Afrikaans 101

aa
as in father

ae
Produces two sounds one after another, and pronounced quite quickly. First sound is the same as 'aa' and is quickly finished off with the Afrikaans 'a' as in dust

ch
can be pronounced in three ways: loch or shine or king

kk
as in cane

nn
as in man

sj
as in machine

ee
as in fear

as in fear but pronounced as two separate sounds. Sounds almost like 'ee-ye'

same as eë

ei
as is sale

eu
pronounced two ways: as in ear or as in mew

gh
same as english 'gh'. For example ghost

ll
as in lamp

mm
as in mend

ie
pronounced either as long 'ee' like in breed or as 'i' in sick

kn
as in pick 'n pay

ng
as in sing

oe
pronounced either as the long 'oo' as in loot or as a short 'oo' as in foot

as in English doer

oo
same as German "ü", make your lips into the position of "o" but say "ee" instead.

ou
as in coat

rs
like farse but the 'r' is rolled

tj
as in chunk

ui
also a unique sound. Sounds like play but with pouted lips. The name shane is the closest english equivalent

uu
very unique sound. Sounds similar to German über but pronounced with more emphasis and much longer. Identical to the finnish 'yy' sound

aai
like the 'y' in shy but a pronounced a lot longer.

eeu
A unique trigraph. The closest English equivalent is the English word ewe. Try blending the sounds 'ew' and 'oo'

oei
similar to phooey but pronounced with a rapid 'w' in it

ooi
similar to oil but pronounced with a rapid 'w' in it

uie
similar to player but pronounced much longer

Note on Afrikaans

Note that although Afrikaans digraphs and trigraphs contain mostly vowels and sound as though they contain many syllables, they in fact are seen as a single syllable. For example the word 'Goeie' sounds as if it contains 3 syllables but in fact contains only two: 'go' and 'eie' are the 2 syllables.

From this you can see Afrikaans pronunciation, like English for a foreigner, can be rather irregular. Pronunciation can be hard and the accent is extremely difficult to master, but when spoken correctly, Afrikaans is the most melodical Germanic language. However, one should not be daunted. Afrikaans grammar is really quite simple and bears more grammatical resemblance to English than any other Germanic language. Verbs are even simpler than English: there is no am or are or were , but only is and was . One who is learning Afrikaans will probably catch onto it rather quickly and will have no problem with speaking Dutch or understanding German.

Differences Between Dutch and Afrikaans

A rukkie in Afrikaans is a short period of time, not a sexual act performed on oneself. Common use examples are: Ek gaan 'n rukkie slaap or Ek sal oor 'n rukkie daar wees

Baie means veel (many), however the word veel also exists in Afrikaans and has the same meaning.

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