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250+ Names of Common Animals in Afrikaans

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Did you know that one of the oldest animals in the world was discovered in South Africa over two decades ago? Scientists named the skeleton, which was distinctly ape-like, “Little Foot.” So aap (“ape”) would be an appropriate first word on our list of animals in Afrikaans!

Little Foot is touted to be the evolutionary predecessor of humans. It was found by accident in 1998 among fossilized bones already obtained from a well-known excavation site called the “Cradle of Humankind” near Johannesburg. The skeleton is thought to be over three million years old.

Whether you believe this ape is our ancestor or not, animals have been part of our lives since time immemorial. So naturally, any language study would include these nouns, which is why I have compiled this comprehensive list of over 250 animal names in Afrikaans for you. To further expand your vocabulary, also make sure to take a look at our list of the most common Afrikaans nouns.

An African Vervet Monkey in a Tree.

Blouape kom baie algemeen in Suid Afrika voor. / “African vervet monkeys are very common in South Africa.”

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Domestic Animals
  2. Wild Animals
  3. Animal Body Parts
  4. Common Afrikaans Animal Expressions, Idioms, and Sayings
  5. Why not learn about animals in Afrikaans with AfrikaansPod101?!

1. Domestic Animals

1.1 Pets vs. Domestic Animals

There’s a distinction to be made between “pets” and “domesticated animals.” Pets are usually kept at a person’s home for the purpose of companionship, protection, and/or special assistance. On the other hand, domesticated animals are also kept by people, but usually not in their homes and not for company. Think farms and livestock. On farms, you’ll find livestock such as sheep, chickens, and cattle; there may also be animals classified as “wild” by law, which are still kept by humans.

In this article, there are places where certain domestic animals and wild animals will overlap because all animals were once wild. Over time, the wild dog became the lapdog and wild cats were tamed to the point where they could no longer survive in the wild. 

Some wild animals are tamed and kept as pets, but this is not common and not really advisable unless you’re a wildlife expert. Cats and dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years now. Yet most owners will testify that their kitties can still administer a mean scratch, and that their dogs can still give a nasty nip in a moment of excitement or fear. These wild impulses will never completely leave our pets.

Therefore, most wild animal pets (or domesticated wild animals) should be considered dangerous to a degree—even if they were born in captivity or were rescued at a young age. If they pose a risk to humans in the wild, chances are they will eventually pose the same risk in captivity. That’s just their nature.

A Blue-and-Yellow Macaw

Aras maak goeie troeteldiere. / “Macaws make good pets.”

1.2 Pets in Afrikaans

Pets have been and still are our companions, and greatly beloved ones at that. Let’s start with the most common Afrikaans animal words for those who live at home with us.

Note: In Afrikaans, we do have specific names for the offspring of many animals and we do distinguish their gender. However, we most often refer to them in the following terms.

  1. mannetjie / literally: “little male”
  2. wyfie / literally: “little female”
  3. kleintjies / literally: “little ones” 

AfrikaansEnglish
1. aramacaw
2. budgiebudgerigar
3. kokketielcockatiel
4. duifpigeon / dove
5. vinkfinch
6. kanariecanary
7. poupeacock
8. papegaaiparrot
9. parkietparakeet
10. kaketoecockatoo
Example Sentences:
  • Die vink vlieg. / “The finch is flying.”
  • Slaap die ara? / “Is the macaw sleeping?”
  • Hoor hoe praat die papegaai! / Approx: “Listen, the parrot talks!”
  • Gee die duif kos, kyk hoe maer is dit. / “Give the pigeon food; see how thin it is.”
  • Hy neem sy parkiet na die veearts toe want dis siek. / “He’s taking his parakeet to the vet because it’s sick.”
Note: The babies of all bird pets are normally called kuikens (“chicks”).

Fun Fact! Did you know that in South Africa, 89% of house pets are dogs, followed by cats, birds, and fish? This is perhaps because interaction with dogs has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression in their owners. Studies have also shown that dogs have increased levels of feel-good hormones (dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin) in their brains after interacting with their humans!

A Young Woman Holding a Box with Cute Kittens

Ek is lief vir al my troeteldiere maar my katte is die naaste aan my hart. / “I love all my pets, but my cats are the closest to my heart.”

11. katcat
12. Siamese katSiamese cat
13. huiskathouse cat
14. honddog
15. bulhondbulldog
16. boerboelboer bull
17. mopshondpug
18. poedelpoodle
19. teeffemale dog / bitch
20. reunmale dog
21. hamsterhamster
22. rotrat
23. muismouse
24. marmotguinea pig
25. haas & konynhare & rabbit
Example Sentences:
  • My marmot is mooi. / “My guinea pig is pretty.”
  • Dit is ‘n bruin muis. / “It is a brown mouse.”
  • Is daar water in die konyn se hok? / “Is there water in the rabbit’s cage?”
  • Haar opregte Duitse Herdershond het al baie pryse gewen op skoue. / “Her pure-bred German Shepherd has won many prizes at shows.”
  • Ek is lief vir al my troeteldiere maar my katte is die naaste aan my hart. / “I love all my pets, but my cats are the closest to my heart.”

Fun Fact! Did you know that photos of odd-looking or very photogenic pets can earn insane amounts of money? Thank social media for this, because at the time of writing, a million hits on Instagram could earn up to ZAR 250 000 (approximately $16,500) per animal post, which is double what a human influencer could make. This is according to Bronwyn Williams, a marketing specialist from Flux Trends.

During a photoshoot, always take care to act humanely towards your furry subjects and keep only their best interests at heart.

A Gorgeous Cat and Dog Lying Together

Sommige troeteldiere is baie fotogenies. / “Some pets are very photogenic.”

26. goudvisgoldfish
27. koi viskoi fish
28. slangsnake
29. skilpadtortoise
30. sywurmssilkworms
Example Sentences:
  • My goudvis swem. / “My goldfish is swimming.”
  • Die slang seil weg. / “The snake is slithering away.”
  • My broer het ‘n skilpad vir ‘n troeteldier. / “My brother has a tortoise as a pet.”
  • Sywurms eet net moerbeiblare en het ‘n kort lewensspan. / “Silkworms eat only mulberry leaves and have a short lifespan.”
  • Troeteldiere kan baie fotogenies wees. / “Pets can be very photogenic.”

Fun Fact! Did you know that cat lovers are known as ailurophiles and dog lovers are cynophiles? According to one online study conducted by the research company GfK in 2014, Russia, France, and the U.S.A. are the countries with the most ailurophiles; Argentina, Mexico, and Brazil have the most cynophiles. 

More people keep dogs as pets than cats, but women are more likely than men to own either or both. The study also indicated that more men keep fish than women.

In China, fish are the most popular pets, while Turkish people prefer birds. Respondents from South Korea, Hong Kong, and Japan recorded the highest number of non-pet owners.

In Europe, the British, French, and Swiss are the biggest spenders on their pets. But globally, Americans spend the most on theirs—a staggering $50 billion annually. This is unsurprising, as nine in 10 Americans are reported to see their pets as family members!

1.3 Farm Animals in Afrikaans

Farming is in Afrikaners’ blood. Most of our ancestors made their living keeping livestock, and the white Afrikaans-speaking South African population are colloquially referred to as the Boere (“Farmers”). Below, we’ll show you the names of farm animals in Afrikaans and bring a few key facts to light.

An Ostrich Running in the Veld

Volstruise kan baie verbasend vinnig hardloop. / “Ostriches can run remarkably fast.”

1.3.a Livestock / Domestic Farm Animals

As mentioned before, farm animals are not as tame as pets living in a house with people, but they’re still considered domesticated because people take care of them. We farm animals commercially for their meat and other products like eggs, milk, feathers, wool, hides, etc. Here is a list of the most popular farm animals in Afrikaans.

AfrikaansEnglish
31. hoenderchicken
32. eendduck
33. gansgoose
34. kalkoenturkey
35. tarentaalguinea fowl
36. beeste / beescattle / cow / bull / ox
37. koeicow
38. bulbull
39. kalfcalf
40. skaapsheep
41. ooiewe
42. ramram
43. lam / lammetjielamb / little lamb
44. varkpig
45. varksogsow
46. beerboar
47. varkiepiglet
48. bokgoat
49. donkie / eseldonkey
50. muilmule
51. perdhorse
52. merriemare
53. hingsstallion
54. vulletjiefilly
55. poniepony
56. alpakkaalpaca
57. kameelcamel
58. lamallama
Example Sentences:
  • Die muil loop stadig. / “The mule walks slowly.”
  • Hier is die vark. / “Here is the pig.”
  • Daardie is ‘n baie mooi skouponie. / “That is a very pretty show pony.”
  • Ons ry elke vakansie perd op die plaas. / “We ride horses on the farm every holiday.”
  • ‘n Kameel kan tot 75 liter water op ‘n slag drink. / “A camel can drink up to 20 gallons of water at a time.”

A Collection of Insects, an Arachnid, a Snail, and an Arthropod

Insekte word bestudeer as ‘n bron van voedsel en medikasie. / “Insects are being researched as a source of food and medicine.”

1.3.b Creepy-Crawlies, Reptiles & Amphibians

Of course, a number of other creatures abound in the wild too. The ones listed below occur abundantly where people live or in urban areas, and many of the insects are farmed as well.

AfrikaansEnglish
59. heuningbyhoney bee
60. vliegfly
61. brommerbluebottle fly / blow fly / moped
62. mierant
63. kewer / besiebeetle
64. kakkerlakcockroach
65. liewenheersbesieladybird / ladybug
66. skoenlapperbutterfly
67. motmoth
68. uislouse
69. weeluisbed bug
70. kopluishead louse
71. flooiflea
72. muskietmosquito
73. muggiegnat / midge
74. erdwurmearthworm
75. mopaniewurmmopani worm
76. meelwurmmealworm
77. duisendpootmillipede
78. honderdpootcentipede
79. kriekcricket
80. koringkriekcorn cricket
81. sprinkaangrasshopper
82. slaksnail
83. paddafrog
84. paddavistadpole
85. verkleurmannetjiechameleon
86. akkedislizard
Example Sentences:
  • Die erdwurm eet. / “The earthworm is eating.”
  • Die slak loop stadig. / “The snail crawls slowly.”
  • Daar is ‘n kriek in ons huis. / “There is a cricket in our house.”
  • Ek gaan nie daardie mopaniewurm eet nie, dis grillerig! / “I am not going to eat that mopani worm; it’s yucky!”
  • Sprinkane kan ‘n pes wees in die tuin. / “Grasshoppers can be a pest in the garden.”

Fun Fact! Did you know that antimicrobial peptides (AMP) found in insects are being studied for their potential to fight infection in humans? The same peptides play a crucial role in the immune system of humans too, making AMPs an important subject of study. Insects are very resilient against infection by most microbials, and AMPs found in the likes of bees, flies, and beetles can even fight multiple types of drug-resistant bacteria. In fact, some scientists believe that AMPs may even replace antibiotics in the future!

A Flock of Cape Buffalo Standing in the Veld

Die Kaapse Buffel is die grootste van die sogenaamde grasland buffels. / “The Cape Buffalo is the largest of the so-called savannah buffalo.”

1.3.c Wildlife Ranching

Wildlife ranching is called “game farming” in South Africa. Animals are kept and taken care of on what is commonly referred to as a “game farm” or wildsplaas. Game farms are kept for conservation, tourism, and breeding purposes. Farmers also (unfortunately) sell these animals as they’re popular for their meat, horns, hides, and canned hunting.

AfrikaansEnglish
87. wildsbokkeantelope
88. blouwildebeesblue wildebeest
89. buffelbuffalo
90. waterbuffelwater buffalo
91. rooibokimpala
92. duikerduiker
93. springbokspringbuck
94. gemsbokgemsbok / oryx
95. swartwitpensboksable antelope
96. kameelperdgiraffe
97. koedoekudu
98. zebrazebra
99. bergzebramountain zebra
100. Burchell zebraBurchell’s zebra
101. waterbokwaterbuck
102. vlakvarkwarthog
103. volstruisostrich
104. renosterrhinoceros
105. Afrika renosterAfrican rhino
106. olifantelephant
107. Afrika bosolifantAfrican bush elephant
108. seekoeihippopotamus
Example Sentences:
  • Dit is ‘n zebra. / “It is a zebra.”
  • Die vlakvark is wild. / “The warthog is wild.”
  • ‘n Volstruis kan baie hard skop, so wees versigtig. / “An ostrich can kick very hard, so be careful.”
  • Ongelukkig is renosterhoring ‘n gewilde item vir onwettige uitvoere. / “Unfortunately, rhino horn is a popular item for illegal export.”
  • ‘n Olifant se gehoor is uiters goed. / “An elephant’s hearing is extremely good.”

Three Springbuck in Their Natural Environment

Groot getalle springbokke kom steeds wild voor in Suid Afrika. / “Large numbers of springbuck still occur in the wild in South Africa.”

Not-So-Fun Fact… In May 2019, the South African government surreptitiously passed an amendment to the (surely wrongly-named) Animal Improvement Act, which reclassified 33 wild species as farm animals. The list included endangered species such as black rhinos, cheetahs, water buffalo, and more. This is sad news, seeing that the wildlife ranching-and-breeding industry in South Africa is still underregulated and has experienced some heartbreaking exposés of malpractice in the past.

Without tight regulation, this permissive law may just cause more criminal cockroaches to crawl out of the woodwork.

Fortunately, a proposed amendment of the Meat Safety Act to approve the commercial sale of threatened-and-protected-species (TOPS) and lion meat, was minister-vetoed in late 2020. Captive lion breeding is also in the crosshairs of wildlife conservationists and advocates worldwide, and they are unrelenting in their pressure on the South African government to ban this horrendous practice.

That said—not all game farms are terrible places, and not all game farmers are greedy exploiters of their livestock. In fact, most of them adhere to prescribed regulations and follow good, lawful practices. They assist in protecting endangered wildlife and the environment, and their treatment of the animals is humane.

A Snarling Male Lion in the Bush

Leeus is steeds die konings van die woud. / “Lions are still the kings of the jungle.”

109. leeulion
110. wolfwolf
111. tiertiger
112. gorillagorilla
113. sjimpanseechimpanzee / chimp
Example Sentences:
  • Die buffel is sterk. / “The buffalo is strong.”
  • Die leeu slaap vanaand. / “The lion sleeps tonight.”
  • Sjimpansees is baie interessante diere. / “Chimpanzees are very interesting animals.”
  • Gorillas is van die aapfamilie wat in woudagtige gebiede woon. / “Gorillas are (members) of the ape family which live in the woods.”

2. Wild Animals

You’ll see that I excluded some wild animals from the following list. Gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers, and wolves are not indigenous to South Africa and live only in captivity on special game resorts or in zoos. Chimps and gorillas can be found elsewhere in Africa, most notably in mid to western African countries like Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The only wolf that we do have roaming our savannas is a tiny fellow called the aardwolf (literally: “earth wolf”). Strictly speaking, it is not a wolf and is closer in resemblance to a hyena. It’s not even predatorial, such as its namesake, but lives on a diet of termites.

A Large Gray Wolf Howling in the Pine Woods

Gryswolwe kom nie natuurlik voor in Suid Afrika nie. / “Gray wolves don’t occur naturally in South Africa.”

Also, the only wild “tiger” occurring in the country is very cute-looking and somewhat resembles a tiny tiger. Called the miershooptier (literally: “anthill tiger”), it often makes its home in abandoned termite nests or anthills. In English, the miershooptier is called a black-footed cat or a small spotted cat. It’s the second-smallest type of cat in the world, weighing only 2.5 kilos (about 5.5 pounds) in adulthood.

Furthermore, of the approximately 12,000 lions left in South Africa, the majority currently live either on breeding farms (in cages or camps) or on wild farms and game reserves. The latter are aimed at their preservation and conservation, as well as the promotion of responsible hunting (though some critics dispute this claim). The former keep these majestic animals solely for breeding and canned hunting purposes.

2.1 On the Land

South Africa is a country with lots of uninhabited space, where plenty of wildlife can still be found—and where the animals prefer to stay. We don’t have any lions roaming the streets of our towns and cities. Below, you’ll find a list of common wild animals in Afrikaans belonging to the mammalian world and otherwise. 

2.1.a Mammals

AfrikaansEnglish
114. jagluiperdcheetah
115. hiënahyena
116. strandwolfbrown hyena
117. gevlekte hiënaspotted hyena
118. jakkalsjackal / fox
119. Kaapse jakkalsCape fox
120. rooijakkalsblack-backed jackal
121. bakoorjakkalsbat-eared fox
122. luiperdleopard
123. wildehondwild dog
124. wilde kat / vaalboskatwild cat / desert cat
125. siwetkatcivet
126. tierboskatAfrican serval cat
127. muskeljaatkatgenet
128. meerkatsuricate / meerkat
129. eekhoringsquirrel
130. waaistert-grondeekhoringCape ground squirrel
131. aapmonkey
132. blouaapvervet monkey
133. nagapiebushbaby
134. bobbejaanbaboon
135. molmole
136. vlermuisbat
137. dassiedassie
138. klipdassierock dassie
139. weselweasel
140. Afrikaanse weselAfrican weasel
141. muishondmongoose 
142. stinkmuishondstriped polecat / skunk
143. vlakhaasCape hare
144. ystervarkporcupine
145. Kaapse ystervarkCape porcupine
146. krimpvarkiehedgehog
147. aardvarkaardvark
148. bosvarkbush pig
149. otterotter
150. Kaapse otterCape otter
151. ratelhoney badger
152. ietermagogpangolin
153. skeerbekmuisforest shrew

A Skunk Running in the Veld

Die muishond kom ook voor in Suid Afrika. / “The skunk can also be found in South Africa.”

2.1.b Creepy-Crawlies & Reptiles

All the creepy-crawlies and reptiles found in domestic areas can also be found in the wild. Here, they’re found in much greater numbers alongside plenty of other species.

154. skerpioenscorpion
155. gloeiwurm glowworm
156. vuurvliegfirefly
157. renosterkewerrhino beetle
158. reuse kewergiant beetle
159. stinkgogga / stinkbesiestink bug
160. oorkruiperearwig
161. luislangpython
162. boaboa
163. boomslangtree snake / boomslang
164. adderadder
165. pofadderpuff adder
166. kobracobra
167. Mosambiekse spoegkobraMozambican spitting cobra
168. rinkhalsring-necked spitting cobra
169. molslangmole snake
170. mambamamba
171. groenmambagreen mamba
Example Sentences:
  • Dié kewer stink. / “This beetle stinks.”
  • Daar is ‘n boomslang. / “There is a tree snake / boomslang.”
  • Die rinkhals kom slegs voor in Suiderlike Afrika. / “The ring-necked spitting cobra can only be found in Southern Africa.”
  • Molslange is onskadelik en kan goeie troeteldiere maak. / “Mole snakes are harmless and can make good pets.”
  • Die grootste verskil tussen boas en luislange is dat boas lewendig geboorte skenk, terwyl luislange eiers lê. / “The main difference between boas and pythons is that boas give live birth while pythons lay eggs.”

Fun Fact! Did you know that the Southern African luislang (“python”), also called the rock python, can grow up to five meters (16 feet) long? They’re not fond of being in excessive heat for long periods of time, so during the extremely hot summer months, they like to slip into cool, deep pools and stay there with only their heads above the surface. These pools and ponds are also their preferred hunting areas.

Fortunately for us, this particular species rarely grows big enough to swallow humans. (But I still wouldn’t advise allowing any adult pet python to sleep in the same bed as a child!) The snakes prefer to feed on small antelope, birds, rodents, small pigs, apes, and dassies because eating large prey would mean having to lie still for a very long time so the food could digest. Remaining inert makes the snakes vulnerable to their natural enemies, which include mongooses, hyenas, other snakes, crocodiles, and wild dogs. Southern African pythons are helpful in controlling rodent and ape populations where they live.

A Large Python Laying Coiled among Foliage

Die Suid-Afrikaanse luislang kan tot vyf meter (16 voet) lank word. / “The South African python can grow up to five meters (16 feet) long.”

2.2. In the Water

Both inland bodies of fresh water and the oceans hugging our coasts teem with their unique selection of wildlife. Keep reading to learn the names of various fish and sea animals in Afrikaans. 

2.2.a Ocean Life

South Africa is flanked by two different oceans: the Atlantic Ocean on the western side and the Indian Ocean on the eastern side.

AfrikaansEnglish
172. walviswhale
173. Southern Right walvisSouthern Right whale
174. dolfyndolphin
175. stompneus dolfynbottlenose dolphin
176. snoeksnoek
177. haaishark
178. grootwithaai / witdoodshaaigreat white shark
179. swaardvisswordfish
180. tunatuna
181. bloumarlynblue marlin
182. stokvisshallow water hake
183. diepwater stokvisdeep water hake
184. skelvishaddock
185. koningklipkingklip
186. sardynsardine
187. robseal 
188. Kaapse pelsrobCape fur seal
189. seeleeusealion
190. seekatoctopus
191. inkvissquid
192. jellievisjellyfish
193. bloublasiebluebottle / Portuguese man o’ war
194. krapcrab
195. kreeflobster
196. seeslaksea slug
197. oesteroyster
198. mosselmussel
199. seeskilpadturtle
200. seeslangsea snake
201. seesterstarfish
202. see egelsea urchin
203. seekomkommersea cucumber
204. see-anemoonsea anemone
Example Sentences:
  • Dit is ‘n dolfyn. / “That is a dolphin.”
  • Seeslange is gevaarlik. / “Sea snakes are dangerous.”
  • Die krap loop skeef-skeef. / Literally: “The crab walks skew-skew.”
  • Die Southern Right walvis kom voor aan die suidelike kus van Suid Afrika. / “The Southern Right whale occurs along the southern coast of South Africa.”
  • Die Groot Vier in die Suid Afrikaanse oseane is die Afrika pikkewyn, die Kaapse pelsrob, die Southern Right walvis, en die Groot Wit Haai. / “The Big Four in the South African oceans are the African penguin, the Cape fur seal, the Southern Right whale, and the great white shark.”

Fun Fact! Did you know that it’s rather easy to treat a bluebottle sting? These aquatic animals have long tentacles with barbs that inject venom on contact. Their stings look like whiplashes across the skin lined with small red dots, and they’re exceptionally painful. Fortunately, in the vast majority of cases, the stings are harmless and easily treatable.

An online search for the correct treatment of a bluebottle sting proved confusing, as contradictory advice abounds even among official, non-commercial sites. For instance, many sources insist that sting victims are never to pour vinegar on bluebottle wounds, as it will exacerbate the pain. However, some recent, well-designed scientific studies contradict this.

A Beached Bluebottle Jellyfish

Jy wil nie op ‘n bloublasie trap nie! / “You don’t want to step on a bluebottle!”

First, let’s look at how to avoid getting stung in the first place. Then, we’ll discuss how to decrease pain and suffering in the event of a sting. There are a few things you shouldn’t do:

Don’t…

  • …swim in water you know is likely bluebottle-infested.
  • …go to the beach unprepared, especially if you know you might encounter bluebottles. Pack clear vinegar, a bottle of fresh water (not for drinking), and a long item with which to remove tentacles (think chopsticks or a grill tong).
  • …touch or pop the bladder of a beached bluebottle. (Dead bluebottles can still sting.)
  • …rub the sting wound with sand or apply any pressure before taking step 2 under the next heading below. (At this point, even light pressure will instantly increase the venom load, which means more pain.)
  • …rinse the wound with alcohol, shaving cream, baking soda, or urine, as these can also increase the venom load in some bluebottle species.

Now let’s look at sting treatments, as advised by the researchers of a recent, excellent study conducted at the School of Medicine, Hawaii University. The researchers studied and tested the efficacy of first-aid measures for bluebottle stings, and their advice was echoed in a South African review article that was recently published in the Current Allergy & Clinical Immunology journal.

A Glass Bottle Containing Clear Vinegar

Gebruik onverdunde asyn op ‘n bloublasiesteek. / “Use undiluted vinegar on a bluebottle sting.”

Immediately After a Sting:

  1. There may not be any, but rinse off adhering bluebottle tentacles with seawater or undiluted vinegar. Ideally, avoid using freshwater for this step, as it could result in more venom cells releasing their toxins into the skin.
  2. If some tentacles don’t rinse off, they’ll need to be removed manually. If you’ve used vinegar to douse the tentacles, it will inhibit their ability to continue stinging and protect the helper too, but this has not been proven in vivo, it seems. Some sources claim that it’s safe for adults to remove tentacles with their bare fingers, while other sources caution against this, as one could get stung oneself. To be safe, consider using an item like chopsticks, a dry stick, or even grilling tongs for this step.
  3. With the tentacles gone, it’s time to remove the tiny barbs. First, douse the wound again with undiluted vinegar. The Hawaiian study has found that vinegar completely inhibits the embedded cells from discharging their venom, even when pressure is applied. Common, shop-bought vinegar is fine for this purpose.
  4. Now, scrape off any tiny barbs still adhering to the skin with the edge of something like a knife, a razor blade, or even a credit card. You could use tweezers for this, as well. Removing the barbs will help the victim avoid secondary stinging and further injury.

As Soon as Possible After a Sting: 

Submerge or douse the wound with hot water (as hot as can be tolerated), for as long as possible. This will reduce pain, as heat breaks down the pain-causing venom in the body. In fact, this step is helpful in virtually all aquatic sting wounds. Take a large bottle of water to the beach and let it sit in the sun to heat, so you can have hot water ready in the event of a sting.

Seek Medical Help If:

    the sting is severe and covers a large area of the person’s body (especially in children);
    the pain persists; or 
    other symptoms develop after taking the aforementioned first-aid measures.

Side-effects and allergic reactions are extremely rare, but individual physiology differs, and a large venom load could cause problems in some cases.

A Bottlenose Dolphin Jumping Out of the Water

Bottelneus dolfyne is sierlike diere. / “Bottlenose dolphins are graceful animals.”

2.2.b Freshwater

The inland bodies of water have an equally impressive list of inhabitants. 

AfrikaansEnglish
205. waterskilpadturtle
206. seekoeihippopotamus
207. krokodilcrocodile
208. NylkrokodilNile crocodile
209. rivierpalingriver eel
210. waterslangwater snake
211. salmsalmon
212. katviscatfish
213. foreltrout
214. reënboog forelrainbow trout
215. karpcarp
216. basbass
217. geelvisyellowfish
218. rooiborskurpertilapia
219. kabeljoucod
220. moddervislabeo
221. Oranjerivier moddervisOrange River mudfish
222. makrielmackerel
223. naaldekokerdragonfly
224. waterhondjiewater walker
225. waterjufferdamselfly
226. hottentotsgotpraying mantis
Example Sentences:
  • Die makriel swem. / “The mackerel are swimming.”
  • Ons eet kabeljou. / “We are eating cod.”
  • Naaldekokers is baie mooi vir my. / “Dragonflies are very pretty to me.”
  • Die hottentotsgod se voorpote is wapens waarmee hy sy prooi gryp. / “The front legs of the praying mantis are weapons with which it grabs its prey.”
  • Daardie rivier is gevaarlik om in te swem want daar kom krokkodille voor. / “That river is dangerous for swimming because crocodiles are found there.”

A Dragonfly

Al het hulle ses lang bene, kan naaldekokers nie goed loop nie. / “Even though they have six long legs, dragonflies can’t walk well.”

2.3 In the Sky

South African birds are a paradise for ornithologists. Especially for a walk in the veld or the mountains, remember to bring good binoculars or a camera, a bird guide, and a notebook.

AfrikaansEnglish
227. houtkapperwoodpecker
228. arendeagle
229. visarendfish eagle
230. visvangerblack cormorant
231. valkfalcon / hawk
232. uilowl
233. aasvoëlvulture
234. kraanvoëlcrane
235. bloukraanvoëlblue crane
236. ooievaarstork
237. pelikaanpelican
238. kiewietplover / lark
239. tarentaalguineafowl
240. mossieCape sparrow
241. spreeusparrow
242. fisantpheasant
243. flaminkflamingo
244. reierheron / egret
245. hadedahadeda ibis
246. gompoukori bustard
247. gonsvoëlbuzzard
248. horingbekvoëlhornbill
249. suikerbekkiesunbird / sugarbird
250. bontvisvangerskingfishers
251. sekretarisvoëlsecretary bird
252. seemeeuseagull
253. albatrosalbatross
254. pikkewynpenguin
255. Afrika pikkewynAfrican penguin
256. vinkfinch
257. kraaicrow
258. koekoekcuckoo
259. lysterthrush
260. swaanswan
261. kwartelquail
Example Sentences:
  • Die koekoek sing. / “The cuckoo is singing.”
  • Daar sit ‘n seemeeu. / “There sits a seagull.”
  • Op die water gly ‘n swaan rustig. / “On the water, a swan is drifting peacefully.”
  • Hoor hoe die lysters sing in die tuin. / “Listen to the thrushes singing in the garden.”
  • Kwarteleiers is ‘n gewilde dis aan ons tafel. / “Quail eggs are a favorite dish at our table.”

A Colony of African Penguins on Boulders Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

Boulders Beach in Simonstad, Kaapstad, huisves groot kolonies Afrika pikkwyne. / “Boulders Beach in Simon’s Town, Cape Town, is home to large colonies of African penguins.”

3. Animal Body Parts

Just like the human body, the bodies of animals, insects, and reptiles have different parts.

AfrikaansEnglish
kophead
horing/shorn(s)
oogeye
eyes
oreears
snoetsnout
snorbaard/ewhisker(s)
voeler/sfeeler(s)
bekthe mouth of any animal, except a bird’s
snawelbill / beak
tandeteeth
slagtand/eincisor(s) OR fang(s)
tentakel/stentacle(s)
nekneck
lyf / liggaambody
borschest 
voorlyfupper body / torso
tiet/eteat(s) / breast(s)
tepel/snipple(s)
agterlyfrump
sterttail
been / beneleg(s)
voorbeen / voorbenefront leg(s)
agterbeen / agterbenehind leg(s)
poot / potepaw(s)
voorpoot / voorpotefront paw(s)
agterpoot / agterpotehind paw(s)
klou/eclaw(s)
nael/snail(s)
flipper / vinflipper / fin
kieugill
kiewegills
veer / verefeather(s)
stertveer / stertveretail feather(s)
dons / donsveredown (feathers)
pelscoat
haar / harehair 
skub / skubbescale(s)
Example Sentences:
  • Visse het skubbe. / “Fish have scales.”
  • Donsvere is sag. / “Down feathers are soft.”
  • Voels het nie tande nie. / “Birds don’t have teeth.”
  • ‘n Blink pels dui gewoonlik op ‘n gesonde dier. / “A shiny coat usually shows that an animal is healthy.”
  • Presies waar sit ‘n baber se tentakels? / “Exactly where are a catfish’s tentacles situated?”

4. Common Afrikaans Animal Expressions, Idioms, and Sayings

  1.  Hy lyk of die kat sy kos gesteel het.
    “He looks like the cat stole his food.”

    This describes someone who looks disappointed, discouraged, or dejected.
  1. Jy kerm soos ‘n kat oor ‘n derm!
    “You complain like a cat over a piece of intestine!”

    Use this comment when someone complains and moans about trivialities and nonsense, or when they don’t want to stop complaining. The rhyme in Afrikaans gives it a humorous effect.
  1. Al dra ‘n aap ‘n goue ring bly dit maar ‘n lelike ding.
    “Even when a monkey wears a golden ring, it remains an ugly thing.”

    This saying means that no matter how much an unattractive, uncouth person or object is spruced up or presented, they remain ugly.

    Note: Be cautious how you use this idiom, though. Some might find it offensive.

A Female Monkey Sitting with Her Baby in a Tree

Al dra ‘n aap ‘n goue ring bly dit maar ‘n lelike ding.
“Even when a monkey wears a golden ring, it remains an ugly thing.”

  1. Addergebroedsel
    “Offspring of adders”

    This strong, colorful term that sounds like it belongs in a Greek drama is used to describe sly, unreliable, or even dangerous people. In a sentence, you would say:

    Moet nie daardie politikusse glo nie; hulle is addergebroedsel.
    “Don’t believe those politicians; they’re the offspring of adders.”
  1. Dis ‘n bees van ‘n pampoen!
    “That is a bull of a pumpkin!”

    This expression is used to describe anything exceptionally large or impressive. One can replace pampoen with many other nouns to indicate its extraordinary size or extent.
  1. Selfs bobbejane het daar ‘n kierie nodig.
    “(To walk) there, even baboons need a walking stick.”

    This saying is used to describe a road or place that is practically impassable.
  1. Susan en Pieter gaan bokke bymekaar jaag.
    “Susan and Peter are going to herd their goats.”

    This is an old way of saying that a couple is getting married.
  1. Donkie skel vir Langoor uit.
    “Donkey scolds Langoor.”

    This idiom is similar to the English, “The pot is calling the kettle black.” Langoor (literally: “long ears”) is a popular name for a donkey, especially in Afrikaans children’s fiction. So, the idiom is used to describe someone who criticizes another for something they’re guilty of themselves.
  1. ‘n Gebraaide duif / eend / gans vlieg niemand in die mond nie.
    “A fried pigeon / duck / goose won’t fly into anyone’s mouth.”

    With this idiom, we say that nothing is accomplished without effort. Interestingly, a similar-sounding saying is used in reference to someone who’s effortlessly lucky:

    Gebraaide ganse vlieg sommer in haar mond.
    “Fried geese simply fly into her mouth.”

A Rooster Sitting on a Fence and Crowing

Die winkel is net ‘n hanetree van ons huis af. / “The shop is only a rooster’s step from our house.”

  1. ‘n Hanetree
    “A rooster’s step”

    This expression is used when we want to say that one thing is a very short distance from another. It sounds like this in a sentence:

    Die winkel is ‘n hanetree van ons huis af.
    “The shop is a rooster’s step away from our home.”
  1. Wanneer die hoenders tande kry
    “When chickens grow teeth”

    When someone uses this ironic idiom, it means that something is very unlikely to happen. It can be used as-is in a comment, or in a sentence like this:

    Hy sal eers verander wanneer die hoenders tande kry.
    “He will change only when chickens grow teeth.”

    Another saying with the same meaning is:

    Wanneer die perde horings kry.
    “When horses grow horns.”

A Beautiful Fox Standing in the Snow

Jakkals prys sy eie stert! / “Fox praises his own tail!”

  1. Die hond se gedagtes kry
    “To get the dog’s thoughts”

    This odd expression is used in reference to one’s thoughts of suspicion. Like this:

    Hy was aanvanklik optimisties oor die projek, maar die kontrak het hom die hond se gedagtes gegee.
    “He was optimistic about the project at first, but the contract made him suspicious.”
  1. As ‘n mens ‘n hond wil slaan kry jy maklik ‘n stok.
    “If you want to beat a dog, you’ll easily find a cane.”

    This means that if you really feel like harming or hurting someone, you’ll easily find a way to do so.
  1. Jakkals prys sy eie stert.
    “Fox praises his own tail.”

    This vivid saying is used to comment when someone boasts excessively about their own accomplishments or attributes.
  1. Die kalf is in die put.
    “The calf is in the well.”

    In the olden days, when Afrikaans Christian folks were forced to work on a Sunday (such as when there was an emergency on the farm), they would use this saying. These days, we use it to indicate that doing something that’s (strictly speaking) disallowed or unplanned is inevitable due to an emergency. You could use it in the following context, for instance:

    Ons word nie eintlik in die kantoorgebou toegelaat oor naweke nie, maar die kalf is in die put. Die versoek vir hierdie uiters dringende verslag het onverwags vroeg gekom.

    “We are not really allowed to enter the office building over weekends, but it is inevitable. The request for this very urgent report came unexpectedly early.”
  1. Nie ‘n kat se kans nie
    “Not a cat’s chance”

    This saying is used to convey that the chances of something happening are very limited or non-existent.

    Hy het nie ‘n kat se kans met daardie meisie nie.
    “He doesn’t have any chance with that girl.”

The Naked Torso of a Very Skinny Guy

Hy is so maer soos ‘n kraai. / “He is as thin as a crow.”

  1. So maer soos ‘n kraai
    “As thin as a crow”

    If you want to say that someone is physically very thin, this is the idiom you’d use.
  1. Mossie, maar man
    “(Only a) sparrow, but (a real) man”

    When a boy or a man of small stature distinguishes himself as courageous, intelligent, and persistent in the face of a challenge, this saying would describe them well. Also, think of a cheeky chihuahua furiously barking at (and often scaring off) a much larger dog—tiny but impressively courageous! Mossie (“sparrow”) is used interchangeably with muggie (“gnat”).
  1. Dis net die oortjies van die seekoei.
    “Those are only the ears of the hippo.”

    The hippopotamus’ natural habitat is close to water, in which it often swims to keep cool and feeds on vegetation. When the animal rests, it lies just under the surface with only a small part of its head visible above water. We use this metaphor when only a small part of something is known or observable, meaning that the largest part is unknown or hidden—just like the large hippo’s body under the water.
  1. Slaan twee vlieë met een klap
    “Hits two flies with one smack”

    If you’re in town to have coffee with a friend, but you also make use of the opportunity to run an errand, then you’ve “hit two flies with one smack,” so to speak. This is a comment on using time and opportunity economically. Consider this sentence:

    Slaan sommer twee vlieë met een klap; kom kuier wanneer jy weer in hierdie omgewing is vir werk.
    “Why not be economical with time; pay me a visit when you come this way again for work.”

5. Why not learn about animals in Afrikaans with AfrikaansPod101?!

I hope you learned something interesting from this article. What’s your favorite animal? Name it in Afrikaans in the comments!

With AfrikaansPod101, you’ll not only learn the names of animals in Afrikaans—we have so much more to offer. Get to know the language and Afrikaans culture by starting with these blog posts:

  1. How Hard is it to Learn Afrikaans?
  2. The Best Afrikaans Verbs List at Your Fingertips!
  3. Best List of Must-Know Afrikaans Pronouns
  4. Top Compliments in Afrikaans for All Occasions!
  5. Names and Terms for Families in Afrikaans
  6. The South African Weather Experience — What You Need to Know

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

  • Thousands of lessons tailored to meet you at your level of language proficiency, while giving you enough content to help yourself with straightaway (such as this free list of Afrikaans Key Phrases)
  • Several learning options that suit your pocket and your language learning needs, including our MyTeacher service which allows you to fast-track your fluency

Enroll with us at AfrikaansPod101.com now for a lifetime membership. It’s worth it!

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

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Your List of the Top 10 Afrikaans Questions and Answers

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Questions are language constructs we use to elicit information from other people, making them crucial in communication! Knowing stuff helps you navigate your way in this world—every child knows this. 

And any parent will tell you that even babies know how to “ask”!

So, if your plan is to connect and communicate with Afrikaners, it’s very important to learn or brush up on the  most common Afrikaans questions and answers.

Afrikaners are nice—like the country’s climate, they’re warm and friendly. And they love to chat, especially with new friends! So at AfrikaansPod101.com, we make sure that you master the Afrikaans you need to connect with them.

Three People with Drinks Chatting

Learn the most useful Afrikaans questions and answers quickly and easily in this article (and even more when you sign up)! This way, you’ll be able to converse in Afrikaans in no time, and reap all sorts of benefits.

Using Afrikaans questions, and making use of the Afrikaans question word list in this article, will boost your confidence, and can even help you make new friends. Not a bad prospect.

So, let’s not waste time. Get cracking on this list of the top Afrikaans questions and answers!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Wat is jou naam? / What is your name?
  2. Waarvandaan is jy? / “Where are you from (originally)?”
  3. Waar bly jy? / “Where do you live?”
  4. Waar bly jou familie? / “Where does your family live?”
  5. Waar werk jy? / “Where do you work?”
  6. Kan jy Engels praat? / “Can you speak English?”
  7. Hoe oud is jy? / “How old are you?”
  8. Wat is jou foonnommer? / “What is your phone number?”
  9. Wanneer is jou verjaarsdag? / “When is your birthday?”
  10. Hoeveel kos hierdie? / “How much does this cost?”
  11. Bonus: Hoe sê mens ___ in Afrikaans? / “How do you say ___ in Afrikaans?”
  12. AfrikaansPod101 Makes Learning Afrikaans Questions and Answers Super-Easy!

1. Wat is jou naam? / What is your name?

First Encounter

This is a very important question in Afrikaans when introducing yourself and getting to know someone. (Okay, well, it’s important in every language, if you want to get on with people!)

This is a pretty straightforward question, and it’s commonly used in a variety of situations. 

However, there are other ways to ask the same thing.

Alternate Ways of Asking

1.1 Hoe heet jy? / “What are you called?” (Roughly translated)

This is an antiquated way to ask for someone’s name. Because this Afrikaans question is related to Dutch, it doesn’t get used that often anymore; when it does get used, it’s usually by older folks.  

1.2 Wat kan ek jou noem? / “What can I call you?”

Even in English, this question sounds slightly flirtatious, doesn’t it? But fortunately, there’s nothing improper about it. So, if you need to put an Afrikaans-speaking person at ease, this is a nice phrase to use—with a calm, friendly smile and eye contact, of course.

1.3 Wat is jou volle name, asseblief? / “What are your full names, please?”

This is a phrase used to ask for one’s name and surname, and it’s mostly used in official situations. 

Possible Answers

Now, let’s look at some different ways you can answer these Afrikaans questions.

1.4 My naam is Annabel. / “My name is Annabel.”

A straightforward, simple answer, suitable for use in any situation.

1.5 Noem my Annabel. / “Call me Annabel.”

This is a slightly informal response, and it’s good to use if you need to be friendly and engaging.

1.6 Ek heet Annabel. / “I am called Annabel.”

The antiquated response to the antiquated Afrikaans question above (1.2).

1.7 Jy mag my op my naam noem. / “You may call me by my name.”

If someone knows your name and you want to put them at ease, you can tell them this. It indicates that you’re comfortable with a certain level of trust and informality between the two of you. 

If you guessed that this can also be the flirtatious, playful (and cheeky!) reply to question 1.3 above, you’d be right! 

It could also be a rather facetious response, so better not use it when you’re talking to someone very senior to you (e.g. a police officer, the traffic cop stopping you on the road, or a doctor).

2. Waarvandaan is jy? / “Where are you from (originally)?”

Afrikaans-speaking South Africans are, by nature, inquisitive people who want to know things about your personal history straight away! 

Fear not, they’ll be willing to share the same information about themselves. “Open” and “gregarious” are terms that describe Afrikaners well. So, start unpacking your family history already—beginning with one of the most common questions in Afrikaans asked of foreigners!

This Afrikaans question is used interchangeably with another one:

2.1 Waar kom jy vandaan? / “Where do you hail from?”

Most of the time, both questions specifically ask about your place of birth and/or where you grew up.

Possible Answers

2.2 Ek kom van Utrecht af. / “I’m from Utrecht.”

This could imply that you’re still living there, but not necessarily.

2.3 Ek is gebore in Utrecht en het daar grootgeword. / “I was born in Utrecht and grew up there.”

This is a more specific answer that leaves little room for interpretation. 

These Afrikaans questions and answers are often confused with the ones directly below, even by locals! 

3. Waar bly jy? / “Where do you live?”

Yup, this person wants to know where you’re currently residing. This can mean that they’re asking for the location of your temporary or permanent residence. Depending on the situation and how much you trust the person, answer with as many (or as few) details as you prefer.

Next is a question that’s a bit more informal, and asks for the same information but with more details.

3.1 Wat is jou huisadres? / “What is your home address?”

Have it ready on a piece of paper, in case it’s the taxi driver asking! Or better—learn it by heart. Your address is an important bit of information, no matter which country you’re visiting.

Possible Answers

3.2 Ek bly tans in Kaapstad. / “I currently live in Cape Town.”

Obviously, fill in your own city or town of residence!

Answering question 3.1:

3.3 My woonadres is ___ [e.g. Stay Nice Guest House; Main Straat, 48 Blouberg Strand]. / “My residential address is ___.”

The sample (between brackets) is for a temporary address. Again, fill in your own details. You could add your permanent residential address here, too.

As an aside: Just like in any other country, don’t ditch your gut feeling or the habit of keeping personal information safe when visiting.

South Africans are, as a rule, friendly and helpful people, but charlatans and criminals can live anywhere. So, if someone or something looks or feels too good to be true…well, you know how the saying goes.

House

4. Waar bly jou familie? / “Where does your family live?”

This question can be asked in official situations, such as at a police station, in a hospital, or by your South African employer. Answer truthfully. And keep in mind that you’ll very likely be asked this in informal situations too, so don’t say you weren’t warned!

Relax, though. Your newly acquired Afrikaans friend is not a plotting serial killer.

They’re showing that they like and want to know more about you. This instant intimacy is a hallmark of the way we roll at the very southern point of Africa.

Answer vaguely if you don’t feel comfortable with this level of info-sharing yet. Don’t worry! Your Afrikaner friend will understand. 

That said—just don’t lie, especially if you can see this friendship going somewhere good. Later, you’ll regret not being honest. Truthfulness is an important quality in Afrikaner relationships.

Possible Answers

4.1 My familie bly in Utrecht in Nederland. / “My family lives in Utrecht in the Netherlands.”

Pretty self-explanatory. This can refer to where your birth and/or extended family still resides.

A variation of this answer is:

4.2 My familie is van Utrecht. / “My family hails from Utrecht.”

Like in English, there is a distinction. This means that your family is from that area, but not necessarily living there still.

Traditional Family Gathering with Kwanzaa

5. Waar werk jy? / “Where do you work?”

This is very likely something you’ll be asked in both official and social situations. Your answer will probably include the name of a company and a location.

Here’s a similar question:

5.1. Wat doen jy vir ‘n lewe? / “What do you do for a living?”

The difference is nuanced, but, like in English, the answer doesn’t necessarily include the name of your employer.

Possible Answers

5.2 Ek werk vir Vodacom in Kaapstad. / “I work for Vodacom in Cape Town.”

This one is self-explanatory, but keep in mind that it’s the short version. If an official person asks this question, you could include your actual work address. Insert your own employment details, of course.

5.3 Ek is ‘n vliëenier. / “I am a pilot.”

If the conversation is informal, this is all you need to say in reply to question 5.1. 

5.4 Ek het my eie besigheid en werk van die huis af. / “I have my own business and I work from home.”

For the entrepreneurs!

Introduce Yourself

6. Kan jy Engels praat? / “Can you speak English?”

A vital question in Afrikaans! Especially if you’ll battle just to understand the replies. 

Here’s a variation of this question:

6.1 Praat jy Engels? / “Do you speak English?”

This is a slightly more informal way of asking the same thing. Obviously, replace “English” with the language of your choice.

Possible Answers

6.2 Ek praat Afrikaans. / “I speak Afrikaans.”

This reply will imply that you can speak it rather well.

6.3 Ek praat nie Afrikaans nie. / “I don’t speak Afrikaans.”

This is a handy phrase, especially if you’re in deep-rural South Africa. You’d be more likely to get swift assistance if the native speaker understands that you can’t speak Afrikaans well yet.

6.4 Ek leer nog Afrikaans praat. / “I’m still learning to speak Afrikaans.”

At least you’re trying! Like in most other countries, your effort to learn the natives’ language will be much appreciated, admired, and encouraged.
6.5 Ek praat ‘n bietjie Afrikaans. / “I speak a bit of Afrikaans.”

Boy Learning Language

7. Hoe oud is jy? / “How old are you?”

Uhm, not considered the most polite question in social settings—especially when addressing older women!

We also won’t ask you to divulge your age…unless you look twenty years younger than you are. But then, you’re probably used to getting this question anyway.

On the topic of social etiquette, Afrikaners are pretty down-to-earth, pragmatic, and easy-going people. 

So, in our books, there are very few unforgivable social gaffes. These are not even, strictly speaking, social gaffes. It’s your common, garden-variety bad behavior that we frown upon socially.

For instance, don’t hit a child. Nowadays, that’s a crime in South Africa, even if the child is yours. Actually, just don’t hit anyone. 

And don’t be rude, selfish, or insulting. This type of behavior lands guests on the other side of the welcome mat—probably on their butt. Most Afrikaners are great at setting boundaries.

Woman with

You’ll be forgiven many small social sins, especially once we sense that you’re reliable, transparent, and a cool person!

Anyway, take the cue and rather don’t ask this Afrikaans question unless you’re making conversation with one of the kiddos! Then make a fuss of the reply, no matter what.

Possible Answers

7.1 Ek is ___. / “I am ___.”

Insert your age in the blank. (To learn Afrikaans numbers, do visit us at AfrikaansPod101.com. You can learn to count straight away—anywhere and for free!)

The longer version of this reply is:

7.2 Ek is vyf-en-twintig jaar oud. / “I am twenty-five years old.”

Again, just add your own age. Both are commonly used, but the former is the more colloquial reply.

7.3 Ek is vyftig jaar en ses maande oud. / “I’m fifty years and six months old.”

In case you need to be very specific.

Numbers

8. Wat is jou foonnommer? / “What is your phone number?”

Uncomplicated and self-evident, this question can be used in any situation. You can also ask a simpler question:

8.1 Wat is jou nommer? / “What is your number?”

This will only work if the context is clear, of course.

Possible Answers

8.2 My foonnommer is ___. / “My phone number is ___.”

The short version is:

8.3 My nommer is ___. / “My number is ___.”

Guy Pointing to His Celphone

9. Wanneer is jou verjaarsdag? / “When is your birthday?”

Like the question about age, we don’t ask this right after learning a person’s name. But it’s not such a sensitive topic, so you won’t be ostracized if you do ask this of your new Afrikaner friend. 

And we love birthday parties!

This question, though, should not be confused with:

9.1 Wat is jou geboortedatum? / “What is your birth date?”

The difference should be evident.

Possible Answers

9.2 My verjaarsdag is 22 November. / “My birthday is November 22.”

Just fill in your own birthday.

9.3 My geboortedatum is 22 November, 1969. / “My date of birth is November 22, 1969.”

Answering question 9.1.

9.4 Ek is gebore op 22 November, in 1969. / “I was born on November 22, in 1969.”

Kids at Birthday Party

10. Hoeveel kos hierdie? / “How much does this cost?”

In South Africa, you can’t haggle in shops; it’s unacceptable. An item’s price is its price, and it’s almost never negotiable. So, you won’t be using this question to quibble about the cost of something. Save that for the casual street markets!

However, it’s good to know this Afrikaans question when the price isn’t evident. 

A variation:

9.1 Wat is die prys hiervan? / “What is this thing’s price?”

You can use this in restaurants, for instance, to learn the price of a specific dish. It needs to be clear what you’re referring to, of course. 

You can also modify the question by adding: … in Amerikaanse dollars / “…in American dollars.”

Possible Answers

9.2 Dit kos ses-honderd Rand. / “It costs six-hundred Rand.”

The Rand, or ZAR, is South Africa’s monetary unit. This amount will get written like this: R600.

BTW, to learn about Afrikaans money, subscribe to AfrikaansPod101 now for access to a quick lesson!

People Handling Paper Currency

11. Bonus: Hoe sê mens ___ in Afrikaans? / “How do you say ___ in Afrikaans?”

Insert the English word, or indicate what you mean. This question is especially handy when you first start learning Afrikaans, and you’re going to ask this a lot. Shorten it by leaving out in Afrikaans

And fear not—we’re patient with students! We’ll translate for you with a smile.

You can also ask:

10.1 Wat is ___ in Afrikaans? / “What is ___ in Afrikaans?”

The difference between the questions should be evident. Choose the one that best fits your situation.

Possible Answers

10.2 Jy sê ___. / “You say ___.”

10.3 Dit is ‘n ___. / “That is a(n) ___.”

10.4 Dit is ‘n ___ in Afrikaans. / “That is a(n) ___ in Afrikaans.”

This is a more elaborate answer. Leave out the article ‘n when you’re not referring to a specific thing.

10.5 Ek weet nie. / “I don’t know.”

Well, sometimes you just don’t.

Woman Gesturing I Don't Know

Well done! If you know these Afrikaans questions and answers by heart, you’re well-equipped to start a conversation. 

Are there any other questions and answers in Afrikaans you want to know? Let us have them in the comments!

Before we conclude, here’s the promised list of Afrikaans question words:

Afrikaans Question WordEnglish Translation
Wie“Who”
Wat“What”
Waar“Where”
Wanneer“When”
Hoekom“Why”

12. AfrikaansPod101 Makes Learning Afrikaans Questions and Answers Super-Easy!

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

But don’t fear!

We make it easier for you with our innovative approach to language-learning. Outlined below are just some of the perks you can expect when you enroll:

  • Plenty of free online tools upon subscription to make your life easier while learning to speak Afrikaans. (Such as, for instance, this free Afrikaans dictionary.)
  • Thousands of lessons tailored to meet you at your level of language proficiency, while giving you all you need to help yourself straight away, such as this free list of Afrikaans Key Phrases
  • Several learning options that suit your pocket and your language needs. For instance, fast-track your fluency with access to your own online teacher.

Enroll with AfrikaansPod101.com now for a lifetime membership! You’ll be happy with us—there’s no question about it!

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

Your Best Guide for Easily Passing the OPI Afrikaans Exam

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No more biting your nails over your pending Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) Afrikaans proficiency test! Anxiety only serves a good purpose if it motivates you to prepare well, because, as the saying goes, “Good preparation makes its own luck.”

Also, uncontrolled anxiety is bad for you and can definitely spoil your chances of performing well. We truly understand this at AfrikaansPod101.com, so we aim to help you reach your language goals so you can ace any Afrikaans exam with ease and confidence!

Woman Looking Relaxed at School

In this article, we’ll start with a look at why taking the OPI standardized language competency test can be helpful to you. 

Then we’ll move on to:

A) more details about the OPI, which is one of the oldest and best-known international Afrikaans proficiency tests available, offered by the American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages (ACTFL);

B) what you can expect the test to look like;

C) tips on how to prepare for the test like a boss;

D)
other Afrikaans proficiency tests on offer

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Study Strategies in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. How Can Taking the OPI Afrikaans Proficiency Test Benefit You?
  2. More Reasons Why AfrikaansPod101 is an Excellent Choice for Preparing for OPIs!

1. How Can Taking the OPI Afrikaans Proficiency Test Benefit You?

Afrikaans competency tests are required by some institutes of higher education, such as colleges and universities, for the entrance and exit exams of certain programs. 

Passing an Afrikaans proficiency test may also be a job requirement, if you’re, for instance:

  • working or planning to work in South Africa
  • working with South African Afrikaans-speaking business clients, patients, or others
  • working abroad with an Afrikaans Embassy or Consulate

These are not the only benefits, however.

Student Standing with Medal

On their exclusive licencee’s website (where you can order the tests), the American Council of Teaching Foreign Languages lists a few other uses for their flagship assessment test (the OPI).

These include:

  • Language fluency certification
  • Earning college credit (Official OPI ratings are recommended for college credit based on the American Council on Education credit-by-examination review.)
  • Certain program evaluation and performance
  • Linguist or teacher credentialing
  • For research purposes
  • For employment selection (In this case, an employer will most likely require that every applicant do this test.)
  • It could also benefit you if you’re applying for a South African work or residential visa. Afrikaans is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the country—almost 7,000,000 residents are fluent speakers.

A. ACTFL’s Afrikaans Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI)

The ACTFL is one of the oldest institutions of its kind. Founded in 1967, it promotes language-learning and proficiency around the world, and has a whole center dedicated to assessment, research, and development.

At this point, the only Afrikaans exam available through the ACTFL (the OPI exam) is for the evaluation of speech.

In the ACTFL’s own words, the OPI is a “valid and reliable means of assessing how well a person speaks a language.” Third-party studies have documented the OPI’s reliability in this, and the ACTFL is furthermore rigorous in its training and monitoring of language professionals as testers.

There are two types of OPIs: a commercial one and an official/certified one. The main difference between them is that commercial OPIs are single-rated, and the certified one is double-rated. Read on for more information about that. 

B. What You Can Expect the Test to Look Like

The Oral Proficiency Interview takes the form of a rater conducting a one-on-one telephonic interview with the testee in order to record a ratable speech sample.

Woman Talking on Phone

In the case of official or certified OPIs, the sample is also evaluated by another rater, based on the same criteria. The two raters’ scores must agree independently before a rating is issued.

If it’s a commercial OPI, the speech sample is rated only once, by the tester.

Then a score is assigned, based on the Interagency Language Roundtable (IRL)’s scaling system, which has six levels: 0 – 5. The scale and ratings are based on criteria determined by the IRL’s Language Skill Level Descriptions for Speaking.

According to the IRL website, each of the scale’s six “base levels” implies control of any previous “base level’s” functions and accuracy. Therefore, getting a “0” means that a testee has no conversational Afrikaans skills, while a “5” means that the testee has the oral ability of a highly articulate, well-educated native Afrikaans speaker.

The IRL also offers completely computerized OPIs, but this testing option is not yet available for Afrikaans.

The duration of the call lasts between twenty and thirty minutes. The conversation is continuously adapted by the rater based on the testee’s interests and abilities, so it’s highly personalized and relates to real life. 

Therefore, it’s not possible to know the exact content of the conversation beforehand. However, you can expect the interview to be based on this formula, consisting of four mandatory phases:

  • Warm-up 
  • Level checks
  • Probes
  • Wind-down

It should be clear that the tester will be looking at your ability to use Afrikaans effectively and appropriately in real-life situations. 

1- What it isn’t

  • The test has nothing to do with checking when, where, why, or how you acquired Afrikaans. 
  • It isn’t an achievement test assessing specific aspects of course and curriculum content for academic purposes.
  • Neither is it connected to any specific instructional method.
  • The test isn’t comparative, meaning that your performance is not compared to other testers’.

2- How to Schedule a Test

All of the ACTFL’s assessments are done through their exclusive licensee, Language Testing International (LTI). 

The ordering and scheduling of tests are done online via the LTI’s website. Simply select the OPI assessment, based on your abilities and what you need it for; the procedures and steps to follow should be indicated clearly online. 

Individuals can apply for language certification, as can organizations, in which case different procedures and steps will apply. The site’s instructions are easy to follow.

Boy Learning with Earphones

C. How to Prepare for the OPI Like a Boss

Since it’s clear that the oral proficiency assessment is to ascertain your real-life conversational skills, it is, as said, difficult to predict what you’ll be asked during the test with the interviewer.

Also, you probably won’t be able to fool the tester—they’re very highly trained!

Therefore, the best preparation strategy would be to dig in and do some good old grafting in preparation for this assessment. AfrikaansPod101 can be of great help to you with this—just read on!

Meanwhile, here are some expert tips to help you prepare for an oral Afrikaans exam:

1- Practice, Practice, and More Practice

You can’t dodge this step! You’ll need to practice your Afrikaans-speaking abilities a lot if you want to get a good score on the OPI.

The best way to do this, according to foreign language-learner gurus, is to have as many conversations with (preferably native) Afrikaans-speakers as possible. According to one, “An hour of conversation, with corrections and a dictionary for reference, is as good as five hours in a classroom and 10 hours with a language course by yourself!”

That’s the bad news. And it’s even worse if you have no Afrikaans-proficient friends to speak with or don’t know where to meet these creatures!

The good news is that AfrikaansPod101 has an easy answer to this problem: get your own native Afrikaans-speaking teacher. This is one-on-one action you can’t do without if you wish to get a good score on the OPI.

Your friendly host will even do level assessments along the way. What better preparation can you possibly get, if you don’t live in South Africa or have a native Afrikaans-speaking friend?

If you have absolutely no knowledge of Afrikaans, start with our 100 Core Afrikaans Words list. Memorizing these will help you get a very basic conversation off the ground, and give you an immediate sense of accomplishment. Very encouraging.

2- Study, Study, Study

Another one you won’t be able to dodge is just the well-known ABC study technique. It involves Applying your Bottom to a Chair and doing the necessary intellectual labor to understand Afrikaans grammar, learn Afrikaans vocabulary, and so forth!

Here’s a great hack, though: Once you’ve learned something, make sure you use it numerous times in conversation with your native Afrikaans-speaker or Afrikaans tutor. Quick application is the best way to graft new knowledge into your gray matter. And the first sentence to learn in Afrikaans is definitely:

  • Hoe sê mens …?
    “How do you say …?”

Use this often and without hesitation!

Here, too, AfrikaansPod101 scores high. Everything you learn via our recorded and downloadable lessons is practical for real-life and applicable in numerous situations. This means that the topics aren’t obscure or out-there; they’re relevant and immediately usable!

Once you enroll, you’ll also get access to online apps for different devices that can help you learn Afrikaans on-the-go. That hour to and from work on the train or bus can be put to excellent use now.

Woman Reading Book on Bus

Also be sure to carry your free online Afrikaans dictionary with you everywhere. This way, you can easily look up vocabulary pertaining to your life and your world—most likely what the OPI tester will be questioning you on!

3- Intense and Frequent Trumps Classic Old School

Studying four hours a day for two months, instead of three to four hours a week for four months in a class, is more likely to get you better results. The intense everyday studying will more deeply imprint new information into your mind than the less-intense study schedule will. 

4- Talk Afrikaans – In Your Head

Become your own Afrikaans buddy by having Afrikaans conversations with yourself in your head all day, every day! This type of practicing can be great fun.

We all have a continuously running voice inside our heads, anyway; it can just as well be an Afrikaans one! It’s also a good way to discipline yourself to think in another language.

Conducting chats with yourself is also a good way to prepare for conversations you’ll very likely have in the future, if you intend to work or live among Afrikaans-speaking South Africans.

And when you’re alone, do it out loud with a recorder.

5- Record Yourself

Imagine yourself as a famous TV personality talking to an audience, and record your “live transmissions.” This way, you can hear yourself speak and, comparing it to a native speaker’s version, correct your own pronunciation mistakes.

The recordings could also be a nice tool to share with your AfrikaansPod101 tutor!

But studying doesn’t need to be all drudgery and work, work, work…

6- Afrikaans Movies, Radio & Audiobooks Galore

Engaging with recorded Afrikaans in creative, interesting media is not only a way to get to know the Afrikaner culture well; it’s also an effortless way to train your ear to the way natives speak.

Some learners even sleep with the recordings on; it’s said to help with unconscious learning.

Also, this study method is fun and entertaining. After all, young children learn a language by simply listening and observing (and trying the language themselves)!

7- Don’t Become Discouraged by Your Mistakes

Like a young child, be willing to make stupid and seemingly millions of mistakes when speaking Afrikaans, especially at first. Don’t let any failure discourage you.

Your tutor or Afrikaans friend will understand that you’re not on top of the language just yet, and will be very prepared to help. Also, don’t berate yourself; just stick with endless practicing. You’ll get to “proficient” sooner than you think!

D. Other Afrikaans Proficiency Tests Currently on Offer

There are a couple of other good Afrikaans tests available for different competencies, such as reading, writing, and listening. They tend to be on the more expensive side, but are also accredited and worth the money you spend. 

These tests appear to be mostly conducted on site, but at least one reading competency test can be ordered via the mail.

We recommend that you take a good look at their official sites, and follow the instructions indicated.

1) Foreign Language Achievement Testing Service (FLATS) is offered through the University of Central Florida, and at the time of writing, an Afrikaans reading test can be conducted in a paper/pencil format.

2) The New York University’s School of Professional Studies offers language testing services on site. Two types of Afrikaans exams are on offer, depending on your needs. These tests seem to be very thorough, and have a comprehensive guide available for better understanding.

Let us know in the comments if you’ve had any experience with these, or if you have any pressing questions about them. We will do our best to assist you!

Language Skills

2. More Reasons Why AfrikaansPod101 is an Excellent Choice for Preparing for OPIs!

As explained earlier, we’re well-geared to help you master this sonorous language for conversations. 

Using the latest in technology, such as our Afrikaans pronunciation app, you’ll have instant online access to thousands of recorded lessons. These are presented by friendly native speakers who let you hear exactly how the language is spoken. 

Enrollment opens a lifetime account, with numerous features (many of them free!), irrespective of the learning program you choose. These include the following tools to easily practice Afrikaans phrases and pronunciation:

1) An Afrikaans Key Phrases List: Quickly learn how to greet, introduce yourself, say no and yes—all of those important phrases and words!

2) Thousands of culturally relevant lessons, recorded and downloadable.

3) Themed and targeted vocabulary lists that don’t overwhelm because they’re disjointed and not related!

4) A Word a Day: To keep your memory jogging and fresh.

Afrikaans is a pleasant, easy language to learn and use, and is closely related to Dutch. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll find Dutch very easy to master—two birds with one stone, almost! Don’t hesitate, and start learning Afrikaans online for free with AfrikaansPod101.com. Consider our website a complete guide to the Afrikaans language!

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Afrikaans Sentence Patterns – Your Best Guide!

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Afrikaans is a daughter-language of Dutch, which informs about ninety percent of its vocabulary. However, many other languages helped shape Afrikaans! These include Malay and all of the African languages, as well as Portuguese, Arabic, French, German, and even Russian. 

With such a mixed pot, you’d think that Afrikaans sentence patterns would be very complex and difficult to learn. You would be both right and wrong! 

Certain aspects of Afrikaans sentence structures are indeed complex, but the basics are pretty easy to master. With a bit of effort, you could be speaking like a native in no time. 

Also, at AfrikaansPod101.com, we understand that in order to master the content successfully, the learning process needs to be enjoyable. So we make sure to keep our lessons easy and fun!

In this article, we offer you a good number of Afrikaans sentence pattern examples that should help you get the basics under your belt.

But before we proceed with that—why is it important to learn these sentences as soon as you start with your Afrikaans studies?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. 1. Why is it Important to Master Afrikaans Sentence Patterns?
  2. 10 Afrikaans Sentence Patterns
  3. What Makes AfrikaansPod101 Different?

1. Why is it Important to Master Afrikaans Sentence Patterns?

It’s important to quickly learn at least the basic Afrikaans sentence patterns if you wish to:

1) Understand native Afrikaans-speakers more easily

2) Be better understood by native speakers when you speak Afrikaans

3) Understand Afrikaans media, such as news, movies, TV, music, books, etc., more easily

4) Significantly ease your Afrikaans learning process 

NOTEBOOK WITH PENCIL AND WRITING ABC

In fact, mastering any language’s sentence patterns flows naturally from learning its vocabulary—it’s part of the language’s very structure!

So, let’s get you going on these Afrikaans sentence pattern examples. Once you’ve memorized them, you should find that the language will make much more sense to you.

Note: It will also help you a lot to study our Afrikaans sentence word order blog post! 

Sentence Patterns

2. 10 Afrikaans Sentence Patterns

1 – Linking Pronouns and Nouns with the Verbs “Is,” “Am,” and “Are”

The Afrikaans sentence pattern for linking nouns is very similar to that in English. You’ll see that the simplest way to join two nouns follows exactly the same structure.

Of course, more complex sentences follow different patterns, but it’s best to start with the basics first!

1.1 Ek is Gerda. / “I am Gerda.”

1.2 Ek is ‘n skrywer. / “I am a writer.”

1.3 Daardie vrou is my baas. / “That lady is my boss.”

1.4 Daardie ou is my man. / “That guy is my husband.”

1.5 Hy is ‘n vegvlieënier. / “He is a fighter pilot.”

1.6 Ons kinders is internasionale skool studente. / “Our children are international school students.”

1.7 Ons is ‘n gesin wat in die buiteland bly. / “We are a family living abroad.”

KIDS IN SCHOOL UNIFORM

Note: Did you notice that there’s only one verb (is) in Afrikaans that modifies the pronoun and noun? English has three, each one used depending on the noun or pronoun: “is,” “am,” and “are.”

2. Describing Someone or Something

Again, the basic Afrikaans sentence construction is very similar to that in English when we describe someone or something. We use adjectives (byvoeglike naamwoorde) and adverbs (bywoorde) for this purpose. 

2.1 Jy is vriendelik. / “You are friendly.” 

2.2 My man is aantreklik. / “My husband is attractive.”

2.3 Daardie man is ‘n goeie sanger. / “That man is a good singer.” 

2.4 Die groot klavier was ‘n mooi instrument. / “The big piano was a beautiful instrument.” 

2.5 Baie dankie vir die vriendelike uitnodiging. / “Thank you very much for the friendly invitation.” 

3. Expressing Want

Afrikaans phrases for expressing want are a bit more complex than those in English. 

There are two ways to express want. One involves the use of the verb and adverb wil and , and the other simply uses the verb soek.

Here are some useful examples:

3.1 Ek wil ‘n koffie hê, asseblief. / “I want a coffee, please.” (You could also leave out the article ‘n, just like in English.)

3.2 Sy wil suiker hê, asseblief. / “She wants sugar, please.”

3.3 Ek wil ‘n kamer hê, asseblief. / “I want a room, please.” 

This is good and polite Afrikaans. Wil and always flank the object (a noun, or the thing you want) on both sides. 

You could also express want in another way. But, while it’s colloquial and often used, it’s not as grammatically pure as the previous examples.

3.4 Ek soek ‘n dokter, asseblief. / “I’m looking for a doctor, please.” 

3.5 Ek soek dringend hulp, asseblief. / “I am urgently looking for assistance, please.” 

DR WITH YOUNG PATIENT

This one’s a bit tricky, because soek also means “to search for,” as in:

3.6 Ons soek my suster. / “We are searching for my sister.”

3.7 Hulle soek die verlore hond. / “They are searching for the lost dog.” 

You will, of course, be understood if you omit asseblief (“please”), but similarly to some other languages, saying “please” is an indicator of respect in Afrikaans.

4. Expressing Need

Wants are different from needs, and this is clearly expressed in Afrikaans, too. There are two ways to express your needs.

First, the simple Afrikaans sentence structure always sandwiches the noun (object of your need) between the verb het and the adverb nodig.

4.1 Ek het kos nodig. / “I need food.” 

4.2 Die man het kos nodig. / “The man needs food.”

4.3 Ek het ‘n vurk nodig. / “I need a fork.” 

4.4 Daardie vrou het ‘n vurk nodig. / “That woman needs a fork.” 

PEOPLE TOASTING BEFORE A MEAL

This is good colloquial Afrikaans, and is most popularly used.

The other, more formal way of making a need clear uses the verb benodig. Use this in formal documents or speech, such as at work or in court.

4.5 Ek benodig die verslag. / “I need the report.”

4.6 Die baas benodig die syfers. / “The boss needs the figures.” 

More Afrikaans sentence examples:

4.7 Ek het medisyne nodig, asseblief. / “I need medicine, please.” 

4.8 Sy het water nodig. / “She needs water.” 

4.9 Die siek kat het ‘n veearts nodig. / “The ill cat needs a vet.”

4.10 Die polisie benodig jou besonderhede. / “The police need your details.” 

4.11 Jy benodig ander dokumente om ‘n visa te kry. / “You need different documents to get a visa.”

5. Expressing a Like or Preference

When you like something, you use the verb and particle hou van to express it in the simplest Afrikaans, like this:

5.1 Ek hou van jou. / “I like you.”

5.2 Sy hou van roomys. / “She likes ice cream.”

5.3 Die man hou van kuns. / “The man likes art.”

5.4 Ek hou daarvan om op die strand te stap. / “I like taking a stroll on the beach.”

5.5 Hy hou daarvan om in die stort te sing. / “He likes to sing in the shower.”

5.6 Ek hou van Imagine Dragons se musiek. / “I like Imagine Dragons’ music.”

COUPLE WITH DOG ON BEACH

6. Asking Someone to Do Something

Like in English, it’s considered polite and respectful to use “please” (asseblief) when you’re asking someone to do something. It doesn’t matter whether you place it at the beginning or the end of the sentence, or just after the first verb—as long as it’s there! Here are some examples of how to make sentences in Afrikaans when asking someone to do something. 

6.1 Sit, asseblief. / “Sit, please.”

6.2 Sit dit neer, asseblief. / “Put it down, please.” 

6.3 Asseblief gee dit vir my aan. / “Please hand it to me.”

6.4 Groot-asseblief, moenie raas nie! / “Big please, don’t make a racket!”

6.5 Staan asseblief voor die kamera. / “Please stand in front of the camera.”

Note: Body language is very important, as is how you address the person whom you’re asking to do something. 

  • A sharp, short tone will sound like a command. (Try to avoid this, unless you’re in the army and can pull rank!)
  • A smile, a friendly hand gesture, and a calm voice will be more of an invitation to act than an order.
  • A polite request will only require a friendly, calm manner while looking the other person in the eye.
Sentence Components

7. Asking for Permission

Permission-asking is another part of the South African social etiquette. Be sure to memorize Asseblief mag ek … (“Please may I…”), because this phrase is what you can start most permission-asking sentences with.

You could also add asseblief to the end of the sentence; it won’t be incorrect.

7.1 Asseblief mag ek sit? / “Please may I sit?”

7.2 Asseblief mag ek gaan? / “Please may I go?”

7.3 Mag ek ingaan, asseblief? / “May I enter, please?”

7.4 Asseblief mag ek die badkamer gebruik? / “Please may I use the bathroom?”

7.5 Mag ek op hierdie stoel sit, asseblief? / “May I sit on this chair, please?”

7.6 Asseblief mag ek vroeg loop vandag? / “Please may I leave early today?”

Again, if you want a good response, look the person in the eye, and remain friendly and calm. 

You can also use this phrase to ask for something, such as tickets. Like this:

7.7 Mag ek kaartjies kry, asseblief? / “May I have tickets, please?”

7.8 Mag ek koffie kry, asseblief? / “May I have coffee, please?”

COFFEE WITH COFFEE BEANS

8. Asking for Information

South Africa is a fabulous tourist destination, and the natives are generally helpful and friendly. Yet finding your way around the country will always be easier if you know how to ask some basic questions in Afrikaans. 

When asking questions in order to obtain information, always start with a question word:

  • Wat? / “What?”
  • Wie? / “Who?”
  • Waar? / “Where?”
  • Wanneer? / “When?”
  • Hoeveel? / “How much?”
  • Waarom or Hoekom? / “Why?”
  • Hoe? / “How?”

Of course, all of these words on their own can be used as a question to ask information, if the person you’re addressing knows what you’re referring to.

Otherwise, you can use some of the following questions with the most pertinent question words.

A. Wat / “What”

A.1 Wat is hierdie? / “What is this?”

A.2 Wat doen jy? / “What are you doing?”

A.3 Wat doen jy vir ‘n lewe? / “What do you do for a living?”

A.4 Wat moet ek aantrek? / “What must I wear?”

A.5 Wat wil jy nou doen? / “What do you want to do now?”

B. Wie / “Who”

B.1 Wie is jy? / “Who are you?”

B.2 Wie kan ek help? / “Who can I help?”

B.3 Wie kan ek vra? / “Who can I ask?”

B.4 Met wie moet ek praat? / “Who should I talk to?”

B.5 Wie kan my help, asseblief? / “Who can help me, please?”

C. Waar / “Where” AND Waarheen / “Where to”

C.1 Waar is die badkamer, asseblief? / “Where is the bathroom, please?” (Replace badkamer/”bathroom” with any noun, such as polisiestasie/”police station,” hospitaal/”hospital,” lughawe/”airport,” strand/”beach,” ingang/”entrance,” and so forth.)

C.2 Waar bly jy? / “Where do you live?”

C.3 Waar kan ek kos koop? / “Where can I buy food?”

C.4 Waar is die naaste ATM, asseblief? / “Where is the closest ATM, please?” 

(Again, replace ATM with any relevant noun.)

C.5 Waar kan ek ‘n taxi kry? / “Where can I get a taxi?”

C.6 Waarheen gaan hierdie trein? / “Where does this train go?”

C.7 Waarheen kan mens gaan om te dans? / “Where can one go to dance?”

WOMAN AT STATION LOOKING AT WATCH

D. Wanneer and Hoe Laat / “When” and “What time”

D.1 Wanneer kom jy? / “When will you come?”

D.2 Wanneer kom die bus? / “When will the bus come?”

D.3 Hoe laat is jou vlug? / “What time is your flight?”

D.4 Hoe laat begin die vertoning? / “What time does the show start?”

D.5 Wanneer verwag jy hom? / “When are you expecting him?”

D.6 Wanneer arriveer ons? / “When will we arrive?”

Which Afrikaans sentence patterns do you think are the most relevant to you? Share with us in the comments!

3. What Makes AfrikaansPod101 Different?

So, these common Afrikaans sentence patterns will go a long way to help you communicate fast and with clarity. At AfrikaansPod101.com, we make that process even easier with our culturally relevant content, and our practical, fun approach to learning.

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

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

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

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Afrikaans Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Afrikaans

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Afrikaans! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Afrikaans keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Afrikaans Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Afrikaans
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Afrikaans
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Afrikaans on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Afrikaans Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. How to Practice Typing Afrikaans

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Afrikaans

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Afrikaans language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Afrikaans websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Afrikaans teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Afrikaans

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Afrikaans. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Afrikaans, so all text will appear in Afrikaans. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here’s a good option:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Afrikaans on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Afrikaans language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Afrikaans.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as Afrikaans with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on “Afrikaans” > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you will only need the one marked as “Afrikaans.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

  1. Go to “Start” > “Control Panel” > “Clock, Language, and Region.”
  2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”
  3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Afrikaans.”
  4. Expand the option of “Afrikaans” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Afrikaans.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region.

  1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to “System Preferences” > “Keyboard.”
  2. Click the “Input Sources” tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.
  3. Click on the plus button, select “Afrikaans,” and add the “Afrikaans” keyboard.
Adding a system language

5. Activating the Afrikaans Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Afrikaans will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Afrikaans keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy. Just make sure to type “ë” and “ê” correctly!

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

  1. Go to “Settings” > “General” > “Keyboard.”
  2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”
  3. Select “Afrikaans” from the list.
  4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

  1. Go to “Settings” > “General Management” > “Language and Input” > “On-screen Keyboard” (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > “Samsung Keyboard.”
  2. Tap “Language and Types” or “+ Select Input Languages” depending on the device, and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.
  3. Select “Afrikaans” from the list.
  4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, this is a good app to consider:

6. How to Practice Typing Afrikaans

As you probably know by now, learning Afrikaans is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Afrikaans typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a AfrikaansPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Afrikaans keyboard to do this!

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All About Verb Conjugation in Afrikaans – Your Best Guide!

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So, you know all about verbs in Afrikaans, but you’re still unsure about conjugations. No problem! Let’s learn about Afrikaans verb conjugation together.

In Afrikaans, it’s pretty simple, as verbs conjugate (vervoeg) in only a few instances. In other words, with most Afrikaans tenses, there are some changes to sentence structure and words, but not to the verb. The only exceptions are in the case of past tenses and the present participle. 

Fantastically easy, right? Yes! With AfrikaansPod101, this is definitely the case.

Let’s unpack this grammar rule in more detail, starting with some definitions.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Inflection vs. Conjugation
  2. Afrikaans Verb Inflections and Conjugations
  3. Quiz – Which Ones are Conjugations?
  4. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Your Conjugations!

1. Inflection vs. Conjugation

Top Verbs

These two terms are often confused, which is understandable. They’re very closely related. Fortunately, they’re not difficult to distinguish and can, in many instances, be used interchangeably. 

“Inflections” (verbuigings) is a general term that refers to form changes that can occur to sentences, verbs, nouns, etc., based on a number of variables. 

“Conjugations” (vervoegings) is a subset of inflections that applies only to verbs. Its counterpart for nouns is called “declensions.” So, all conjugations are inflections, but not all inflections are conjugations. Also, strictly speaking, calling them “Afrikaans verb conjugations” is a tautology, meaning that the use of “verb” is redundant. This is because, by definition, only verbs can be conjugated! (Think: “The frozen ice is cold!”)

Afrikaans verbs are conjugated for time only, as previously stated. They don’t inflect (change), for instance, for nouns and pronouns, meaning the verb stays the same no matter which noun or pronoun you use. This differs from English and some other Germanic languages, where the verb does change or inflect according to the noun or pronoun.

To illustrate this unique facet of Afrikaans conjugation, take a look at the English and Afrikaans tables below:

ENGLISH

Singular Nouns and Pronouns – Present TensePlural Nouns and Pronouns + “I” – Present Tense
he sits; she sits; it sits; the child sitsI sit; you sit; they sit; we sit; the children sit
he eats; she eats; it eats; the koala bear eatsI eat; you eat; they eat; we eat; the koala bears eat
Singular Nouns and Pronouns – Past TensePlural Nouns and Pronouns + “I” – Past Tense
he sat; she sat; it sat; the child satI sat; you sat; they sat; we sat; the children sat
he ate; she ate; it ate; the koala bear ateI ate; you ate; they ate; we ate; the koala bears ate

From the table above, you should notice that the verbs “sit” and “eat” inflect with an “-s” at the end for singular nouns and pronouns. For plural nouns and pronouns, only the base forms of the verbs are used, meaning the “-s” is omitted. All these changes take place when you’re using the present tense. For past tense use, they inflect again…can you spot the differences? Let us know in the comments! 

Afrikaans, in contrast, is totally easy:

AFRIKAANS

Singular and Plural Nouns and Pronouns – Present Tense
ek sit; sy sit; hy sit; hulle sit; ons sit; die kind sit; die kinders sit
ek eet; sy eet; hy eet; hulle eet; ons eet; die koalabeer eet; die koalabere eet

Here, it’s clear that the verbs (“sit” and “eat”) don’t inflect at all for any of the pronouns and nouns. Super easy! 

KOALA BEAR

With past tenses, as well as the present participle, conjugation in Afrikaans is a different story.

2. Afrikaans Verb Inflections and Conjugations

For the sake of good understanding, let’s take a look at when and how conjugations and verb inflections happen in different types of Afrikaans sentences.

Important Note for Table I: Just a reminder that “inflection” refers to changes that were made to the sentence and any words other than verbs. “Conjugation” refers to changes to verbs only.

Table I

Type of SentenceExamples of Verb Inflections (incl. Conjugations)
Imperative (orders and commands)1. Verb: Kniel / “Bow”
Example: Kniel! / “Bow (down)!”

2. Verb: Praat / “Talk”
Example: Praat sagter! / Lit: “Talk softer!”

Rule: 
  • There is no conjugation. 
  • Sag is inflected with the suffix -er

QUIET WOMAN IN MOVIE THEATER
Infinitive (ongoing action)Present
1. Verbs: Sukkel and Loop / “Battles” and “Walk”
Example: Die man sukkel om te loop. / “The man battles to walk.”

2. Verbs: Hou (daar)van and Lag / “Likes” and “Laugh”
Example: Ek hou daarvan om te lag. / Lit: “I enjoy it to laugh.”
 
Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Always precede the second verb with om te. No conjugation.

Past:
1. Verbs: Sukkel and Loop / “Battles” and “Walk”
Example: Die man het gesukkel om te loop. / “The man battled to walk.”

2. Verbs: Hou (daar)van and Lag / “Likes” and “Laugh”
Example: Ek het daarvan gehou om te lag. / Lit: “I enjoyed it to laugh.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Precede the first verb with the time word het, and the second one with om te
  • Conjugation – Add the prefix ge- to the first verb.
Future: 
1. Verbs: Sukkel and Loop / “Battles” and “Walk”
Example: Die man sal sukkel om te loop. / “The man will battle to walk.”

2. Verbs: Hou (daar)van and Lag / “Likes (to)” and “Laugh”
Example: Ek gaan hou daarvan om te lag. / Lit: “I am going to like it to laugh.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Precede the first verb with the time word gaan / sal / wil, and the second one with om te
  • No conjugation.
Conditional Past, Present, and FuturePast
1. Verb: Wen / “Win” and Be-verbs
Example: Hy sou gewen het as hy fikser was. / “He would’ve won if he had been/was fitter.” 

2. Verb: Werk / “Work”
Example: Hulle sou gewerk het as dit nodig was. / “They would’ve worked if it had been/was necessary.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Always precede the first verb with sou and follow it with het as + conditional clause + appropriate be-verb (in this case, was). 
  • Conjugation – Add the prefix ge- to the verb.
Present: 
1. Verb: Eet / “Eat” and Be-verbs
Example: Die hond sou eet as daar kos was. / “The dog would eat if there were food.”

2. Verb: Dans / “Dance”
Example: Die vrou sou dans as daar musiek was. / “The woman would dance if there were music.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Always precede the first verb with sou, and follow it with as + conditional clause + appropriate be-verb (was, in this case). 
  • No conjugation.
Future: 
1. Verb: Slaap / “Sleep” 
Example: Die baba sal slaap as die kamer donker genoeg is. / “The baby will sleep if the room is dark enough.”

2. Verb: Vertrek / “Leave”
Example: Ons sal vanaand vertrek as die motor reg is. / “We’ll leave tonight if the car is ready.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Always precede the first verb with a time word like sal / gaan / wil and follow it with as + conditional clause + appropriate be-verb (in this case, is). 
  • No conjugation.
Present1. Verb: Val / “Falls”
Example: Die reën val saggies. / “The rain falls quietly.”

2. Verb: Hardloop / “Run”
Example: Hulle hardloop weg. / “They run away.”

Rule: 
  • No conjugation.
Present Participle (forms perfect and passive tenses)1. Verb: Vra / “Ask”
Example: Hy kyk vraend na die vrou. / Lit: “He looks inquiringly (lit. askingly) at the woman.”

2. Verb: Hardloop / “Run”
Example: Die hardlopende bok beweeg na links. / “The running antelope moves to the left.”

Rule: 
  • Conjugation – In the first example, the suffix -end is added to the second verb, which changes its word function to that of an adverb.
  • The second example shows a conjugation with the suffix -ende on the first verb that, in this case, changes its function to that of an adjective. It’s also an example of an irregular conjugation that changes the spelling of the word.
 
Here are other examples of irregular conjugations that change the verb into an adjective or adverb:
  • verloor to verlore / “lost”
  • aankom to aankomende / “coming”
  • vertrek to vertrekkende / “leaving” or “going”
  • beloof to belowende / “promising”
  • skryf to skrywende / “writing”
  • lag to laggende / “laughing”
    loop to lopende / “walking”
    sit to sittende / “sitting”
  • vlieg to vlieënde / “flying”
BOY HOLDING A TOY AIRPLANE
Past1. Verb: Vlieg / “Fly”
Example: Ons het gevlieg. / “We flew.”

2. Verb: Kook / “Cook”
Example: Die kok het vir ons gekook. / “The chef cooked for us.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Add the time word het before the verb. 
  • Conjugation – Add the prefix ge- to the verb.
Past Participle (forms perfect and passive tenses)1. Verb: Vra / “Ask”
Example: Hy het vraend na die vrou gekyk. / “He looked inquiringly at the woman.” (First verb changes function to an adverb.)

2. Verb: Hardloop / “Run”
Example: Die hardlopende bok het na links beweeg. / “The running antelope moved to the left.” (The first verb changes function to an adjective.)

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Add the time word het before the second verb. 
  • Conjugation – Add end orende to the first verb, changing its function to adverb or adjective. If the first verb changes to an adverb, add the prefix ge- to the second verb. As explained above, the second example shows an irregular conjugation.
Future1. Verb: Slaap / “Sleep”
Example: Sy sal slaap. / “She will sleep.” 

2. Verb: Blaf / “Bark”
Example: Die hond gaan blaf. / “The dog will bark.”

Rule: 
  • Change in sentence – Add the time words sal / gaan / wil before the first verb. 
  • No conjugation.

A bit confused?

WOMAN SHRUGGING HER SHOULDERS WITH PALMS FACING UP

That’s totally okay!

Let’s quickly test your knowledge with an easy quiz…

3. Quiz – Which Ones are Conjugations?

More Essential Verbs

Identify the inflected verb (conjugation) in the following sentences and let us know your answers in the comment section!

1. Die man het geëet. / “The man ate.”

2. Ons sal weer lag. / “We will laugh again.”

3. ‘n Perd het kouend gestaan by die dammetjie. / “A horse stood chewing by the pond.”

4. Die mooi vrou praat sag. / “The pretty woman speaks softly.”

5. Die motor het vinnig gery. / “The car drove fast.”

6. Al die blomme is geurig. / “All the flowers smell good.”

In any language, grammar usually takes some time to master. For this reason, it’s best if you team up with…well, the best teachers you possibly can!

4. How AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Your Conjugations!

We hope you enjoyed learning about Afrikaans verbs and their conjugations with us. Are you ready to start practicing, or do you still have questions? Let us know in the comments!

Again, AfrikaansPod101 takes the lead with many excellent Afrikaans learning tools to help you master conjugations, inflections, and so much more—easily and almost effortlessly! While you’re learning about verb conjugations in Afrikaans, lessons like these are helpful, but we have so many more learning options for you, too! 

These tools include:

1. An extensive vocabulary list, updated regularly.

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

3. Access to numerous recordings, such as 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 test to personalize your training.

They’re very helpful when you bump into challenges during your studies. Your very own friendly, Afrikaans-speaking teacher will be only a text away on a special app, anywhere, anytime. Using a guided learning system, which was developed by experts in language and online education, they’ll be giving you personal feedback and constant support so you can learn and improve quickly. You’ll also be tasked with weekly assignments in reading, writing, and speaking, to really hone your Afrikaans language skills. 

Don’t hesitate—enroll with AfrikaansPod101 now!

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The Best Afrikaans Verbs List at Your Fingertips!

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Verbs are those words in a sentence that tell us what’s being done (or if it’s being done). In other words, a verb refers to an action. 

Afrikaans verbs are, in some ways, easier to master than those in other languages. For instance, in Afrikaans, verb conjugation depends only on time! This means that the verb form remains the same for all pronouns: 

  • Hy eet, ek eet, hulle eet, almal eet!

“He eats, I eat, they eat, everyone eats!”

Great, right?!

At AfrikaansPod101, we’re going to make sure that you understand Afrikaans verbs and their classification with our Afrikaans verbs list. In this blog, we explain the basic types of verbs found in Afrikaans, and offer you easy-to-use lists at your fingertips! 

Let’s not dally, but get busy and jump right in!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Useful Verbs in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Types of Verbs
  2. Afrikaans Verbs and Sentence Construction
  3. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Afrikaans Verbs!

1. Types of Verbs

Top Verbs

There are four types of verbs in Afrikaans.

TYPE OF VERB“Independent Verbs”

Selfstandige 

OR 

Hoofwerkwoorde
“Auxiliary Verbs” 

Hulpwerkwoorde 

OR 

Medewerkwoorde
“Linking verbs” 

Koppelwerkwoorde
“Infinitive Verbs” 

Infinitiewe
DESCRIPTIONThese are “doing” words that can only be used in the simple, incomplete present tense. There are four types of independent verbs.Afrikaans auxiliary verbs, which can never stand alone, help independent verbs express time, modality, and form. There are, therefore, three types of auxiliary verbs in Afrikaans.These verbs can also never stand alone. They’re used to link nouns, adjectives, or pronouns with nouns.The infinitive is a verb that’s used together with te or om te. These verbs can be used on their own in a sentence as well.

Let’s take a closer look at these types!

A. “Independent Verbs” / Selfstandige OR Hoofwerkwoorde

Hoofwerkwoorde can stand alone in a sentence. As mentioned in the table above, there are four types of hoofwerkwoorde, also called selfstandige werkwoorde, or “independent verbs” in Afrikaans. They are:

  • “Transitive verbs” (Oorganklike hoofwerkwoorde) AND “Intransitive verbs” (Onoorganklike hoofwerkwoorde)
  • “Reciprocal verbs” (Wederkerende hoofwerkwoorde)
  • “Impersonal verbs” (Onpersoonlike hoofwerkwoorde)

1- “Transitive & Intransitive Verbs” / Oorganklike & Onoorganklike Werkwoorde

Like in English, oorganklike hoofwerkwoorde are always followed by an object in a sentence. Or, in other words, it’s always clear that the action (depicted by the verb) is “transferred” upon a person or object.

Example: bring / “brings”

Afrikaans: Hy bring die sushi. 

Translation: “He brings the sushi.”

Another easy way to identify these types of independent verbs is by trying to answer the “what?” question. As in: “What does he bring?” (Wat bring hy?) If you can’t answer this question with a noun or pronoun, the verb is not transitive.

Man Holding Sushi Trays in Each Hand

Sentences with “intransitive verbs” (onoorganklike hoofwerkwoorde) don’t need an object—usually a noun or a pronoun—to make sense. Or, in other words, there’s no “recipient” of the action.

Example: sing / “sings”

Afrikaans: Sy sing.

Translation: “She sings.”

Also, an intransitive verb can be identified by a clause that tells more about how the action takes place.

Example: praat / “talk”

Afrikaans: Sy praat te sag op die verhoog.

Translation: “She talks too softly on stage.”

However, don’t break your head too much about these two types of independent verbs! Most transitive verbs in Afrikaans can be used as intransitive verbs too. 

In fact, there are very few true transitive verbs in Afrikaans! Here are some of them: 

  • Bring / “Bring”
  • Haak / “Hook”
  • Dra / “Carry”

All of the following independent verbs in Afrikaans can be used either as transitives or intransitives.

Gee / “Give”
Ontvang / “Receive”
– Gooi / “Throw”
Eet / “Eat”
Skink / “Pour”
Sny / “Cut”
Hoor / “Hear”
Skiet / “Shoot”
Lees / “Read”
Brei / “Knit”
Was / “Wash”
Bel / “Phone”
Verloor / “Lose”
Wen / “Win”
Sit / “Sit”
Hardloop / “Run”
Loop / “Walk”
Ry / “Ride”
Bestuur / “Drive”
Vlieg / “Fly”
Swem / “Swim”
Staan / “Stand”
Spring / “Jump”
Slaap / “Sleep”
Skryf / “Write”
Tik / “Type”
Verf / “Paint”
Speel / “Play”
Girl Jumping in Air

2- “Reciprocal verbs” / Wederkerende hoofwerkwoorde

We find these in English too, but they’re slightly different in function in Afrikaans. There are two types of reciprocal verbs in Afrikaans: 

a) Toevallig wederkerende hoofwerkwoord / “Incidental reciprocal verb”

b) Noodsaaklik wederkerende hoofwerkwoord / “Imperative reciprocal verb”

A toevallig wederkerende hoofwerkwoord can be transitive. This means that the verb will always be sandwiched between a subject and an object that can, but does not necessarily, refer to the same person. 

Example: was / “washes”

Afrikaans: Hy was hom.

Translation: “He washes him.”

In this sentence, the verb was (“wash”) can refer to a man who washes himself, or it can refer to a father washing his son, for instance. In other words, it could mean that the action is being done to a second party, which means that the verb is transitive.

The noodsaaklike wederkerende hoofwerkwoord (“imperative reciprocal verb”), however, is always sandwiched between an object and a subject that refers to the same person. There’s no doubt that only one person is being referred to here.

Example: verheug / “rejoices”

Afrikaans: Sy verheug haar oor die nuus.

Translation: “She rejoices over the news.”

Happy woman with Face in Hands

There aren’t many of these verbs in Afrikaans, and please note that their English translations aren’t always used reciprocally. Below is an Afrikaans verbs list to give you a better idea of these words. Afrikaans verbs with no direct translation to English are bolded.

  • vererg / “annoyed”
  • berus / “acquiesces” or “accepts” or “resigns”
  • beroep / “appeals to”
  • bekommer / “worry”
  • bemoei 

There’s no direct translation for this word in English. Bemoei can denote interference or inappropriate meddling with something. But it can also refer to taking action or interest in something one is not expected to, such as a charity.

  • verkyk / “gawks” or “stares in amazement”
  • verlustig

There’s no direct translation for this word either, but it means to take exquisite delight in something, truly savoring the experience.

  • verstom / “stunned”
  • begewe / “to embark on” or “to enter into”

Begewe denotes an action with a certain risk, meaning that you’re embarking on something potentially dangerous or something that could have a negative outcome.

  • bevind / “finds”
  • Misgis / “misjudges”
  • ontferm / “takes care of” (As in little animals, children, anything vulnerable)
  • verstout / “ventures to” (Taking bold action that’s slightly risky, perhaps even a bit naughty!)
  • beroem 

This word doesn’t have an English translation, and is difficult to describe! It denotes that you have a certain skill you’re proud of, almost to the point of being famous for that skill.

  • beywer

This word means something between “to work” and “to campaign” with fervor. It denotes that you put in special, dedicated, and passionate effort into doing something.

  • aanmatig / “presumes”
  • steur

No direct translation, but the closest English approximation is probably “to be bothered.” Steur means to take notice of something, or to pay attention to it. The word is usually used in this sentence: Moet jou nie daaraan steur nie. / “Don’t be bothered by it.” or “Pay it no heed.”

  • bedink / “devise”
  • gedra / “behave”
  • skaam 

This doesn’t have a direct English translation, but it means that you’re ashamed of something or someone.

3- “Impersonal verbs” / Onpersoonlike hoofwerkwoorde

Impersonal verbs are, as the name suggests, verbs that don’t refer to a specific person or place. 

List:

1. Dit reën en blits. (“There’s rain and lightning.”)

2. Dit sneeu in die berge. (“It’s snowing in the mountains.”)

3. Dit hael selde hier by ons. (“It seldom hails here.”)

4. Dit spook in daardie huis. (“The house is haunted.”)

5. Dit wasem op in die kar. (“Condensation is forming in the car.”)

6. Dit word nooit koud nie. (“It never gets cold.”)

7. Dit gaan goed. (“It’s going well.”)

8. Dit is onnodig. (“It’s unnecessary.”)

An easy way to identify impersonal verbs is by the subject in the sentence, which will always be the impersonal pronoun dit (“it”).

Confused and scared yet? Wait until you see the rest! 

Man Peeking from behind Table

No worries, though, because with a bit of consistent practice and some help from AfrikaansPod101, you’ll master all of these eventually. There are so many benefits of learning a new language—it’s worth sticking with it!

Also, for your convenience, here are other informative blog posts to expand your knowledge of Afrikaans grammar: 

B. “Auxiliary Verbs” / Hulpwerkwoorde

As the name suggests, these verbs help the selfstandige werkwoorde (“independent verbs”) in sentences. They help to express time, modality, and form.

1- Hulpwerkwoorde van Tyd / “Auxiliary Verbs of Time”

This is simple. There’s only one auxiliary verb in this category: het. Also, the other verb(s) in the sentence gets conjugated with the prefix ge-, such as in gepraat (“spoke”).

  • Ek het gewerk. (“I worked.”)
  • Hulle het fietsgery. (“They cycled.”)
  • Ons het gevlieg. (“We flew.”)

2- Hulpwerkwoorde van Wyse OR Modaliteit / “Modal Auxiliary Verbs”

Afrikaans modal verbs modulate the meaning of a sentence in regard to the probability, possibility, necessity, or need of the action taken.

  • Die vrou kan dit doen. (“The woman can do it.”)
  • Ons mag saam wees. (“We are allowed to be together.” OR “We could be together.”)
  • The man moet kosmaak. (“The man must prepare food.”)
  • Hulle probeer ‘n vlieër maak. (“They try to make a kite.”)

Other modal auxiliary verbs in Afrikaans:

  • sal / “shall”
  • wil / “will”
  • moes

This verb is used to indicate the past tense of moet, and the other verb also gets conjugated with ge-. For example: Hy moes kosgemaak het. (“He should have cooked.”)

  • behoort / “should”
  • hoef

This Afrikaans verb is always used together with nie, a verbal clause that means “needn’t.” For example: Julle hoef nie vroeg te kom nie. (“You [plural] don’t need to come early.”)

3- Hulpwerkwoorde van Vorm / “Auxiliary Verbs of Form”

There are only two of these auxiliary verbs: word and is. They’re used to indicate the passive voice.

  • Die motor word gewas. (“The car is being washed.”)
  • Daardie huis is verkoop. (“The house was sold.”)
Kite on a Nice Day

C. Koppelwerkwoorde / “Linking Verbs”

These verbs are used to link nouns, adjectives, or pronouns with other nouns. If used alone in a sentence, the latter won’t make sense. For instance:

  • Die kat is mooi. (“The cat is pretty.”)
  • Hy word groot. (“He is growing up.”)
  • Dit lyk goed. (“That looks good.”)
  • Jy bly mooi. (“You remain attractive.”)

Take note: This is not to be confused with bly, which means “live,” as in a house. Ons bly lekker in hierdie plekkie literally translates as “We live nicely in this little place,” and it means you enjoy living there. This bly is a main or independent verb, since the sentence will still make since if lekker in hierdie plekkie is removed.

  • Die kind klink moeg. (“The child sounds tired.”)
  • Dit wil voorkom asof sy skuldig is. (“It appears she might be guilty.”)

D. Infinitiewe / “Infinitive Verbs”

Negative Verbs

The infinitive form in Afrikaans is indicated with the use of te and om te together with the verb. The verb can be used alone too, where the infinitive is then implicated.

a) Te and a verb

  • Die rok is te koop. (“The dress is for sale.”)
  • Die motor is te huur. (“The car is for hire.”)
  • Hulle behoort hulle te skaam. (“They should be ashamed of themselves.”)

b) Om te and a verb

  • Die sanger hou daarvan om te jodel. (“The singer likes to yodel.”)
  • Sy vra hom om wyn te koop. (“She asks him to buy wine.”)
  • Ek is lief om te droom. (“I love dreaming.”)

c) Omitting om te (but still implicating it)

  • Swem is goed. (Instead of Om te swem is goed.) / “Exercise is good.”
  • Die kind leer klavierspeel. (Instead of Die kind leer om klavier te speel.) / “The child learns to play the piano.”
  • Help my die blomme plant. (Instead of Help my om die blomme te plant.) / “Help me plant the flowers.”
Someone Planting Flowers

Hopefully you’re not too confused! 

Now let’s take a look at the basic word order of an Afrikaans sentence to understand where verbs should take their place. 

2. Afrikaans Verbs and Sentence Construction

More Essential Verbs

The popular way to explain this is with the acronym STOMPI. But before you start, the golden rule to remember is this: In any DECLARATIVE sentence (stelsin) in Afrikaans, the first verb follows the subject

Now, to unpack STOMPI!

Note: While shortcut learning tools like STOMPI always seem more simple than they are, you’ll never be wrong if you stick to this formula! Obviously, the rules change slightly with interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences, but let’s start with declaratives. 

Subject or Who/What

This is the word indicating the person or thing taking the action, meaning pronouns, nouns, or proper nouns (voornaamwoorde, selfstandige naamwoorde en eiename). Or, in other words, the subject describes who or what is busy acting/doing something. 

Examples of a subject:

Sy

“She”

Die kat 

“The cat”

Marie

“Mary”

Silent V1 or Verb 1:

This one didn’t fit into the acronym, ergo its “silent” status! But it’s very important to remember that all declarative sentences in Afrikaans have this first verb AFTER the subject. This verb can be an auxiliary verb or a regular or conjugated verb (hulpwerkwoorde, en werkwoorde).

Time word or When:

This always comes after Verb 1, and answers the question “When?” It always mentions a time of day or a number.

Object or Who/What:

This is a noun or something upon which the action is performed. 

Manner – Adverbs (bywoorde):

These describe how something happens. In other words, they describe the action taking place.

Silent V2 or Verb 2:

This verb will mostly appear in future or past tense sentences.

Place or location:

These are words that indicate a place. 

Also called plekwoorde or “place words.”

Infinitive:

To do an action.

A. Example of STOMPI in action!

Die kat eet vandag die kos gretig uit die bak om te oorleef.

“Today the cat eagerly eats the food from the bowl to survive.”

Subject: die kat (“the cat”)

Silent verb 1: eet (“eats”)

Time word: vandag (“today”)

Object: die kos (“the food”)

Manner: gretig (“eagerly”)

Place: uit die bak (“from the bowl”)

Infinitive: om te oorleef (“to survive”)

Do you notice how the verb (Silent Verb 1) follows the subject in this sentence? (The Silent Verb 2 is omitted because this is set in the simple present tense.)

Here’s another example:

Stefan het gister die bal baie hard op die tennisbaan geslaan om te wen. 

“Yesterday, Stephen hit the ball very hard on the tennis court to win.”

Subject: Stefan (“Stephen”)

Silent verb 1: het (The word literally translates as “has,” but the sentence is written in the simple past tense. “Has” only gets used in one of the perfect past tenses in English, so it’s omitted from this sentence.)

Time word: gister (“yesterday”)

Object: die bal (“the ball”)

Manner: baie hard (“very hard”)

Place: op die tennisbaan (“on the tennis court”)

Silent verb 2: geslaan (“hit”)

Infinitive: om te wen (“to win”)

The sentence above is a simple past tense sentence. As you should see, it contains both Silent Verbs.

3. AfrikaansPod101 Can Help You Master Afrikaans Verbs!

Like any language, all this may seem very daunting to master. Don’t fear! We have your back!

Also—why study in ways that are boring and demotivating, when you can learn Afrikaans while having fun?!

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For instance, check out our page on cracking the Afrikaans writing system in minutes! 

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Before you go, let us know in the comments if you think we missed any common Afrikaans verbs in our list, or if you have any questions about conjugation. We look forward to hearing from you! 

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Best List of Must-Know Afrikaans Pronouns

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The word “pronoun” in Afrikaans is voornaamwoord. Like pronouns in most languages, Afrikaans pronouns are very necessary words to use and master. Without pronouns, a language could sound clumsy and be much more difficult to understand! But with AfrikaansPod101.com, this doesn’t have to be a problem. We help you learn not only the relevant vocabulary, but also the grammar and proper use of pronouns in Afrikaans—easily and excellently!

Let’s start with the purpose of pronouns. Basically, these are words that take the place of nouns (the very word “pronoun” should give that away!) in a sentence. This keeps us from repeating the same word or words over and over again. Also, as mentioned earlier, they ensure elegant and smooth speech and writing.

An example of a sentence without pronouns:

“Not only is Peter Pan a boy, but Peter Pan is also a fairytale character.”

The meaning of the sentence is correct, but it doesn’t sound very good, right? Here’s the same sentence with a personal pronoun. Can you spot it?

“Not only is Peter Pan a boy, but he is also a fairytale character.”

Yup, in this sentence, “he” is the personal pronoun that takes the place of “Peter Pan,” the proper noun. You can also learn the basics about nouns in Afrikaans in our blog post: Learn the 100 Most Common Nouns in Afrikaans.

Now that we’re on the same page regarding the nature of a pronoun, let’s dig into different examples of pronouns in Afrikaans! In Afrikaans, we classify nine types of pronouns.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Personal Pronouns / Persoonlike Voornaamwoorde
  2. Impersonal Pronouns / Onpersoonlike Voornaamwoorde
  3. Possessive Pronoun / Besitlike Voornaamwoord
  4. Relative Pronouns / Betreklike Voornaamwoorde
  5. Interrogative Pronouns / Vraende Voornaamwoorde
  6. Indefinite Pronouns / Onbepaalde Voornaamwoorde
  7. Reflexive & Intensive Pronouns / Noodsaaklike & Toevallige Wederkerende Voornaamwoorde
  8. Reciprocal Pronouns / Wederkerige Voornaamwoorde
  9. Demonstrative Pronouns / Aanwysende Voornaamwoorde
  10. AfrikaansPod101 and Afrikaans Pronouns—Why We’re the Best!

1. Personal Pronouns / Persoonlike Voornaamwoorde

Introducing Yourself

As the name suggests, Afrikaans personal pronouns specifically take the place of the names of people, places, and things in a sentence.

Personal Pronoun: EnglishPersoonlike Voornaamwoord: Afrikaans
Iek
ekjy
you (formal)u
shesy
hehy
weons
you (formal plural)u
you (informal plural)julle
theyhulle
itdit

Note: Unlike in English, the Afrikaans pronoun used when you refer to yourself (ek / “I”) isn’t always written in capital letters. Ek is written with a capital letter only at the start of a sentence.

See if you can identify every personal pronoun in Afrikaans in the following sentences!

Examples:

Cellphone

Afrikaans: Ek het my selfoon by die huis vergeet. My vriendin het gesê dat sy dit vir my sal bring.

Translation: “I forgot my cell-phone at home. My friend said she would bring it to me.”

Afrikaans: Hy will by julle aansluit.

Translation: “He wants to join you.” (Plural, informal “you”)

Afrikaans: My vriende is hier; ons gaan nou eet.

Translation: “My friends are here; we’re going to eat now.”

Afrikaans: Meneer, kan u Afrikaans praat? U vrou sê sy kan nie.

Translation: “Sir, can you speak Afrikaans? Your wife says she can’t.” (Singular, formal “you”)

Afrikaans: Hulle het ‘n nuwe kar. Dit is baie spoggerig. 

Translation: “They have a new car. It is very grand.”

2. Impersonal Pronouns / Onpersoonlike Voornaamwoorde

There are only two impersonal pronouns in Afrikaans: dit (“it”) and daar (“there”).

Examples:

Afrikaans: Dit reën buite. 

Translation: “It’s raining outside.” 

Note: This dit is used mostly in reference to natural phenomena like the weather.

Man with Umbrella Rain

Afrikaans: Daar is niks wat mens hieraan kan doen nie.

Translation: “There’s nothing one can do about it.”

Note: This Afrikaans pronoun is mostly used in the passive voice. Don’t confuse it with daardie! Read on to learn more about this.

3. Possessive Pronoun / Besitlike Voornaamwoord

As the name suggests, Afrikaans possessive pronouns indicate possession.

Possessive Pronoun: EnglishBesitlike Voornaamwoord: Afrikaans
my / minemy / myne
your / yoursjou / joune
her / hershaar / hare
hissy / syne
our / oursons / ons s’n
your / yours (plural informal)julle / julle s’n
your / yours (plural formal)u / u s’n
their / theirshulle / hulle s’n

Examples:

Afrikaans: Die kaartjie is myne. Dis vir my vlug na London.

Translation: “The ticket is mine. It’s for my flight to London.”

Afrikaans: Dis jou nuwe iPad. Die nuwe skootrekenaar is ook joune.

Translation: “That is your new iPad. The new laptop is also yours.”

Afrikaans: Haar sitplek is hare; sy sitplek is syne.

Translation: “Her seat is hers; his seat is his.”

Afrikaans: Julle hond is julle s’n.

Translation: “Your dog is yours.” (Informal, plural)

A Puppy

Afrikaans: Hulle tafel is hulle s’n. Ons gaan by ons s’n sit.

Translation: “That table is theirs. We’re going to sit at ours.”

Afrikaans: U ete is voorberei. Die vegetariese disse is u s’n.

Translation: “Your meal is prepared. The vegetarian dishes are yours.” (Formal, singular or plural)

4. Relative Pronouns / Betreklike Voornaamwoorde

Afrikaans relative pronouns are relative to, or have to do with, a noun that occurs first in the sentence. They’re used to connect a phrase or a clause to a noun. 

There are four pronouns in this category: wat, wie se, waaroor, and waarin. The literal translations for these pronouns are not used in the same way they are in English. 

In the example sentences below, the noun which is being referred to is underlined.

Examples:

Afrikaans: Die persoon wat praat is die kind se ma.

Translation: “The person who’s speaking is the child’s mother.”

Afrikaans: Die onderwerp waaroor sy praat is belangrik.

Translation: “The topic that she is discussing is important.”

Afrikaans: Die kind wie se tas gevind is, is nie hier nie.

Translation: “The child whose suitcase was found is not here.”

Afrikaans: Die drama waarin hy optree begin vanaand.

Translation: “The drama in which he performs is opening tonight.”

5.  Interrogative Pronouns / Vraende Voornaamwoorde

Basic Questions

As the name suggests, these Afrikaans pronouns are used to ask questions. You’ll see that most of them can be used as relative pronouns too.

Interrogative Pronouns: EnglishVraende Voornaamwoorde: Afrikaans
whowie
whatwat / waarvan
about whatwaaroor
with whatwaarmee
what…forwaarvoor
whichwatter
whichwanneer
whywaarom / hoekom

Tip: If you can answer the question with a noun, then you know there’s a vraende voornaamwoord in the sentence!

Examples:

Afrikaans: Wie het die Lotto gewen?

Translation: “Who won the Lotto?”

Woman Standinding in Money

Afrikaans: Wat gaan jy met die geld doen?

Translation: “What are you going to do with the money?”

Afrikaans: Waarvan hou jy die meeste?

Translation: “What do you like the most?”

Afrikaans: Waaroor wil jy skryf?

Translation: “About what do you want to write?”

Afrikaans: Waarmee wil jy die koffie roer?

Translation: “With what do you want to stir the coffee?”

Afrikaans: Waarvoor gebruik mens hierdie ding?

Translation: “What do you use this thing for?”

Afrikaans: Watter take gaan jy nou aanpak?

Translation: “Which tasks are you going to tackle now?”

Afrikaans: Wanneer is ons reis na Skotland?

Translation: “When is our trip to Scotland?”

Afrikaans: Waarom huil jy?

Translation: “Why are you crying?”

Note: Waarom can be used interchangeably with hoekom. They’re similar in meaning.

6. Indefinite Pronouns / Onbepaalde Voornaamwoorde

These pronouns in Afrikaans don’t refer to any specific thing, place, or person. 

Indefinite Pronouns: EnglishOnbepaalde Voornaamwoorde: Afrikaans
anyenige
anybody / anyoneenigiemand / enigeen
nobodyniemand
somesommige
everybodyalmal
fewmin / enkele
everythingalles
severalverskeie
nogeen
allalle
bothalbei
eachelkeen
enoughgenoeg
muchbaie

Examples:

Afrikaans: Laat hulle enige troeteldiere hier toe?

Translation: “Do they allow any pets here?”

A Cat and Dog

Afrikaans: Vra enigiemand, dis ‘n aangename plek hierdie.

Translation: “Ask anybody, this is a pleasant place.”

Afrikaans: Niemand mag ingaan nie.

Translation: “Nobody may enter.”

Afrikaans: Sommige mense hou van oefening, maar net enkeles neem deel aan professionele sport.

Translation: “Some people like to exercise, but few participate in professional sport.”

Afrikaans: Dis goed ons het baie kos gemaak, want min het oorgebly.

Translation: “It’s good we made a lot of food, because little was left.”

Afrikaans: Die orkaan het almal geaffekteer maar gelukkig het niemand alles verloor nie.

Translation: “The hurricane affected everyone, but fortunately no one lost everything.”

Afrikaans: Daar is verskeie resepte wat enigeen kan kook.

Translation: “There are several recipes that anyone can cook.”

Afrikaans: Geen persoon kan na agtuur inkom nie want alle deure is dan toegesluit.

Translation: “No person can enter after eight o’clock because all doors will be locked then.”

Afrikaans: Albei is my kinders, en ek het genoeg liefde vir elkeen.

Translation: “Both are my children, and I have enough love for each.”

Mother with Two Kids

7. Reflexive & Intensive Pronouns / Noodsaaklike & Toevallige Wederkerende Voornaamwoorde

These pronouns are used when both the subject and object of a verb refer to the same person or thing.
There are two categories of reflexive pronouns in Afrikaans: noodsaaklik wederkerend (reflexive) and toevallig wederkerend (intensive). It’s clear that the former (reflexive) refers to the same subject in a sentence, so that’s easy. However, it’s possible for the latter (intensive) to refer to any person or object, so the –self suffix is added for clarification.

Reflexive & Intensive Pronouns: EnglishWederkerende Voornaamwoord: Afrikaans
I – myselfEk – my
He – himselfHy – hom
She – herselfSy – haar
We – ourselvesOns – ons
They – themselvesHulle – hul

Examples of Reflexive Pronouns / Noodsaaklik Wederkerende Voornaamwoorde:

Afrikaans: Ek verwonder my aan hoe hy hom verspreek het.

Translation: “I am amazed by his slip of the tongue.”

Afrikaans: Sy het haar misgis met hoeveel hulle hul bekommer het.

Translation: “She misjudged how much they worried themselves.”

Afrikaans: Ons het ons gelukkig nie vasgeloop nie.

Meaning: “Fortunately, we didn’t encounter obstacles.” (There is no literal translation for this phrase!)

Tip: The astute will notice the lack of the self suffix! This is omitted when it’s clear who performs the action.

Examples of Intensive Pronouns / Toevallig Wederkerende Voornaamwoorde:

Here, the suffix –self is added for the sake of clarity. This means that, in a sentence, it’s possible that the action can be performed on another object or person.

Afrikaans: Hy was homself.

Translation: “He washes himself.”

Afrikaans: Hulle prys hulself.

Translation: “They praise themselves.”

Afrikaans: Sy trek haarself aan.

Translation: “She dresses herself.”

8. Reciprocal Pronouns / Wederkerige Voornaamwoorde

These pronouns are used to indicate that two or more people are carrying out, or have carried out, a specific action. Only two Afrikaans pronoun forms exist in this category: mekaar (“one another”) and die een die ander (“each other”).

Group Meeting Work

Afrikaans: Ons staan mekaar by met die werk .

Translation: “We support each other with the work.”

Afrikaans: Ons help die een die ander met opruim.

Translation: “We help one another to clean up.”

9. Demonstrative Pronouns / Aanwysende Voornaamwoorde

These pronouns don’t take the place of nouns, but are always used together with the noun. Again, only two words are used as aanwysende voornaamwoorde: hierdie (“this”) and daardie (“that”).

Afrikaans: Hierdie vlug gaan aangenaam wees.

Translation: “This flight will be pleasant.”

Afrikaans: Daardie paartjie is gelukkig.

Translation: “That couple is happy.”

Happy Couple

Well done! Now the question: “What is a pronoun in Afrikaans?” need not mystify you any longer! Also be sure to check out our other blog post, the Essential Afrikaans Adjectives List

10. AfrikaansPod101 and Afrikaans Pronouns—Why We’re the Best!

Improve Listening

With us, you get to learn these pronouns and so much more in easy, fun ways from a native Afrikaans speaker! Also, you get access to free tools, such as hundreds of vocabulary lists, a comprehensive Core Word List, a Key Phrase List, and a Word of the Day every day! 

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

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

But before you leave: Which pronouns do you have in your native language? Share three with us in the comments!

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eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

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Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

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Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

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In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

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Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

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I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

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After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

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Subscribe to Posted by AfrikaansPod101.com in Afrikaans Language, Afrikaans Online, Feature Spotlight, Learn Afrikaans, Site Features, Team AfrikaansPod101

All About Directions in Afrikaans – Your Best Guide!

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Getting lost is never fun, even less so in a foreign country. Knowing how to give or ask for directions in Afrikaans is therefore a very helpful skill to have when visiting South Africa! Fortunately, most South Africans speak English, Afrikaans, and/or Zulu, three of the country’s eleven national languages. They’re normally a helpful, friendly people. So, if you know all about asking for directions in Afrikaans, you won’t easily get lost!

Learn the basics about how to give directions in Afrikaans (and ask for them), and more, at AfrikaansPod101. It’s our goal to keep your learning fun and easy!

Let’s start with the basic vocabulary you need to master. Whether you’re asking or giving directions in Afrikaans, knowing certain words and how native speakers pronounce them will make your life much easier on South African roads. For instance, “left” in Afrikaans is links, while “right” in Afrikaans is regs. There—you already know two of the most important direction words in the language! 

Here’s an example of directions in Afrikaans to show you how you would use them in a sentence:

Basic sentence: Hou regs verby die Uniegeboue.

Translation: “Keep right (as you pass) the Union Buildings.”

Complex: Hou regs verby die Uniegeboue, en kyk uit links vir die hospitaal.

Translation: “Keep right as you pass the Union Buildings, and look out for the hospital on the left.”
“Straight” in Afrikaans is reguit, which is where we’re heading now—to vocabulary and phrases!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Around Town in Afrikaans Table of Contents
  1. Directions in Afrikaans: On the Road
  2. Directions in Afrikaans: On a Map
  3. Directions in Afrikaans: Survival Questions and Phrases
  4. Directions in Afrikaans: Landmarks
  5. Learn the Best Directions in Afrikaans at AfrikaansPod101!

1. Directions in Afrikaans: On the Road

Asking directions

Fortunately, Afrikaans and English are both Germanic languages. This means that they use the same alphabet; most Afrikaans can be translated literally into English and vice-versa.

ry reguit af — “drive/ride straight down”

Simple Sentence: Ry reguit af met Long Street.

Translation: “Drive straight down Long Street.”

Complex Sentence: Draai links en ry dan reguit af met Long Street.

Translation: “Turn left and then drive straight down Long Street.”

Note: The two languages share an expression that has to do with direction: “As the crow flies” / Soos die kraai vlieg. This means that something moves in a straight line from point A to point B. The expression allegedly originated in Scotland, with reference to a turnpike, or the so-called “crow road,” which denoted a direct route without detours. 

The reference to a crow’s flight is somewhat mysterious, though. The bird can certainly be observed flying in a very straight and steady line at times. Yet this behavior isn’t particular only to crows or ravens, and they do circle a lot too. Some say it may refer to an ancient sailing practice, when ravens were released to point the sailors to land, but this can’t be historically confirmed.

gaan af met — “go down with”

Simple Sentence: Gaan af met daardie straat.

Translation: “Go down that street.”

Complex Sentence: Gaan af met daardie straat om die V & A Waterfront se ingang op links te kry.

Translation: “Go down that street for the entrance to the V & A Waterfront on your left.”

draai links / regs “turn left / right”

Simple Sentence: Draai regs by die verkeerslig.

Translation: “Turn right at the traffic light.”

Complex Sentence: Draai regs by die verkeerslig en dan onmiddelik links by die ingang van die Voortrekker Monument.

Translation: “Turn right at the traffic light and then immediately left at the entrance of the Voortrekker Monument.”

gaan oor — “go over”

Note: Here, “go over” isn’t used literally. In English, we say “cross.”

Simple Sentence: Gaan oor daardie brug.

Translation: “Cross that bridge.”

Complex Sentence: Gaan oor daardie brug om by die Nelson Mandela Museum te kom.

Translation: “Cross that bridge to get to the Nelson Mandela Museum.”

Nelson Mandela

oppad na — “on the way to”

Simple Sentence: Clarens is oppad na die Golden Gate Highland National Park.

Translation: “Clarens is on the way to the Golden Gate Highland National Park.”

Complex Sentence: Clarens is oppad na die Golden Gate Highland National Park, so draai links af van die hoofweg soontoe.

Translation: “Clarence is on the way to the Golden Gate Highland National Park, so turn left off the highway to go there.”

oorkant — “opposite” 

Simple Sentence: Dis oorkant die apteek.

Translation: “It’s opposite the pharmacy.”

Complex Sentence: Dis oorkant die apteek wat jy moet regs draai en dan weer onmiddelik links.

Translation: “It’s opposite the pharmacy so you have to turn right and then immediately left again.”

langs — “next to”

Simple Sentence: Parkeer langs die motorhuis.

Translation: “Park next to the garage.”

Complex Sentence: Draai in by die tweede hek en parkeer langs die motorhuis.

Translation: “Turn in at the second gate and park next to the garage.”

voor and agter — “in front of” and “behind”

Simple Sentence: Ry voor in.

Translation: “Drive in at the front.”

Complex Sentence: Ry voor in en parkeer dan agter die huis.

Translation: “Drive in at the front and then park behind the house.”

ver and naby “far” and “close”

Simple Sentence: Dis ver na Muizenberg strand toe.

Translation: “It’s far to Muizenberg Beach.”

Complex Sentence: Jy gaan ver ry om naby Muizenberg strand te kom.

Translation: “You’re going to drive far to get close to Muizenberg Beach.”

Cape Town Muizenberg

by die kruising — “at the crossing”

Simple Sentence: Gaan links by die kruising.

Translation: “Go left at the crossing.”

Complex Sentence: Gaan links by die kruising en hou reguit aan tot by die eerste verkeerslig.

Translation: “Go left at the crossing and keep straight until the first traffic light.”

om die draai — “around the corner”

Simple Sentence: Die kruidenier is net om die draai.

Translation: “The grocer is just around the corner.”

Complex Sentence: Die kruidenier is net om die draai van die publieke swembad.

Translation: “The grocer is just around the corner of the public swimming pool.”

Note: In both Afrikaans and English, this sentence can be an expression that means that something isn’t far from another thing. It could also serve as a literal direction in both languages.

binne stapafstand — “within walking distance”

Simple Sentence: Die winkel is binne stapafstand.

Translation: “The shop is within walking distance.”

Complex Sentence: Die winkel is binne stapafstand van die polisie stasie wat net oorkant die stadsaal is.

Translation: “The shop is within walking distance of the police station which is just opposite the city hall.”

gaan terug — “go back”

Simple Sentence: Gaan terug na Gautrein stasie.

Translation: “Go back to Gautrain Station.”

Complex Sentence: Gaan terug na Gautrein stasie se hoofingang en neem ‘n taxi na die middestad.

Translation: “Go back to Gautrain Station’s main entrance and take a taxi to the city center.”

speeding train

X kilometer ver van — “X kilometers away from”

Simple Sentence: Kaapstad is 1400 kilometer ver van Johannesburg.

Translation:Cape Town is 1400 kilometers away from Johannesburg.”

Complex Sentence: Dis beter om te vlieg as jy haastig is want Kaapstad is 1400 kilometer ver van Johannesburg.

Translation: “It’s better to fly if you’re in a hurry because Cape Town is 1400 kilometres away from Johannesburg.”

2. Directions in Afrikaans: On a Map

Fortunately, all the directions stay the same on a map, no matter where in the world you find yourself. Giving directions in Afrikaans could be made much easier when you have one of these in front of you—geared with the correct Afrikaans vocabulary, of course!

map

noord and suid — “north” and “south”

Simple Sentence: Draai noord by die meer.

Translation: “Turn north at the lake.”

Complex Sentence: Hou reguit aan met die grondpad en draai dan noord by die meer.

Translation: “Keep straight on with the gravel road and turn north at the lake.”

oos and wes — “east” and “west”

Simple Sentence: Oos, wes, tuis bes.

Translation: “East, west, home best.”

Note: This is an Afrikaans expression that means what it says: no matter how far and wide you travel, home remains the best place to return to.

Complex Sentence: By die stopstraat, kyk wes om die Tafelberg kabelkar te sien.

Translation: “At the stop street, look west to see the Table Mountain cable car.”

noordwes and noordoos — “northwest” and “northeast”

Simple Sentence: Mafikeng is in Noordwes provinsie

Translation: “Mafikeng is in North West Province.”

Complex Sentence: Zimbabwe is noordwes van Johannesburg, maar noordoos van Maputo.

Translation: “Zimbabwe is northwest of Johannesburg but northeast of Maputo.”

suidwes and suidoos “southwest” and “southeast”

Simple Sentence: Namibië word ook Suidwes Afrika genoem.

Translation: “Namibia is also called Southwest Africa.”

Complex Sentence: Die Uil Huis is in Nieu Bethesda, wat suidoos lê van De Aar.

Translation: “The Owl House is in Nieu Bethesda, which lies southeast of De Aar.”

suidwesterlike and suidoosterlike — “southwestern” and “southeastern”

Simple Sentence: Die suidwesterlike deel van Suid Afrika is meestal woestynland.

Translation: “The southwestern part of South Africa is mostly desert land.”

Complex Sentence: Die Kaapse Dokter is ‘n sterk, droë suidoosterlike wind wat Kaapstad se besoedelde lug skoonmaak elke September.

Translation: “The Cape Doctor is a strong, dry southeastern wind that cleans Cape Town’s polluted air every September.”

noordwestelike and noordoostelike — “northwestern” and “northeastern”

Simple Sentence: Richardsbaai Wildreservaat lê in ‘n noordoostelike rigting vanaf Pietermaritzburg.

Translation: “Richard’s Bay Game Reserve lays in a northeastern direction from Pietermaritzburg.”

Complex Sentence: Gaborone, die hoofstad van Botswana, lê in ‘n noordwestelike rigting redelik naby aan Johannesburg.

Translation: “Gaborone, the capital city of Botswana, lays in a northwestern direction fairly close to Johannesburg.”

Game reserve, antelope

3. Directions in Afrikaans: Survival Questions and Phrases

Example: Waar is die stasie, asseblief?

Translation: “Where is the station, please?”

Example: Hoe kom ek by die hoofweg uit van hier af?

Translation: “How do I get to the highway from here?”

Example: Kan ek die trein soontoe neem? 

Translation: “Can I take the train there?”

Example: Wat is die kortste roete na die lughawe?

Translation: “What is the shortest route to the airport?”

Note: Unfortunately, like most countries, South African cities have their dangerous spots. It could sometimes be prudent to ask for the safest route somewhere, as in: Wat is die veiligste roete na XXX? / “What is the safest route to XXX?” Or, before heading out on your own somewhere, you could ask: Is dit ‘n veilige area om te besoek? / “Is it a safe area to visit?”

Example: Ek het verdwaal. Kan u my help, asseblief? (Here the formal “you” is a polite, safe way to address strangers!)

Translation: “I am lost. Could you help me, please?”

Example: Hoe vêr is is dit te voet na die busstasie van hier af?

Translation: “How far is it by foot from here to the bus station?”

Bus station

Example: Verskoon my, waar is die ruskamer, asseblief?

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

Example: Kan u my wys hoe om by die restaurant uit te kom, asseblief?

Translation: “Could you show me how to get to the restaurant, please?” 

Example: Baie dankie vir u hulp! Ek waardeer dit baie.

Translation: “Thank you very much for your assistance! I really appreciate it.”

4. Directions in Afrikaans: Landmarks

Directions

When a map is either unavailable or useless, a landmark could make all the difference in finding your way in a strange city. Many landmarks have been used in the sentences above, but for your convenience, here’s a handy vocabulary list of the most common landmarks found anywhere.

EnglishAfrikaans
“airport”lughawe
“train station”treinstasie
“bus station”busstasie
“bus stop”busstop
“taxi rank”taxistaanplek
“rental car depot”huurmotor depot
“harbor”hawe
“city center”middestad
“suburb”buurt
“park”park
“museum”museum
“aquarium”akwarium
“cinema”rolprentteater
“vending machine”vending machine
“theme park”pretpark
“hospital”hospitaal
“church”kerk
“zoo”dieretuin
“garden”tuin
“fountain”spuitfontein
“waterpark”waterpark
“elevator”hysbak
“escalator”roltrap
“revolving doors”swaaideure / draaideure
“bathroom”badkamer
“parking lot” / “parkade”parkeerplek / parkade
“gate”hek
“statue”standbeeld

5. Learn the Best Directions in Afrikaans at AfrikaansPod101!

Basic questions

So, reader, how do you feel about giving or asking for directions in Afrikaans now? Is there anything you still want to know about directions in Afrikaans? Let us know in the comments; we’ll be glad to help! 

Learning with us, you’ll be thoroughly trained to ask for and give directions in Afrikaans. We teach Afrikaans directions with vocab lessons that use listening comprehension, hundreds of vocab lists, many Afrikaans reading exercises, lessons with slideshows and recorded audio (such as this The Top 10 Ways to Prepare for Travel lesson), and so much more! Arm yourself with an online Afrikaans dictionary, thousands of Afrikaans key phrases, and a Word of the Day to stay at the top of your game. 

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