Get a 40% off forever discount with the ready, set, speak sale! Ends soon!
Get a 40% off forever discount with the ready, set, speak sale! Ends soon! Blog
Learn Afrikaans with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Afrikaans Podcasts' Category

The Best Afrikaans Podcasts to Boost Your Learning!


Before we start discussing the best Afrikaans podcasts (free language learning tools of note, especially if you sign up with us at AfrikaansPod101), did you know that the translation of “podcast” in Afrikaans is potgooi? When literally translated, the word potgooi has zero relation to the (usually) downloadable episodic talk recordings streamed online.

Let me explain. Pot is a homophone of the English word “pod,” but literally, pot has the same meaning as the English “pot”—a noun describing certain containers, such as the cooking vessel that’s typically found in the kitchen, the container in which to grow plants, and so forth. 

Interestingly, “pot” is also a transitive verb that means “to hit” or “to shoot” in both languages:

  • Die klip pot die teiken reg in die middel. (“The stone pots the target right in the center.”)
  • Sy vuis pot die dief op die ken. (“His fist hits the thief on the chin.”) 

In Afrikaans, it’s generally used this way more often than in English, though.

The second part of the word, gooi, is also a verb. It means “to throw,” or…wait for it…”to cast.”

A Young Woman Lying in the Grass, Listening to a Recording through Headphones

Luister na ‘n potgooi enige plek, enige tyd. (“Listen to a podcast anywhere, anytime.”)

So, if you found the word a bit puzzling, that’s okay. As you now know, nobody’s throwing around kitchenware or potted plants when using potgooie (“podcasts”). In English, “cast” is derived from “broadcast,” which is exactly what these digital audio files are: a form of online episodic broadcasting. “Pod” is short for “iPod“—the portable electronic media player that replaced Walkmans in the early 2000s.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Why You Should Use Afrikaans Podcasts for Language Learning
  2. The Best Afrikaans Podcasts for Learners
  3. How Can AfrikaansPod101 Podcasts Help You Learn Afrikaans?

1. Why You Should Use Afrikaans Podcasts for Language Learning

Why should you love Afrikaans podcasts? Free language learning tools abound on the internet, and podcasts are among the most popular of these. Here are a few reasons why they’re ideal for learning Afrikaans.

  • Podcasts are extremely convenient and easy to use. All you need is internet access.
  • You can download podcast episodes onto your device to listen to repeatedly—anywhere, anytime.
  • It’s an economical means of sharpening your Afrikaans skills (such as pronunciation and vocabulary acquisition) because, as mentioned previously, many of them are free.
  • Podcasts come in all lengths and deal with every topic under the sun. This makes them an interesting way to learn about the country of your target language, too. 

Headphones with Colorful Books Stacked Upright between Them

‘n Goeie potgooi kan ‘n nuwe wêreld ontsluit vir die luisteraar. (“A good podcast can unlock a new world for the listener.”)

2. The Best Afrikaans Podcasts for Learners

So, what’s available in terms of useful Afrikaans podcasts? We’ve done the research, and while there aren’t many for beginner students of Afrikaans, there’s quite a selection of high-quality recordings to choose from for intermediate to advanced students.


Levels: Beginner to Advanced
Costs: Free and Paid options
Linguistic Purity: High
Profanity: None

Irrespective of your current competency level, is definitely the most extensive online resource for Afrikaans-language acquisition. As the site name ( suggests, the main learning tool here is short, topic-focused podcasts. But upon subscribing for a free lifetime membership, plenty of other resources become available too. 

The Premium PLUS paid subscription (at a low monthly cost) includes access to an online, native Afrikaans-speaking teacher or coach—valuable, if fluency and accurate pronunciation are important to you.

Our podcast selection is updated regularly, and our content focus is on useful, day-to-day themes. Take, for example, this bite-size podcast on how to introduce yourself in Afrikaans.

Also, a large selection of these podcasts is available on podcast sites such as Radio South Africa, Apple Podcasts, Podbean, and so forth. You’d be hard-pressed to find a more diverse and comprehensive Afrikaans learning site, and the fact that it includes so many free resources makes it the optimal choice for learners at every level.

A Composite Containing an AfrikaansPod101 Subscript, a Young Woman Wearing Headphones, and the South African Flag bied verreweg die beste potgooie om Afrikaans mee te leer. (“AfrikaansPod101 hands-down offers the best podcasts to learn Afrikaans with.”)

2.2 RSG (Radio Sonder Grense – “Radio Without Borders”)

Levels: Upper-intermediate to Advanced
Costs: Free
Linguistic Purity: High
Profanity: None

Radio is the grandfather of today’s podcasts, so it only makes sense for us to take a peek at the website of one of South Africa’s premier radio broadcasting stations. The RSG radio station upholds a high standard of talk radio, and it doesn’t disappoint in terms of quality podcasts either.

This radio broadcaster’s site is replete with professionally created episodic recordings for every taste. I particularly like the ongoing Sterre en Planete (“Stars and Planets”) documentary series, which is easily accessible on the podcast site Player FM. Episodes are under 30 minutes long and get updated every two weeks. Also, the content is riveting. Did you know that bottles of South African wine were sent into space for over 400 days? Listen to Episode 16 Mei 2021 (“May 16, 2021”) to learn how this unusual location affected the wine’s aging and taste.

If you love learning Afrikaans with the help of stories and fiction, RSG‘s collection of radio dramas and book readings are a treasure trove. Another podcast site, IONO FM, is a great resource for this, too. For instance, under the heading Radioteater (“Radio Theater”), one-hour-long radio dramas ignite the imagination with colorful characters and storylines. Episodes are approximately an hour long and get updated every week over two seasons each year: April to June and October to December.

A Glass of Wine with the Bottle in the Background

Leer in ‘n RSG potgooi hoe wyn verouder is in die ruimte. (“Learn in an RSG podcast how wine was aged in space.”)


Levels: Upper-intermediate to Advanced
Costs: Free
Linguistic Purity: Medium
Profanity: None is a fairly new journalistic, online collaboration between a group of Afrikaner women who aim to verken (“explore”), vier (“celebrate”), and bemagtig (“empower”) the Afrikaans language. The site’s offerings are diverse, but listeners need to understand the spoken language fairly well for the best experience. 

I liked the podcast series with host Edwin van der Walt, who interviews young, inspiring South Africans from all walks of life. They all share their struggles and ideals, and the language is pretty standard for that demographic. Each episode is approximately an hour long, and the series is updated every two months or so.

Also consider the newly introduced series called Luister (“Listen”), which kicks off with the reading of Padkampstories (“Road Camp Stories”), written by Amanda Greeff. The book comprises the memoirs of a girl who was raised on the road, so to speak. Her father was a laborer in the government road-building teams, whose families often traveled along and lived in padkampe (“road camps”) during very long projects. If you can get past the slightly irritating backing track, this is an excellent way to practice your pronunciation skills and simultaneously be entertained by a sometimes-nostalgic look into a specific Afrikaner subculture.

Three Actors on Stage

Geniet Afrikaanse radiodrama en voorlesing potgooie—teater van die verbeelding. (“Enjoy Afrikaans radio drama and reading podcasts—theater of the imagination.”)

2.4 Niche Afrikaans Podcasts

Levels: Advanced
Costs: Free
Linguistic Purity: Medium – High
Profanity: None

Interested in business? Agriculture? Traveling? Health? If you have the Afrikaans language under your belt and can understand it fairly well, these niche podcasts are a must:

    BoerPot (“Farmer’s Pot”) Podcast: Whether you’re ‘n boer in murg en been (literally: “a farmer in marrow and bone”), a student of agriculture, or simply curious about the industry, this series of Afrikaans podcasts are sure to fascinate and inform. Seasoned journalist and radio presenter, Jacques Basson, conducts informative and very professionally executed interviews with successful South African farmers and entrepreneurs. While the series, unfortunately, lacks race and gender diversity, the podcasts are nevertheless of high quality—this makes them ideal for practicing your Afrikaans listening, comprehension, and articulation skills. Episodes are updated periodically and are available for listening on multiple platforms.
    Weg Stories (“Away Stories”) Podcast: Does your soul long for savannas and long, quiet roads? With these excellent traveling podcasts, let your imagination transport you to a few of South Africa’s beautiful neighboring countries. Sadly, the series was terminated after only seven episodes, but it remains more than worth the listen. Each episode is approximately an hour long and professionally presented (in beautiful Afrikaans) by skilled presenter Francois Haasbrook. He converses with colleagues, experts, and seasoned travelers.
    Klipkouers (“Rock Munchers”) Podcasts: This is another podcast series presented by Jacques Basson, but here he interviews inspiring Afrikaans entrepreneurs and “impact makers,” as he calls them. These movers and shakers are from various industries and share inspirational life stories and tips for success. I especially liked the interview with Morné Basson, whose triumph of the spirit translated into a great service for young fatherless boys. The series is also not very diverse in terms of race and gender, but it provides quality listening and learning material nevertheless. It’s played on many platforms, and each episode is approximately one hour long. Note that, here and there, episodes overlap with Boerpot.
    SFM Streek Potgooi: This is another radio broadcast station with a designated potgooi section. Though still under development, SFM‘s podcast service is a promising enterprise that gives a glimpse into regional (specifically Southern Cape) news and lifestyle. Also, many episodes are bite-size, ranging from as short as five minutes to as long as 30 minutes. Topics, so far, include health and wellbeing, religion (Christian), and Allegaartjie (a quaint Afrikaans term that means the same as “hotchpotch” or “mixed pot”).

A Young Female Announcer Sitting behind a Microphone and Reading a Script

Radio-uitsendings is die voorvader van potgooie. (“Radio broadcasts are the forefather of podcasts.”)

3. How Can AfrikaansPod101 Podcasts Help You Learn Afrikaans?

As previously mentioned, podcasts can be a very helpful tool to help you learn Afrikaans. Here’s how we suggest you make use of them. But before you do—sign up and download the AfrikaansPod101 app straight away! It’s a versatile and very useful tool for students on the go.

3.1 Practice Shadowing

“Shadowing” is the term for repeating words and phrases after a native speaker. Or, to put it differently, you listen to a recorded lesson or a podcast, repeating what you hear as you go along. You could also download the audio tracks from the site to replay them over and over again. (Use the Pause button in a podcast so you never have to miss a beat. The AfrikaansPod101 app is great for this!) You can do this anytime you have a moment to practice, such as when you’re sitting in the subway, commuting on the bus, or driving in your car.

3.2 Set Specific Goals for Easy Conversation

Set a specific goal and practice regularly. Speaking is almost always the weakest skill for language learners. To improve yours, start by deciding on an everyday topic, such as the weather, and then search for the appropriate podcast with a transcript. From the transcript, jot down a few sentences that you’d like to memorize. Now use both the recording and the written sentences to practice, practice, practice, till you can use the phrases with ease in any conversation!

3.3 Commit to a Few Minutes of Practice Every Day

If you really want to use podcasts to learn Afrikaans, commitment matters. Put time into your learning and make it a goal to practice shadowing for at least five to ten minutes a day, for instance. Alternate between using the podcast’s transcript and not using it; this will enhance your understanding and challenge you a bit. Peter Galante, co-founder and COO of, calls these short sessions “productive practice.”

3.4 Record Yourself

Record yourself on any device, such as your smartphone or your computer. This tactic allows you to hear what your Afrikaans sounds like so you can more easily improve your pronunciation.

3.5 Learn the Grammar! 

Grammar is the theoretical backbone of any language. The rules provide structure and order, which makes a language easier to study. If you’re following a specific learning path, such as those we offer at, you will be constantly evaluated to see how you’re doing with the grammar aspect of your learning. Podcasts highlight different aspects of grammar and can be an invaluable resource in this regard.

3.6 Get Feedback from Native Speakers

Feedback, while difficult to receive sometimes, is a very necessary part of learning. Receiving feedback from a tutor or native Afrikaans speaker is the only way you’re going to know how you’re really doing. With your own AfrikaansPod101 teacher (a real person—not an algorithm or a bot!), you’ll be required to record yourself for evaluation. They’ll give you valuable advice and help you with specific grammar and pronunciation issues.

Don’t hesitate—enroll with AfrikaansPod101 today and start learning with Afrikaans podcasts straight away!

About the author: Christa Davel is an experienced bilingual (Afrikaans and English) freelance writer and editor, and is currently based in Cape Town, South Africa. She’s been writing for since 2017.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans

How Long Will it Take to Learn Afrikaans? A Practical Guide!


Hoe lank neem dit om Afrikaans te leer? (How long does it take to learn Afrikaans?) 

Well, it’s not possible to tell this with 100% accuracy, because the speed of one’s learning progress depends on a few variables.

Any answer to this question should probably start with the sober truth, though, which is that learning any new language (at least to a level of reasonable proficiency) normally takes many hours of study and practice. That’s simply the nature of language studies.

Of course, one can speed up the process with good learning tools and study habits. But mastering it overnight or in only a couple of weeks from scratch? That only happens in the movies.

Female Athlete on a Race Track Winning the Race

But don’t be discouraged! It is possible to be a winner at learning Afrikaans—in less time than you probably think, and also with a lot of enjoyment along the way. The secrets to learning while having fun include…well, you’ll have to read on for those.

You should also keep reading to find an approximate answer to our earlier question. Maybe you need an indication of how long it would take to learn Afrikaans for personal reasons. Or perhaps your employer, an employment agency, or a learning or government institution needs to know. No problem! This post is definitely for you, too. 

I’ll start with pointers regarding Afrikaans proficiency level tests, as your existing Afrikaans skills will determine how long you’ll need to keep learning to reach your goal. If you don’t know any Afrikaans, you can probably skip to the next part, where I will share other important influencing factors worth noting.
To conclude, I’ll briefly discuss a number of skill-level descriptors for the three basic proficiency levels, as well as appropriate learning tips for each level.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Proficiency Exams and Tests
  2. Which Factors Will Influence Your Afrikaans Learning?
  3. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced & How to Learn Afrikaans Fast!
  4. Conclusion

1. Proficiency Exams and Tests

If you’re in the dark regarding your current Afrikaans skill level, no problem! You can easily enlighten yourself by taking an Afrikaans proficiency-benchmark test. Some of these are pricey, but they tend to be comprehensive and give detailed reports. Others are free self-assessments that should give you a basic indication of your ability.

Alternatively, you can complete the ILR’s downloadable and easy self-assessments for speaking, reading, and listening. This option is also free of charge.

Students Taking a Test in the Classroom

Or, you might want to consider enrolling in the Premium PLUS program from AfrikaansPod101, which starts with an online Level Assessment Test. The test results not only indicate your level of Afrikaans-language abilities—they’re also used to personalize your training. You’ll furthermore be assessed continuously along the way! 

Good, now that you’ve determined your Afrikaans proficiency level, let’s discuss other factors likely to determine how long it will take to learn Afrikaans. 

2. Which Factors Will Influence Your Afrikaans Learning?

So, how long will it take to learn Afrikaans? As said, this is really difficult to qualify, simply because it depends on a number of variables. Following are the most prominent ones to consider:

2.1 Your Needs

Why do you want to learn Afrikaans? For pleasure, work, or because you need to argue politics with your Afrikaans friends or colleagues

Depending on your existing proficiency, Beginner Level Afrikaans should be okay if you require some Afrikaans knowledge for your travels through South Africa and/or Namibia. If you’re in business and simply want to understand the discussions of your Afrikaans business partners after meetings, Intermediate Afrikaans should do. 

Obviously, these two levels will take less time to master than, for instance, Advanced Level Afrikaans, which is where your proficiency would need to be adequate for high-level conversations.

Being clear about why you’re learning the language will affect your commitment to your studies, as well as the time you’re willing to spend on them.

Young Tourist Couple with Hats and Sunglasses on, Studying a Map

2.2 Aptitude, Attitude, and Age

These three factors are indicators of what the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL) calls your “existential competence for learning a new language. This, in turn, will affect the length of your studies.

Determine your competency by considering the following:

  1. Aptitude: Are you fluent in more than one language? Were you raised bilingually? Did you show an aptitude for languages from an early age? What is your existing level of education? Do you know how to use a bilingual dictionary? Are you internet-, computer-, and smartphone-literate? Answering these questions will give you an indication of the ease with which you’ll be able to handle new information. 
  1. Attitude: How motivated are you to study? How bold are you in your approach to learning? The student who learns effectively is willing to take risks and initiative in their learning process. For instance, they’re willing to approach a stranger to chat in Afrikaans and are okay with making mistakes when conversing with a native speaker.
  1. Age: If you haven’t studied for years, it may influence how long it takes you to learn Afrikaans. However, if this is really a concern—do not worry! It’s possible to stretch and exercise rusty cerebral muscles at any age. (In fact, it’s advisable! Research has suggested that learning a new language could be one of the best ways to rejuvenate gray matter.)

2.3 Your Native Language

If you’re a native English and/or Dutch speaker, you’re in luck. These are historically West-Germanic languages, so they have the same linguistic roots. (This is truer of Old English; Modern English is much more creole.) This matters because Afrikaans is mostly derived from Dutch.

Research has demonstrated that English and Dutch natives should be able to acquire Afrikaans much faster than native speakers of Mandarin or Hebrew, for instance. The Foreign Service Institute (FSI) has been the center of foreign-language training for the U.S. government for approximately a century now. Drawing on their studies and training experience, the Institute calculated the time it would take for a native English speaker to master any language to the standard of a European highschool student of foreign languages. (This is a level close to AfrikaansPod101’s Level 3 or 4.)
The Institute organized their data regarding European languages into four categories of difficulty. Those listed in Category I, including Dutch, will take approximately 24 to 30 weeks to master, according to the FSI. Since Dutch is the root language of Afrikaans, the time it would take to master is therefore comparable.

Female Tutor or Teacher Writing Words on a Board with White Chalk

2.4 Study Method

Your study method will also influence the length of time it could take you to master Afrikaans. Different methods include:

  1. Self-study and practice.
  2. Attending regular classes or taking classes with a private language tutor (virtual or otherwise).
  3. A trusted, established online learning platform (such as this one) with plenty of study material and tools to help you progress from one level to the next.

Each method has limitations that could create stumbling blocks for effective learning. I would suggest that you take control of your learning process by combining methods 1 through 3, if you want to learn Afrikaans fast and effectively.

Let’s take a look at how this can be done.

3. Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced & How to Learn Afrikaans Fast!

These three basic language levels are normally subdivided for better discernment of your abilities. These subcategories might include Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, and Advanced.

In the following sections, you’ll find elementary pointers for speaking proficiency based on ACTFL guidelines.

3.1 Beginner Afrikaans

Teacher Teaching Two Toddlers in a Classroom

Reaching the higher end of the Beginner Afrikaans level will probably take between 80 to 100 hours of class time and practice.

Basic Level Descriptors: At this level, you have zero to elementary Afrikaans ability. You know or can do the following (or less).
Speaking: Your vocabulary is limited to immediate survival needs; you can respond to simple questions and can ask memorized ones, but are understood only with difficulty by native speakers. You cannot partake in conversations. At the high-novice level, you are, for instance, able to introduce yourself like this: Ek is Maria Ricci. Ek is Italiaans. (“I am Maria Ricci. I am Italian.”)
Reading and Writing: You can read and write lists and notes with single words and short sentences, and can fill out simple forms.
Listening: You can understand simple key words and phrases in context, as well as memorized, well-known commands and questions such as: Wat is jou naam? (“What is your name?”)

Tips to Boost Beginner Learning

Nobody is born able to speak a language. As we grow and develop, we learn it through observation, repetition, and play. This is a brilliant formula to copy as you learn to speak Afrikaans!  

  • For instance, listen to native Afrikaans speakers as they talk and observe their lips and mouth as they pronounce words. You can do this either in person or by watching a recording such as this YouTube video. Through visual and aural observation, you’ll learn how certain sounds are formed.

To cover repetition, you could use a language app (like this one) on any mobile device. Listen to and repeat vocabulary and short phrases out loud when you’re driving alone, for instance, or listen to recordings like a podcast over and over again on the bus or subway. (A podcast is called a potgooi in Afrikaans, and it literally means “to throw a pot”!) You could also make your own flashcards with key vocabulary and important phrases, to be kept with you and practiced out loud as often as possible. Do it in front of the mirror for best results!

  • Also, download language gaming apps for kids and play away—on the subway or bus, during tea breaks, over weekends—any moment you have free time and need to relax a bit!

However, it would be best not to do this on your own. As I suggested earlier, enrolling with an established online language learning platform is likely to speed up your learning considerably. For instance, take a look at this bite-sized lesson for Absolute Beginners (only three minutes long!) to learn the basic vocab and phrases you need for self-introduction. What elevates our platform from the common offering on the Net is that it gives you much more than merely a recorded dialogue.

In addition to hearing how Afrikaans natives introduce themselves and being able to read the dialogue vocabulary in a downloadable PDF, you also get access to lesson notes on how to use what you learned in a cultural context, as well as complete, downloadable lesson transcripts. As if that’s not enough, you also get access to flashcards and a slideshow with each lesson, plus the option to test yourself with a quiz.

Impressive, eh?! What I also really like is that the enrollment costs don’t break the bank and the platform offers several upgrade options (also at reasonable prices).

3.2 Intermediate Afrikaans

As mentioned, to reach a high-intermediate level of Afrikaans could take you between 24-30 weeks.

Basic Level Descriptors: At this level, you have some Afrikaans proficiency. You know and can do the following (or slightly less).
> Speaking: You can easily converse about routine tasks and familiar topics in social situations with people of similar Afrikaans abilities. You can describe and narrate in all major tenses, but not all the time. You’re understood by native Afrikaans speakers unaccustomed to non-native speech, although your mistakes will be evident. You would, for instance, probably get the Afrikaans double-negative wrong: Ek is nie honger. ❌ / Ek is nie honger nie. ✅ (“I am not hungry.”)
> Reading and Writing: You can meet practical needs, such as reading and writing simple and short messages, letters, and notes. You can ask and respond to simple questions in writing on topics limited to personal or social needs.
> Listening: You can understand medium-length sentences on familiar, everyday topics. You understand one utterance at a time in one-to-one conversations, as well as simple announcements and messages. You rely heavily on paraphrasing, restatements, and contextual clues. You are, for instance, able to understand announcements like this: Ons sal vertrek om agtuur moreoggend. (“We will leave at eight o’ clock tomorrow morning.”)

Tips to Boost Intermediate Learning

Don’t ditch the observe, repeat, and play activities of the Beginner Level! Simply increase their difficulty by a notch or two.

Also, by now your Afrikaans reading proficiency should be better. Still in the spirit of playfulness—why not read Afrikaans children’s stories? Start with very easy ones, such as those made available by the South African national government’s Department of Basic Education. They’re completely free and available in downloadable PDF form.

Also explore the links on this site for more free storybooks. Read them out loud to your tutor or to a native Afrikaans friend who can check your pronunciation. 

Verna Vels wrote timeless and wonderful Afrikaans children’s books, as does Philip De Vos, so be sure to look for their work. However, we have excellent translations of books by the beloved Dr. Seuss and Richard Scurry as well. Challenge your limitations by listening to Afrikaans children’s stories and repeating them in Afrikaans to a (preferably native) Afrikaans speaker.

By now, a good language school or online learning platform will have introduced you to some grammar too. A great example of what you can expect in this regard is the AfrikaansPod101 lesson Mind Your Manners in South Africa. You’re presented with a culturally relevant dialogue introducing the topic, to which relevant vocabulary, cultural insights, and a lesson about the basic Afrikaans sentence structure are added. All of this is available as an audio or PDF download, too. Really a great deal!

A young woman reading a book on the bus

Studeer Afrikaans enige plek, enige tyd. / “Study Afrikaans any place, any time.”

3.3 Advanced Afrikaans

To reach this level in Afrikaans will probably take you between 50-60 weeks, depending on your study methods.

Basic Level Descriptors: At the advanced level, you have good Afrikaans proficiency. You know and can do the following (or slightly less).
> Speaking: You can easily participate in conversations on diverse topics. You use descriptions and narration in all the major tenses, and can handle situations of unexpected complexity with ease. You have a good generic vocabulary and are easily understood by native speakers.
> Reading and Writing: You can write routine informal (and some formal) correspondence, plus factual narratives, descriptions, and summaries. You use all the major tenses in narration and description, and can paraphrase for clarity. You demonstrate good control of generic vocabulary and are understood even by natives not used to non-native writing.
> Listening: You can understand the main ideas in conversations of personal nature or about a variety of general-interest topics (e.g. the news, instructions, anecdotes, etc.). You compensate for any limitations by using real-world knowledge and contextual clues.

Tips to Boost Advanced Learning

At this level, you should be able to communicate with relative ease in Afrikaans, which will expand your scope of learning opportunities. Now it would benefit you to expose yourself as much and as often as possible to situations where Afrikaans is used by natives.

If possible, watch Afrikaans TV and movies on Showmax, an online video-streaming service similar to Netflix. (Also refer to our articles Showmax South Africa and Afrikaans Movies & Shows and Popular South African TV Shows to Help You Learn Afrikaans! for lists of must-watch shows.) Some movies and shows have English subtitles. 

A young girl watching a movie on her iPad

Kyk Afrikaanse rolprente met én sonder onderskrifte. / “Watch Afrikaans movies with and without subscripts.”

As you approach the advanced level, you should cement your understanding of compound sentences and expand your vocabulary. AfrikaansPod101 has plenty of lessons that can help you do this (like this one on the Top 10 Activities in South Africa). These lessons follow the same format: a dialogue with relevant vocabulary, lesson notes with cultural insights, plus a downloadable transcript.

Don’t stop reading, though! A host of brilliant Afrikaans writers is just waiting to be discovered. 

  • Dip your toe into the waters of excellent Afrikaans fiction, such as the crime novels from the keyboard of Deon Meyer—erstwhile journalist-turned-bestselling-author. His books were translated into many languages and a couple even made it to the big screen. 
  • Remember the Oscar-winning film Tsotsi from 2006? Read an Afrikaans translation of the book the movie was based on, by one of our greatest authors and playwrights, Athol Fugard
  • I don’t love reading romance novels; they’re a bit sentimental for my taste. Yet, the likes of Ena Murray, a prolific romance writer, used to be very popular. She’s no Charlotte Brontë—think more Daphne du Maurier—but her work is easy to understand. Eleanor Baker and Maretha Maarten’s novels are also from a bygone era but still popular. For more modern female fiction, consider books by Chanette Paul, as well as award-winners Sophia Kapp and Marita van der Vyver
  • Nataniël is one of the most prolific South African artists. He’s a popular singer-songwriter, comedian, fine artist, kitchenware designer, chef, published author, and TV personality! This hugely talented performer’s short stories and poetry are favorites too, also very entertaining. Previously-mentioned Philip de Vos is another Afrikaans author who delivers absolutely delightful comedic limericks and poetry for adults.
  • Lovers of serious poetry, take a moment to enjoy the work of Petra Müller (Winderige Lente / “Windy Spring” is a personal favorite); Ingrid Jonker; Antjie Krog; and newcomer Koleka Putuma.

For non-fiction, consider reading Afrikaans online newspapers and magazines. Or get busy on Afrikaans biographies of our luminaries, such as ‘n Lang Pad na Vryheid (“A Long Road to Freedom”), an autobiography by Nelson Mandela. Alternatively, choose any topic of interest and search online for an Afrikaans book on it. (Our botany is beautiful and diverse, and of particular interest in this regard. For instance, the fine bush, or fynbos, is native only to this country.)

For interesting non-fiction podcasts, consider Jacques Bassons’s Klipkouers (Lit. “stone chewers”), or Willim Welsyn’s Wat (“What”), and Bouer Bosch’s Narratief (“Narrative”).

3.4 Master it Faster: How to Learn Afrikaans Fast!

Wondering how to learn Afrikaans faster? No matter your current level, applying one or all of the following principles is guaranteed to turn your studies into a fun activity every day. Enjoyment should also speed up your Afrikaans learning.

Keep it Playful! 

A popular quote about the importance of play for learning has been doing the rounds for ages. It’s attributed to child-development expert Dr. Karyn Purvis, who allegedly said:

 “Scientists have recently determined that it takes approximately 400 repetitions to create a new synapse in the brain—unless it is done with play, in which case, it takes between 10 and 20 repetitions!”

Dancers from the Kenyan Maasai Mara tribe in traditional gear playing with children.

In alle kulture was spel was nog altyd een van die beste leerwyses. / “In all cultures, play has always been one of the best ways to learn.”

As much as I want this to be true, I cannot find any scientific substantiation for this claim. Apparently, Purvis did say this, but she took the source for the quote with her to the grave, according to her colleagues. 

Yet, in many indigenous cultures, it’s implicitly understood that children learn best during play, which is why they are seldom barred from adult activities. This is the experience of any parent too, worldwide! It’s furthermore a quality we never lose, because adults tend to enjoy playful activities much more than classroom-style education or training. This enjoyment helps us to focus better and it amps up our motivation to study. 

As said, online gaming is a great way to play and learn. Consider, for instance, this vocabulary builder with its simple audio and reading games, suitable for Beginner and Intermediate learners. 

It would be even better to create your own fun, though!

Keep it Creative! 

In order to play, you’ll need to flex your creativity muscles. This can be easily accomplished these days! For instance, record yourself reading, singing, or acting in Afrikaans and perhaps start your own YouTube channel—just for fun! This could also be an interesting way to record your progress. 

Alternatively, create an Afrikaans card game with vocab flashcards or design a board game, for instance. 

Creative writing in Afrikaans is another option. Keep it super simple at first by making drawings of Afrikaans vocabulary that makes up a story — think comic strip.

You could also paint, draw, or digitally decorate that Afrikaans poem or inspirational quote you want to memorize. Hang your artwork in a prominent location.

Or, go old school by creating simple Afrikaans greeting cards for friends or family. Think of cutting letters from magazines or newspapers to form the words, for instance. The possibilities are endless—the only secret is to keep it fun and engaging.

Study with a Buddy!

Shared experiences are always more enjoyable and motivating, so try to study with a friend. Or, search the Net for an online conversation buddy. Read Afrikaans to one another, create silly Afrikaans recordings together—have fun!

A young man and woman taking a class together

Studeer Afrikaans saam met vriende vir beter resultate! / “Study Afrikaans with a buddy for better results!”

Bravo to the Binge!

Binge-watching Afrikaans TV series, movies, and shows, and regularly listening to good-quality Afrikaans music are excellent ways to train your ear to the natural sound of the language. These activities will be especially good for Intermediate students who want to amp up their learning. It’s also fun! Create a playlist of your favorite Afrikaans music (there are loads of songs on YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify) and listen on repeat.

Refer to our article The Best Videos to Learn Afrikaans on YouTube for some viewing and listening ideas. Some movies and songs have English subscripts, so even Beginners can enjoy this activity. Great for a relaxing weekend with your study buddy.

Memorize, Moviestar!

I studied French at school and our clever teacher had us memorize the lyrics of Gilbert Becaud’s soulful Et Maintenant (“And now…”). I can still sing along lustily—en français! From a French Christian Bible, I memorized the beautiful Psalm 23, Le Seigneur est mon berger (“The Lord is my shepherd”), another favorite to recite. Even if you don’t completely understand the grammar yet, memorizing quality text will help you to internalize how the language is used. 

Start by memorizing your favorite Afrikaans lyrics to belt out karaoke-style. Consider especially the work of artists Refentse, Tasché Burger, Chris Chameleon, and Coenie de Villiers—their Afrikaans pronunciation is impeccable and the music beautiful. 

Or, memorize a poem you can recite with feeling, such as Louis Leopold’s Op my ou ramkietjie (“On my old ramkietjie). This one would be easy for Intermediate learners to memorize, as it was turned into a song (which you can listen to here). Video record yourself and put your heart into it! 

Guy listening to music with headphones on, singing along and enjoying himself

Memoriseer die lirieke en sing jou gunsteling Afrikaanse liedjie gereeld! / “Memorize the lyrics and often sing your favorite Afrikaans song!”

Think in Afrikaans!

Since we’re always chatting with an Invisible Other in our heads, the conversation can just as well be in Afrikaans. For a real vocabulary booster to expand your inner talk, look around you wherever you find yourself and name objects in your surroundings in Afrikaans. Repeat these words to yourself silently in your head till you can use them easily and naturally in sentences. (An online bilingual dictionary will come in handy here.)

Immersion is Ideal!

Of course, if you really want to speed up your Afrikaans proficiency, nothing beats full immersion. This means that you could, for instance, take a working or volunteer holiday to South Africa or Namibia, and insist that your hosts and/or employers address you only in Afrikaans. The cities are pretty Anglicized, so investigate opportunities in towns and rural areas. 

Or, especially if you’re living in a large city in your own country, seek out an Afrikaans expat community and make new friends! 

4. Conclusion

So? What do you think? How long will it take to learn Afrikaans, if you had to venture a guess? Let us know in the comments.

Afrikaans is a pleasant, easy language to learn and use, and is closely related to Dutch. Once you’ve mastered Afrikaans, you’ll find Dutch very easy to master too—two birds with one stone, almost! Don’t hesitate, and start learning Afrikaans online for free with

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans

About the author: Christa Davel is an experienced bilingual (Afrikaans and English) freelance writer and editor, and is currently based in Cape Town, South Africa.