Afrikaans 101

In Afrikaans many consonants are dropped from the earlier Dutch (see also the grammar section for a description of how consonant dropping affects the morphology of Afrikaans adjectives and nouns). This is a similar process to what happened with modern English. (compare: Afrikaans; regen=reën, and English; regn=rain.) The spelling is also considerably more phonetic than the Dutch counterpart. A notable feature is the indefinite article, which, as noted in the grammar section, is ′n , not 'een' as in Dutch. 'A book' is ''n boek', whereas in Dutch it would be 'een boek'. (Note that ''n ' is still allowed in Dutch; Afrikaans uses only ''n ' where Dutch uses it next to 'een'. When letters are dropped an apostrophe is mandatory. Note that this ′n is usually pronounced as a weak vowel ([ə]; like the Afrikaans 'i') and is not as a consonant. The Afrikaans word een is the number 'one'.

Other features include the use of 's' instead of 'z', and therefore, 'South Africa' in Afrikaans is written as Suid-Afrika , whereas in Dutch it is Zuid-Afrika . (This accounts for .za being used as South Africa's internet top level domain.) The Dutch letter 'IJ' is written as 'Y', except where it replaces the Dutch suffix —lijk , as in waarschijnlijk =waarskynlik . It is interesting to note that the use of the hard 'k' is analogous to the pronunciation in parts of West Flanders. Also noteworthy is that, although the first 90 VOC settlers came from Haarlem in the Northern Netherlands, the majority of the population of that city at that time consisted of Southern Dutch immigrants. (Recent academic research also points to Afrikaans probably being a modern perpetuation of an earlier Dutch dialect, Amsterdams (Paardekoper)).

The letters c, q and x are rarely seen in Afrikaans, and words containing them are almost exclusively borrowings from French, English, Greek, or Latin. This is usually because words that had c and ch in the original Dutch are spelt with k and g respectively in Afrikaans (in many dialects of Dutch, including the Hollandic ones, a ch is spoken as a g , which explains the use of the g in Afrikaans language). Similarly original qu and x are spelt kw and ks respectively. For example ekwatoriaal instead of 'equatoriaal' and ekskuus instead of 'excuus'.

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