.” Our aim is to equip you with Afrikaans that makes sense!
  • Multiple Learning Tools: Learn in fun, easy ways with resources such 1,000+ video and audio lessons, flashcards, detailed PDF downloads, and mobile apps suitable for multiple devices!
  • Fast Track Learning Option: If you’re serious about fast-tracking your learning, Premium Plus would be the perfect way to go! Enjoy perks such as personalised lessons with ongoing guidance from your own, native-speaking teacher, and one-on-one learning on your mobile app! You will not be alone in your learning. Weekly assignments with non-stop feedback, answers and corrections will ensure speedy progress.
  • Fun and Easy: Keeping the lessons fun and easy-to-learn is our aim, so you will stay motivated by your progress!

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There’s no reason not to go big in 2018 by learning Afrikaans with AfrikaansPod101. Just imagine how the world can open up for you!

How To Say ‘Thank you’ in Afrikaans

How to Say Thank You in Afrikaans

In most cultures, it is custom to express gratitude in some way or another. The dictionary defines gratitude as follows: it is “the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness”. Giving a sincere, thankful response to someone’s actions or words is often the ‘glue’ that keeps relationships together. This is true in most societies! Doing so in a foreign country also shows your respect and appreciation for the culture. Words have great power – use these ones sincerely and often!

Table of Contents

  1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in Afrikaans
  2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes
  3. Infographic & Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases – Thank You
  4. Video Lesson: ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages
  5. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You

So, how do you say ‘Thank you’ in Afrikaans? You can learn easily! Below, AfrikaansPod101 brings you perfect translations and pronunciation as you learn the most common ways Afrikaans speakers say ‘Thanks’ in various situations.

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1. 12 Ways to say ‘Thank you’ in Afrikaans

1- Thank you.

Dankie.

The magical words that can bring a smile to any face. For one day, truly mean it whenever you say these words, and see how this lifts your spirit too!

2- That’s very kind of you.

Dit is baie gaaf van jou.

This phrase is appropriate when someone clearly goes out of their way to give good service, or to offer you a kindness.

3- Thanks for your kind words!

Dankie vir jou vriendelike woorde!

Someone paid you a compliment and made you feel good? That is kind of him/her, so express your gratitude!

4- Thank you for coming today.

Dankie dat julle gekom het vandag.

This welcoming phrase should be part of your arsenal if you’re conducting more formal meetings with Afrikaans speakers. If you’re hosting a party, this is also a good phrase when you greet your Afrikaans guests!

5- Thank you for your consideration.

Dankie dat julle dit oorweeg.

This is a more formal, almost solemn way to thank someone for their thoughtfulness and sensitivity towards you. It is also suitable to use when a native speaker has to consider something you submit, like a job application, a project or a proposal. You are thanking them, in essence, for time and effort they are about to, or have spent on your submission.

6- Thanks a lot!

Baie dankie!

This means the same as ‘Thank you’, but with energy and enthusiasm added! It means almost the same as ‘thank you so much’ in Afrikaans. Use this in an informal setting with your Afrikaans friends or teachers.

7- Teachers like you are not easy to find.

Onderwysers soos jy is nie maklik om te vind nie.

Some phrases are compliments, which express gratitude by inference. This is one of them. If you’re particularly impressed with your AfrikaansPod101 teacher, this is an excellent phrase to memorize!

8- Thank you for spending time with us.

Dankie dat julle tyd saam ons spandeer het.

Any host at a gathering with Afrikaans speakers, such as a meeting or a party, should have this under his/her belt! Use it when you’re saying goodbye or busy closing a meeting. It could also be another lovely way to thank your Afrikaans language teacher for her time.

9- Thank you for being patient and helping me improve.

Baie dankie dat jy geduldig is en my help om te verbeter.

This phrase is another sure way to melt any formal or informal Afrikaans teacher’s heart! Teaching is not easy, and often a lot of patience is required from the teacher. Thank him/her for it! It’s also a good phrase to use if you work in South Africa, and want to thank your trainer or employer. You will go a long way towards making yourself a popular employee – gratitude is the most attractive trait in any person!

10- You’re the best teacher ever!

Jy is die beste onderwyser ooit!

This is also an enthusiastic way to thank your teacher by means of a compliment. It could just make their day!

11- Thank you for the gift.

Dankie vir die geskenk.

This is a good phrase to remember when you’re the lucky recipient of a gift. Show your respect and gratitude with these words.

12- I have learned so much thanks to you.

Ek het so baie geleer te danke aan jou.

What a wonderful compliment to give a good teacher! It means they have succeeded in their goal, and you’re thankful for it.

2. Video Lesson: Learn to Say ‘Thank You’ in 3 Minutes

Wherever your destination maybe, manners are a must! And in this respect, South Afrika is no different.

1. Dankie
The most important lesson to remember is that In Afrikaans, “Thank you” is dankie.

2. Baie Dankie Vir Alles
Another useful phrase is Baie dankie vir alles. Baie and dankie together mean “Thank you very much”. Next, the component vir, means “for” and the component alles means “everything”. So the whole phrase for “Thank you for everything” is Baie dankie vir alles.

3. Baie Dankie Meneer
If you want to be really polite, you could say Baie dankie meneer. It means “Thank you, sir.” Say “Thank you” or baie dankie then add the word meneer which means “sir” or “mister.” With a female speaker, you can say Baie dankie mevrou which means “Thank you, madam.” You would use this phrase to show your respect for older people, or people that you don’t know.

Cultural Insights

Quick Tip

Baie dankie is the most common way to say “Thank you” by far. Remember, when in doubt, keeping it simple is your safest bet. It doesn’t matter if it’s a formal or informal situation; you can use Baie dankie with just about anyone, anywhere, at anytime. You can say Baie dankie when the waiter brings your food or drinks, when the clerk in the hotel takes your luggage to your room (of course, tipping them won’t hurt either!), or when someone welcomes or congratulates you. It doesn’t matter who the person is; Baie dankie will always be an appropriate response.

On the run to South Africa? Wait! You can’t go without some basic language phrases under your belt! Especially if you’re heading to meet your prospective employer! Either in person or online, knowing how to say ‘Thank you’ in the Afrikaans language will only improve their impression of you! AfrikaansPod101 saves you time with this short lesson that nevertheless packs a punch. Learn to say ‘Thank you’ in Afrikaans in no time!

3. Audio Lesson: Survival Phrases – Thank You

5 Ways to Say Thank You in Afrikaans

Perhaps you think it’s unimportant that you don’t know what ‘Thank you’ is in Afrikaans, or that it’s too difficult a language to learn. Yet, as a traveler or visitor, you will be surprised at how far you can go using a little bit of Afrikaans in South Africa!

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At AfrikaansPod101, we offer you a few ways of saying ‘Thank you’ in Afrikaans that you have no excuse not knowing, as they’re so simple and easy to learn. The lesson is geared to aid your ‘survival’ in formal and informal situations in South Africa, so don’t wait! You will never have to google ‘How do you say thanks in Afrikaans’ again…!

4. ‘Thank You’ in 31 Languages

For the global traveler in a hurry, here are 31 ways to say ‘Thank you’! These are the first words you need to learn in any foreign language – it is sure to smooth your way with native speakers by showing your gratitude for services rendered, and your respect for their culture! Learn and know how to correctly say ‘Thank you’ in 31 different languages in this short video.

5. Why would AfrikaansPod101 be the perfect choice to learn Afrikaans?

However, you need not stop at ‘Thank you’ in Afrikaans – why not learn to speak the language?! You have absolutely nothing to lose. Research has shown that learning a new language increases intelligence and combats brain-aging. Also, the ability to communicate with native speakers in their own language is an instant way to make friends and win respect! Or imagine you know how to write ‘Thank you’ to that special Afrikaans friend after a date…he/she will be so impressed!

Thank You

AfrikaansPod101 Has Special Lessons, Tools and Resources to Teach You How to Say Thank You and Other Key Phrases

With more than a decade of experience behind us, we have taught thousands of satisfied users to speak foreign languages. How do we do this? First, we take the pain out of learning! At AfrikaansPod101, students are assisted as they master vocabulary, pronunciation, and conversation through state-of-the-art and fun online learning methods. A library replete with learning resources allows for you to learn at your own pace and in your own space! Resources include thousands of video and audio recordings, downloadable PDF lessons and plenty of learning apps for your mobile devices. Each month, we add benefits with FREE bonuses and gifts to improve your experience.

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We accommodate all levels and types of learners, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and AfrikaansPod101 is free for anyone to sign up. However, you can choose to fast track your fluency with lesson customization and increased interactive learning and practicing. Upgrade to Premium, or Premium PLUS to enhance your experience and greatly expedite your learning. With this type of assistance, and pleasurable effort on your part, you will speak Afrikaans in a very short period of time!

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Best of all is that you’re never alone! We believe that practice is the holy grail of learning any new language, and we gear our courses to ensure lots of it. Enroll with us, and you gain immediate access to our lively forum where we meet and greet, and discuss your burning questions. Our certified teachers are friendly and helpful, and you are very likely to practice your first ‘Thanks!’ in Afrikaans on him/her, AND mean it! Hurry up, and sign up now – you will thank us for it.