Definition of Afrikaans in English:



mass noun
  • A language of southern Africa, derived from the form of Dutch brought to the Cape by Protestant settlers in the 17th century. It is an official language of South Africa, spoken by around 6 million people as their first language.

    • ‘The second main official language is Afrikaans.’
    • ‘Brochures, written in Afrikaans, English, isiZulu, isiXhosa and Setswana, are available from all the city's clinics and hospitals.’
    • ‘Listen to anybody in Lesotho speak Sesotho and you'll soon realise that everybody is speaking a mixture of English and Sesotho and Afrikaans.’
    • ‘He came to southern Africa from Holland when he was eleven years old, and he speaks English, Afrikaans, and some Xhosa.’
    • ‘While her mother tongue is Afrikaans, she speaks some Spanish and some Sesotho, learned while in Maseru.’
    • ‘Namibia's most common language is Afrikaans, imported from white South Africa.’
    • ‘Targeting students just out of nursing school, the hospitals believe South African staff will have an advantage in language skills, as Afrikaans is related to Dutch.’
    • ‘Many black South Africans don't speak and understand Afrikaans.’
    • ‘She spoke Afrikaans, but has said she learned English by ‘copying the radio’.’
    • ‘As a further mark of its ethnic diversity, South Africa has 11 official languages, including Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, and Sotho.’
    • ‘As an African American woman, this was a unique experience because historically this university only catered to White South Africans who spoke Afrikaans.’
    • ‘I was raised in what used to be the first language of South Africa, Afrikaans.’
    • ‘Most computer software is only available in English and poorly supported in South Africa's second language, Afrikaans.’
    • ‘As something distinct from the Dutch of Holland, with all the classic features so typical of Afrikaans today, Cape Dutch is believed to have come into being by the middle of the 18th century.’
    • ‘Other elements in such a range of choices are the pidgins and Creoles of English in West Africa and of Afrikaans in South Africa and Namibia.’
    • ‘There are also some 13,000 persons of Asian descent in South Africa who speak Afrikaans as their native language.’
    • ‘He learnt Dutch and Afrikaans so as to translate accurately from diaries and clippings.’
    • ‘A colleague observed that the film should have been made in Afrikaans with subtitles, as the actors came alive when they spoke Afrikaans.’
    • ‘It blames the dominance of English and Afrikaans in official communication on the lack of a clearly defined language policy.’
    • ‘The leaflets have been published in seven of the eleven official language, namely: Afrikaans, Tsonga, Sesotho, Zulu, English, Venda and Xhosa.’


  • Relating to the Afrikaner people, their way of life, or their language.

    • ‘The Afrikaans daily published a far more balanced article that included most information that you published plus more.’
    • ‘They had persuaded her to read to them out of her Afrikaans bible, which she now did often, choosing familiar passages so they could compare it with an English bible.’
    • ‘This wonderful beast comes from South Africa and through its peculiar name, which comes from the Afrikaans language, it is the first animal in the dictionary.’
    • ‘Her Afrikaans accent was barely noticeable in her low, even voice.’
    • ‘Something that really interested me was the very Western sound of the Afrikaans music performed.’
    • ‘For that to happen at an Afrikaans festival was unthinkable a few years ago.’
    • ‘These two worlds would not clash until about 1770, by which time Afrikaans farmers, or Boers, had begun to trek eastwards to escape the monopolistic clutches of the East India Company.’
    • ‘Some former Afrikaans universities increased their black students' intake through this type of partnership, thereby claiming to be meeting imperatives of transformation.’
    • ‘Isn't there an Afrikaans word that means the same thing?’
    • ‘Everyone can contribute, but primarily it's the musings of the founding members who tell their stories to the Afrikaans massive.’
    • ‘He is a strong advocate of the rights of Afrikaans speakers.’
    • ‘An anonymous Afrikaans poem, ‘Die Arme Boer’ (The Poor Boer), published in 1885, captured their helplessness.’
    • ‘They live in the Kalahari Desert, and their common name, Meerkats, comes from the Afrikaans language.’
    • ‘Apart from its Afrikaans members, the church also has 130 English members.’
    • ‘The Afrikaans language shares many place-name elements with Dutch, the European language from which it derives.’
    • ‘The Afrikaans press has reported that it is possible that three New National Party members could join the ANC.’
    • ‘There were Afrikaans universities, newspapers, magazines and publishing companies operating successfully in South Africa.’
    • ‘After all my efforts at proving my Afrikaans skills, the visa people have said it's not enough.’
    • ‘Published fiction, poetry, and autobiographical writings appear in both the English and Afrikaans languages.’
    • ‘The aim was to celebrate Afrikaans culture, but also to show how this culture had now declared itself to be open, and free to assimilate other cultural influences.’


The name in Afrikaans, from Dutch, literally ‘African’.