Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

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Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

Postby Speakeasy » Thu Jan 31, 2019 3:53 am

Afrikaans on the Forums
Most of the several hundred references on the LLORG and the HTLAL to this language are no more than brief appearances in long lists of languages. A few threads on the HTLAL have dealt with questions such as the differences and similarities between Dutch and Afrikaans, the mutual intelligibility of these two languages, including the usefulness of the latter, but there has been little discussion of resources for studying it. While an Afrikaans Profile was initiated in October, 2008, it was not completed. One member of the LLORG announced his plan to study Afrikaans; however, beyond that, there has not been much activity surrounding this language. While an “Afrikaans Resources” thread was opened in October, 2016, I managed to convince myself that some members might appreciate revised edition under “version 2.0” covering resources for this language.

Afrikaans Language
Afrikaans is an Indo-European language which diverged from 17th century Dutch and now has added words from other languages as well. Afrikaans does retain around 80-90% of the same vocabulary as Standard Nederlands, albeit with altered spelling, and simplified grammar. It is not completely clear how Afrikaans came to be, and learning about the history of Afrikaans is also to briefly learn the history of European settlement in Southern Africa. The development of Afrikaans may have begun in 1652 when Jan van Riebeeck of the Dutch East India Company chose to bring small groups of farmers to the Cape of Good Hope to set up a supply post for Dutch ships en route to the East Indies. This was not originally intended as a permanent settlement, but the farmers stayed and founded what is now Cape Town. Later, French Huguenots, local Khoisan tribes, and slaves from other parts of Africa, Indonesia and Malaysia also settled there also, though their languages did not survive contact with the colloquial Dutch then spoken. This unique mix of ethnic groups is believed to have contributed to the development of a "kombuis taal" or kitchen language that slaves spoke and passed on to the children of the Europeans, and to their own children as well. The kombuis taal is sometimes believed to have been a pidgin or creole, indeed a form of it survives to this day as a colorful form of Afrikaans still spoken by the Coloured (mixed race) people in Cape Town. When the British came to the Cape in the early 1800s, some of the Dutch moved east and north from the Cape of Good Hope, settling what is now the rest of South Africa. Kombuis taal, far from dying out or being completely integrated into English at this time, was reintroduced to Dutch for two reasons; the colloquial kombuis taal was only spoken while most writing was in Dutch and many families only had one book, the Dutch Staten Bijbel. Afrikaans was rarely written until the mid-1800s when Abu Bakr Effendi wrote Bayaan-ud-djyn an instruction manual for Muslims in the Cape originally written using Arabic characters. Meanwhile in what was then Transvaal, the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners was founded and began to press for their language to be written and taught as a separate language from Dutch. During and after the period of the Boer Wars, Afrikaans was developed as a way of rebelling against perceived British cultural oppression. Afrikaans was the favored language of the National Party during the apartheid era, though it had dual status with English as an official language, and this association still leads to the misconception that Afrikaans is merely the language of apartheid. Currently South Africa has 11 official languages, but English is becoming more dominant. Afrikaans is still predominantly found in South Africa and Namibia, with recent immigration also leading to many Afrikaans speakers in Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Belgium and the Netherlands. – Source: Afrikaans Profile - HTLAL – October, 2008

The World Fact Book: South Africa – Central Intelligence Agency
You see, I do have friends in high places!

Afrikaans Profile - HTLAL - October 2008
An excellent collaborative effort that was not completed.

Afrikaans – Wikipedia
The most complete description out there.

Afrikaans language - Encylopedia Britannica

Afrikaans - About World Languages

Afrikaans Courses
Overall, the situation has not changed much since the previous edition of “Afrikaans Resources.” My searches of the Yojik, Live Lingua, DLIFLC, ERIC, and NFLC websites revealed no legacy DLI, FSI, or Peace Corps courses. Although several prominent American universities are participants in a joint project to share information on African languages, and while a few of these do offer programmes in Afrikaans, there were no published lists of materials for the study of this language. The websites of AbeBooks, Alibris, Amazon, and eBay host offerings for the same, very limited, choice of phrase books, basic courses, readers, and the like. My broader Google searches yielded the customary online, freely-available, phrase-book-style collections. Youtube yielded the habitual pool of well-meaning “let me teach my language” efforts. However, I did come across a few collections of eBooks and audiobooks. Although many members are quite familiar with the series listed below, I have included a couple of Amazon Customer Reviews, particularly as one of these cross-references the competitor’s offering.

Colloquial Afrikaans, 1st Edition (2000) - Bruce Donaldson - Routledge
A 288-page course book, with or without 2 CDs, for which the audio recordings are now freely-available via the publisher’s website. Although a few of the courses in this series are quite demanding, having the potential of bringing the student to the CEFR A1+ level, the scope of the average course covers on the very basic CEFR level A0 communication needs of a short-term traveller to the region where the L2 predominates; that is, get in, enjoy your stay, and get out. For this reason, some customers who expect a more comprehensive treatment occasionally express their dissatisfaction. Overall, the Amazon Customer Reviews for this course are quite positive, a matter which customer Gwilym acknowledges (without realizing the general scope of the series) and then derides whilst providing a solid recommendation that readers opt for the Teach Yourself course (paragraphing suppressed): “After all the rave reviews for this course, I hate to rain on the parade. However, I feel that some crucial parts are missing from the other reviews. Yes, it's a good book and for exactly the reasons other reviewers have mentioned. The grammar is very well defined and Afrikaans is a remarkably easy language to learn … Unfortunately, this books comes with a major problem. No wordlists! In almost any other Colloquial or Teach Yourself course, each dialogue is followed by a word list containing the words used in the dialogue. That's the way you study the words and enlarge your vocabulary. Not so in this course. For the first few lessons, the dialogues are followed by an English translation. This isn't a very good substitute, especially not as word order is very different in Afrikaans. You can't be sure whích English words mean what, so you can only learn phrases like a parrot. After a few lessons, even this English translation is dropped and your left with dialogues in Afrikaans with no wordlist nor translation! How is this different from reading a newspaper in Afrikaans and having a dictionary to check up each word? Not at all, and that's free on-line … I usually prefer Colloquial courses over Teach Yourself, but in this case I strongly recommend the excellent course Teach Yourself Afrikaans. The author of that course didn't try to get off too easy by ignoring the word lists and the result is that Teach Yourself Afrikaans is an excellent book. The author of this book was lazy, and it is the reader who pays the cost. So Afrikaans is an easy language, but this book makes everything it can to make learning it harder. Teach Yourself Afrikaans makes it easier.” I posted the review above for a number of reasons and, in my opinion, despite this reviewer’s misgivings, the very positive ratings by other customers better reflect the value of this course.

Course Manual (available via Taylor & Francis: Routledge, AbeBooks, Alibris, Amazon, eBay, etc.)

Free Audio Recordings (Taylor & Francis: Routledge)
At the time that the publisher began offering this service, they took the opportunity to their prices for the course manuals. There’s no such thing as a “free lunch”!

Teach Yourself (Complete) Afrikaans, 2nd Edition? (2010) - Lydia McDermott - Teach Yourself (Hodder Education)
A 384-page course book, with or without 2 CDs. The Teach Yourself language courses, which provide a good balance of scripted dialogues, exercises, and concise notes on grammar, and which would bring the user somewhere within the CEFR A0-A1 range, have been well-received by the public and by members of the two language forums. An unidentified Amazon Customer commented: “After scanning many book shops for an aid to learning Afrikaans I was very glad to purchase such an easily accessible book. The learning curve of the chapters is of a moderate pace and by about 15 chapters in you will, if you've followed the tests correctly, begin to easily recognise the Afrikaans instructions and text. My only gripe was that although the book only tries to give you a basic start within the language the pronunciation guide needs to be made a lot clearer. For the first couple of chapters the words are basic and quite easy, but after awhile you'll find yourself being a little uncertain as to whether or not what you think the word/sentence sounds like is actually what it should. The book has a fairly basic vocab section but no section giving Afrikaans verbs in a list, this would be really useful. Also the lack of maybe producing an accompanying audio cassette is a definite consideration. All in all the book does do what it claims and I have been able to complete most of the unit tests without much difficulty. I would recommend the book but would say that it needs to be used in conjuction with audio and a good English/Afrikaans dictionary to get the most benefit."

Course Manual and CDs (available via Teach Yourself (Hodder Education), AbeBooks, Alibris, Amazon, eBay, etc.)

Linguaphone Afrikaans 1950s
The 50-lesson Linguaphone courses from the 1950s retained the publisher’s practice of using a uniform approach to teaching and story line thereby permitting the line-by-line matching of dialogues across the different target languages. I have several of these courses and, despite the naturally-occurring changes to vocabulary and style, I am still very impressed by their thoroughness. Although slightly dated, these courses would still provide a sound foundation with the CEFR A2-B1 range on which to build by recourse to more modern materials.

Linguaphone Afrikaans 1993 (completely revised edition)
In April 2018, forum member Jaleel10 wrote, concerning this course: “I found a very old Linguaphone book for Afrikaans from 1993 in our library. And this is the final dialogue in the book … As a native, I am genuinely surprised. That is a pretty high level of Afrikaans.” Jaleel10’s evaluation supports the widely-held opinion that these courses would bring the student within the CEFR A2-B1. Subsequent to the opening of this discussion thread, member Daristani commented that the 1993 version mentioned by Jaleel10 was likely a revised edition, having 40 lessons.

As a final comment, it should be noted that, in 2018, Linguaphone UK began selling copies of their courses going back to the 1950s which suggests that the publisher just might have one, or even both, of the Afrikaans courses on file; if not, they are surely available in the archives of numerous libraries.

Parlons Afrikaans, 1st Edition (2005) – Jaco Alant - Editions L'Harmattan
Although this recently-published 298-page manual for the self-instruction of Afrikaans (for which audio recordings do not appear to have been prepared) is available in a French base only, students having an upper-intermediate level in French just might find it useful as a supplement. The sole Amazon reviewer commented that this book is the best available, in French, for learning Afrikaans.

Afrikaans Self-taught: By the Natural Method with Phonetic Pronunciation (Thimm's System), reprinted edition (2007) - Leonard W.Van Os - Simon Wallenburg Press
Note carefully that this 270-page introduction to Afrikaans is a “reprint” of the original work, published in 1927 by Asian Educational Services, India. Although audio recordings do not seem to have been prepared to accompany this reprint, some customers might be drawn to the “Thimm’s System” of instruction. What the heck, for the price, and given the paucity of materials available for this language, it might be worth combining with the Teach Yourself course … or it might not, either. The two Amazon Customer Reviews are poles apart:

Book_lover wrote in 2007 (paragraphing suppressed): “Excellent! My Afrikaans language skills are base on this book. I really recommend this book; it has helped renew my confidence in my Afrikaans language skills. This great book has been around for many years, coming out in newer and newer editions, so its been a bestseller and ther are many reviews of it elsewhere. But if you are lazy about learning a language avoid this book. It expects old fasion dedication but that which pays of handsomely in the end wit perfect Afrikaans. The book is based on the Thimm's method which teaches you the correct pronunciation, If you follow the rules in the book from the outset (getting in to a good habit) the pronunciation should be perfect. The book is excellent as long as you take the time to follow the method. The Thimm's method is one of the oldest methods and most language teaching methods are derived from it. This book is based on language progression and is intended for beginners to those wanting to brush up their Afrikaans skills. I bought this book and I found it very useful. The way it is organized is the key to its success. There are no loose ends, everything leads on to something else, all is related and helps learners build up their Afrikaans with a greatly reduced effort. I have a linguistic background but am aware that many learners do not have grammatical knowledge. This course helps in this area too. Grammar is there but presented in a painlessly manner. Learners can get the concepts and put them to work in practice without the difficulties and boredom usually associated with grammar. I was pleased to see that highly useful information regarding the language, such as the usual grammar notes and essential vocabulary dotted throughout the pages, was included and this has helped to propel my Afrikaans to a higher level than before. I took Afrikaans for three years in school and wanted to brush up, and this book was perfect. I can't speak for those who have no prior knowledge of Afrikaans although as you can see, the author claims the book is suitable for beginners) since I already knew most of the vocabulary used.

Logan Miller opined, also in 2007 (paragraphing suppressed): “Avoid this Book. To begin, let me say that Afrikaans isn't a difficult language for an English speaker to learn. The grammar is minimal and systematic, and the pronunciation is consistent (a few exceptions here and there) and not much trouble at all for a learner to pick up. The first half of the book focuses on wordlists, setting up three columns on each page : a column for the English word, another for the Afrikaans equivalent, and a rough pronunciation guide in the last column. The second half introduces elementary grammar, but it then goes back to the three-column structure and introduces short terms and sentences that read more like a phrasebook than a self-teaching guide. The style of teaching in the book is very similar to the method used in older Berlitz textbooks, relying entirely on rote memorization. The vocabulary in it is dated, and I noticed that the pronunciation guide is sometimes wrong. The only reasonable use I can see in this book is if you want to learn a little Afrikaans but are not entirely serious about it. Even as a phrasebook, it's considerably lacking. My interest in the book is mainly for the wordlists (a dictionary of course serves the same purpose, but these lists are at least arranged by category) and for familiarizing myself with words no longer in use. As mentioned, a lot of the vocabulary is out of date, and the text makes no allowances for this.”

Learn to Speak Afrikaans: A Method Based on 1000 Words, 6th Edition (1976) - P. W. J.Groenewald - Brill Academic Publishing
This small, 115-page booklet first appeared circa 1944 and, although the 1976 version was published as 6th edition, my bones are telling me that this baby was never revised. Still, in November, 2014, Amazon Customer Adam commented: “Perfectly perfect in every which way. Lekker! I don't know where to begin praising this book because everything about it is perfect. If every language has a book structured like Learn to Speak Afrikaans, everybody will be a polyglot. If you would like some specifics about my praise, reply to this message and I will give you details. BUY THIS BOOK!” Perhaps Adam and are kindred spirits? You know, two nutcases who have convinced themselves that vintage materials contain “arcane secrets to language-learning.” Still, I don’t think that I’ll be setting up a blind date with the reviewer and, besides, how would I explain that to my wife?

Afrikaans CD Courses on eBay
In my experience, offerings of low-priced, audio-rich, CD language courses on eBay are no more than digitized versions of the FSI and DLI courses from the 1960s-1970s which the vendors most likely downloaded from the Yojik website. So then, given my introductory comments concerning the apparent absence of such materials, I find myself wondering Who-on-Earth created these courses, for whom, why, and when? If I wanted to learn Afrikaans, I would consider these offers as the language-learning equivalent a $5.00 Slot Machines and I’d blow my money just to see what happens.

Learn Afrikaans 100 Lessons Audio Book MP3
In response to the pre-edited version of this list of materials, neumanc reported that these materials are likely the freely-available Book2 files. He may very well be right here. A couple of years ago, I purchased a similarly-described, low-priced CD on eBay for a language which I can no longer recall and it turned out to be the Book2 files. Caveat emptor!

Learn How To Speak Afrikaans (18 CD Pack)
Given the paucity of recorded materials for this language, this offer seems “to good to be true”, so much so that I suspect that this offer might turn out to be a bootleg copy of the Michel Thomas Dutch courses. Nevertheless, despite the fact that I have absolutely no intention whatsoever of learning Afrikaans, I have succumbed to the temption of simply wanting to know what this is and have placed an order for the 18 CDs and, upon receipt, will review them and submit a report.
UPDATED: BUYER BEWARE! As reported below, the “Learn How To Speak Afrikaans (18 CD Pack)”, which is available for purchase on eBay, is a copy of the freely-available Book2 Afrikaans phrase book.

Afrikaans: Online Materials
I presume that readers of this file are quite capable of locating by themselves the bevy of online, freely-available, phrase-book-style collections as well as the ever-expanding pool of “let me teach my language” offerings on Youtube. While I will refrain from listing them all here, I will mention the following:

Innovative Language Learning - Afrikaans
A number of years ago, I played around with some of this company’s German files but was not impressed. I will admit, though, that it would be extremely difficult for any free, or low-priced, online language application to rival the comprehensiveness not to mention the sheer quantity of the materials that are available for the FIGS languages. I have listed Innovative Language Learning, the materials of which are available via their own website and via Amazon because:
(i) Afrikaans is a language for which there are truly very few resources,
(ii) a couple of Amazon Customers have posted lukewarm reviews for this company’s Afrikaans materials, and
(iii) a few members of the HTLAL reported positive experiences with this application, albeit a few years ago.

Innovative Language Learning - HTLAL - September 2013
Innovative Language Learning – Afrikaans –
Innovative Language Learning – Afrikaans – Innovative

Afrikaans: Books, eBooks, Audiobooks
The links below list eBooks, audiobooks, and a few selected printed books. - Afrikaans eBooks

Languages on the Web - Parallel Texts

LibriVox - Afrikaans

Loyal Books (previously known as Books Should Be Free) - eBooks & Audiobooks - Afrikaans

Project Gutenberg - Afrikaans


Alice in Wonderland in Afrikaans

The Invisible Man (Webster's Afrikaans Thesaurus Edition)

The Picture of Dorian Gray (Webster's Afrikaans Thesaurus Edition)

Afrikaans Resources: Online News, et cetera

Beeld – Netwerk24

Die Burger – Netwerk24

Rapport -- Netwerk24

Volksblad -- Netwerk24

RSG (Radio Sonder Grense) – Online Radio

Global Recordings Network – Online Audio Recordings
Please note carefully that “these recordings are designed for evangelism and basic Bible teaching …”

Wikipedia’s article on Afrikaans … in Afrikaans!

M-Net Afrikaans TV and Videos
M-Net is a subscription-funded television channel broadcast in South Africa.

Afrikaans Resources: Miscellaneous
A “grab bag” of miscellaneous non-course materials (unsorted) that I have been able to locate

Afrikaans Verb Conjugation - Verbix

Afrikaans Phrases - Linguanaut

Afrikaans Language Games –

Afrikaans: Discussion Threads
Some readers might wish to review the mixture of logs and threads below (alphabetical order).

3 Ways to Learn to Speak Afrikaans - wikiHow

Afrikaans and Dutch thread - HTLAL - October, 2007

Cellar Door - Afrikaans in 1 year - LLORG - August, 2018

Differences between NL and BE Dutch - HTLAL - March 2014

Intelligibility, Afrikaans & Dutch - HTLAL - November 2010

Propedeutic languages (+Dutch-Afrikaans) - HTLAL - January 2014

Schliemann Method - AFRIKAANS - HTLAL - December 2010

Usefulness of Afrikaans - HTLAL - May 2015

Formatting, typos, tinkering.
Revised: Afrikaan CDs on eBay
Added: Innovative Language Learning
Formatting, tinkering.
Last edited by Speakeasy on Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:04 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

Postby neumanc » Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:03 am

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Re: Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

Postby Speakeasy » Thu Jan 31, 2019 12:32 pm

Thank you, neumanc, mystery solved!

The description of the other Afrikaans CD Course on eBay refers to 18 CDs which, at the price offered, I suspect is a scam. Nevertheless, even though I have absolutely no intention of studying Afrikaans, my curiosity has been aroused to the point where I can no longer resist the temptation. Even though I suspect that this is the Michel Thomas Dutch series masquerading as an Afrikaans course (hey, if you’re going to lie, you might as well tell a big lie), I will place an order for it a report back.

Expansion of the text.
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Re: Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

Postby Speakeasy » Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:08 pm

As an update to neumanc’s supposition, above, and my subsequent purchase of the other of the two offers on eBay for Afrikaans audio courses which are listed in the resources above, I can confirm that both items are copies of the freely-available “Book2 / 50 Languages” Afrikaans phrase book:

Learn Afrikaans 100 Lessons Audiobook

Learn How To Speak Afrikaans (18 CD Pack)

Text rewritten
Last edited by Speakeasy on Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

Postby Daristani » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:17 pm

A small addendum to the above notes, on Linguaphone:

The old Linguaphone Afrikaans course cited above had 50 lessons, and was similar to the other Linguaphone courses of its generation.

Linguaphone later published a 40-lesson Afrikaans course; I'm assuming that this is the one from 1993 referred to by Jaleel10.
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Re: Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

Postby Speakeasy » Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:06 pm

@Daristani, thank you very much for your observations, I have corrected the entry to Linguaphone Afrikaans.
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Re: Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

Postby Cellar Door » Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:30 pm

I have used almost all of the resources you listed and some are much better than others. Currently on vacation but will post some reviews when I am back. Thanks for linking to my journal!
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Re: Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

Postby Jaleel10 » Wed Mar 06, 2019 5:19 am

I appreciate the trouble you have gone too, Speakeasy. Great stuff, really made my day haha
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Re: Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

Postby Speakeasy » Wed Mar 06, 2019 7:09 pm

@Cellar Door, thank you for dropping by. Your journal will most definitely serve as a guide and a source of motivation for anyone seeking to learner Afrikaans. Enjoy your vacation!

@Jaleel10, thank you very much for your supportive comments. Your report on the Linguaphone Afrikaans course served as an inspiration for this thread. :)

I have just inserted two lists of miscellaneous resources (online news plus a grab bag) which more advanced students might wish to consider.

Ciao, for now!
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Re: Afrikaans Resources (version 2.0)

Postby Deinonysus » Sun Aug 11, 2019 2:24 pm

I have some good news about teach yourself Afrikaans! Although it can be hard to get your hands on the physical media, Teach Yourself has the full audio of the 2012 edition by Lydia McDermott available for free on their website or through their Teach Yourself Library app.

The text is available for Kindle at a very reasonable price (I just bought it for $3.99).

Complete Afrikaans Beginner to Intermediate Book and Audio Course: Learn to read, write, speak and understand a new language with Teach Yourself ... uDbGC98ZQN

There are two editions available on Kindle so make sure you get this one by Lydia McDermott to match the free audio from Teach Yourself.
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