Afrikaans

Afrikaans (UK: /ˌæfrɪˈkɑːns/, US: /ˌɑːf-/)[4][5] is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It evolved from the Dutch vernacular[6][7] of Holland (Hollandic dialect)[8][9] spoken by the European (Dutch, French and German) settlers and their slaves in South Africa, where it gradually began to develop distinguishing characteristics in the course of the 18th century.[10] It is considered to be a developed creole language.[11] Afrikaans linguistics researchers maintain that Afrikaans, originally being a peasant language, is only partially creole.[12]

Afrikaans
Pronunciation[afriˈkɑːns]
Native toSouth Africa, Namibia
Ethnicity
Native speakers
7.2 million (2016)[1]
10.3 million L2 speakers in South Africa (2002)[2]
Early forms
Signed Afrikaans[3]
Official status
Official language in
 South Africa
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byDie Taalkommissie
Language codes
ISO 639-1af
ISO 639-2afr
ISO 639-3afr
Glottologafri1274
Linguasphere52-ACB-ba
A map of Afrikaans speakers in the world, coloured by population.
  250,000 to 7,000,000 speakers
  40,000 to 250,000 speakers
  10,000 to 40,000 speakers
  1,000 to 10,000 speakers
  Below 1,000 speakers
  Unknown population
[unreliable source?]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Roussow speaking Afrikaans.
Alaric speaking Afrikaans.

Although Afrikaans has adopted words from other languages, including German and the Khoisan languages, an estimated 90 to 95% of the vocabulary of Afrikaans is of Dutch origin.[note 1] Therefore, differences with Dutch often lie in the more analytic-type morphology and grammar of Afrikaans, and a spelling that expresses Afrikaans pronunciation rather than standard Dutch.[13] There is a large degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages, especially in written form.[14]

With about seven million native speakers in South Africa, or 13.5% of the population, it is the third-most-spoken language in the country.[15] Estimates of the total number of Afrikaans speakers range between 15 and 23 million.[note 2] It has the widest geographic and racial distribution of all the 11 official languages of South Africa, and is widely spoken and understood as a second or third language.[note 3] It is the majority language of the western half of South Africa—the provinces of the Northern Cape and Western Cape—and the first language of 75.8% of Coloured South Africans (4.8 million people), 60.8% of White South Africans (2.7 million); 4.6% of Indian South Africans (58,000 people), and 1.5% of Black South Africans (600,000 people).[16]