- Germanic language of South Africa.It was developed from 17th-century Dutch by descendants of European settlers, indigenous Khoisan-speaking peoples, and African and Asian slaves in the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope. It differs from Dutch in its sound system, in some grammatical simplification, and in vocabulary. Afrikaans is spoken as a first language by close to six million South Africans and as a second or third language by several million more; there are also about 150,000 Afrikaans speakers in Namibia. Standard Afrikaans was formally separated from Dutch and made an official language in South Africa in 1925; it is one of 11 official South African languages.
* * *also called Cape DutchWest Germanic language (West Germanic languages) of South Africa, developed from 17th-century Dutch (Dutch language), sometimes called Netherlandic, by the descendants of European (Dutch, German, and French) colonists, indigenous Khoisan peoples, and African and Asian slaves in the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope. Afrikaans and English (English language) are the only Indo-European languages among the many official languages of South Africa. Although Afrikaans is very similar to Dutch, it is clearly a separate language, differing from Standard Dutch in its sound system and its loss of case and gender distinctions.Afrikaans was adopted for use in schools in 1914 and in the Dutch Reformed Church (Dutch Reformed Church in Africa) in 1919. A distinct Afrikaans literature has evolved during the 20th century, and the first complete translation of the Bible into Afrikaans was published in 1933.
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