. (ein_suender) wrote in linguaphiles,

the state of Afrikaans?

Can somebody who speaks the language or who lives in South Africa possibly tell me--what is the state of Afrikaans? I'm looking for personal observations rather than standard Wiki pages...

The reason I ask is because I recently met a man from South Africa who stopped speaking Afrikaans when he was 11 when he came to the US with his parents, both of whom are native Afrikaans speakers. He now speaks only English and his knowledge of Afrikaans is not very good (he's 20-something now).

We were talking about the language and he said that people think of it as a "bad language" and that English is "taking over" and that fewer people speak Afrikaans now than they did 100 years ago. Is this true? I know many smaller languages are on the decline due to the rising influence of languages like English, Arabic, Mandarin and Spanish, but this is the first time I'd heard that Afrikaans was on the decline. I was under the impression that Afrikaans was a daily spoken language for large populations (hundreds of thousands?) of people in Southern Africa. 

The overall impression he has of his first language is negative, for sure...he even said that if you speak certain indigenous Africna languages you're better off than speaking Afrikaans. Even though I've never been to South Africa, I find that difficult to believe...is it true?

I guess another related question is--how many Afrikaans speakers don't speak English? I'm guessing very few or none...

Thanks so much!!!
Tags: afrikaans

  • Post a new comment


    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded