Native toSouth Africa, Namibia
EthnicityAfrikaners, Cape Coloured
Native speakers
7.2 million (2016)[1]
10.3 million L2 speakers in South Africa (2002)[2]
Signed Afrikaans[3]
Official status
Official language in
 South Africa
Recognised minority
language in
Regulated byDie Taalkommissie
Language codes
ISO 639-3afr
Afrikaans ETN15 Spread.svg
Regions shaded dark blue represent areas of concentrated Afrikaans-speaking communities
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Afrikaans (UK: z/, US: f-/)[5][6] is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It evolved from the Dutch vernacular[7][8] of South Holland (Hollandic dialect)[9][10] spoken by the largely Dutch settlers and the people of colour associated with them in what is now South Africa, where it gradually began to develop distinguishing characteristics in the course of the 18th century.[11] Hence, it is a daughter language of Dutch, and was previously referred to as "Cape Dutch" (a term also used to refer collectively to the early Cape settlers) or "kitchen Dutch" (a derogatory term used to refer to Afrikaans in its earlier days). However, it has also been variously described as a Dutch-based creole or as a partially creolised language.[n 1] The term is ultimately derived from Dutch Afrikaans-Hollands meaning "African Dutch".

Although Afrikaans has adopted words from other languages, including German and the Khoisan languages, an estimated 90 to 95% of the vocabulary of Afrikaans is of Dutch origin.[n 2] Therefore, differences with Dutch often lie in the more analytic-type morphology and grammar of Afrikaans, and a spelling that expresses Afrikaans pronunciation rather than standard Dutch.[n 3] There is a large degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages—especially in written form.[n 4]

With about 7 million native speakers in South Africa, or 13.5% of the population, it is the third-most-spoken language in the country.[12] It has the widest geographical and racial distribution of all the 11 official languages of South Africa, and is widely spoken and understood as a second or third language.[n 5] It is the majority language of the western half of South Africa—the provinces of the Northern Cape and Western Cape—and the first language of 75.8% of Coloured South Africans (4.8 million people), 60.8% of White South Africans (2.7 million); 4.6% of Asian South Africans (58,000 people), and 1.5% of Black South Africans (600,000 people).[13]

In addition, many native speakers of Bantu languages and English also speak Afrikaans as a second language. It is taught in schools, with about 10.3 million second-language students.[1] One reason for the expansion of Afrikaans is its development in the public realm: it is used in newspapers, radio programs, TV, and several translations of the Bible that have been published since the first one was completed in 1933.[1]

In neighbouring Namibia, Afrikaans is widely spoken as a second language and used as a lingua franca,[n 6] while as a native language it is spoken in 10.4% of households, mainly concentrated in the capital Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund and the southern regions of Hardap and ǁKaras.[n 7] It, along with German, was among the official languages of Namibia until the country became independent in 1990. 25% of the population of Windhoek spoke Afrikaans at home.[1] Both Afrikaans and German are recognised regional languages in Namibia, although only English has official status within the government.

Estimates of the total number of Afrikaans speakers range between 15 and 23 million.[n 8]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Afrikaans
አማርኛ: አፍሪካንስ
aragonés: Idioma afrikaans
asturianu: Afrikaans
Avañe'ẽ: Afrikáans
azərbaycanca: Afrikaans
Bân-lâm-gú: Afrikaans-gí
беларуская: Афрыкаанс
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Афрыкаанс
български: Африканс
Boarisch: Afrikaans
brezhoneg: Afrikaneg
català: Afrikaans
Чӑвашла: Африкаанс
čeština: Afrikánština
Cymraeg: Afrikaans
dansk: Afrikaans
davvisámegiella: Afrikánsagiella
Deutsch: Afrikaans
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Afrikaans
español: Afrikáans
Esperanto: Afrikansa lingvo
euskara: Afrikaans
فارسی: آفریکانس
Fiji Hindi: Afrikaans bhasa
føroyskt: Afrikaans mál
français: Afrikaans
Frysk: Afrikaansk
Gàidhlig: Afraganais
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Nàm-fî Hò-làn-ngî
հայերեն: Աֆրիկաանս
hornjoserbsce: Afrikaanšćina
hrvatski: Afrikaans
Ilokano: Aprikaans
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa Afrikaans
interlingua: Afrikaans
isiXhosa: IsiBhulu
isiZulu: IsiBhunu
íslenska: Afríkanska
עברית: אפריקאנס
Kapampangan: Amanung Afrikaans
къарачай-малкъар: Африкаанс тил
ქართული: აფრიკაანსი
қазақша: Африкаанс
kernowek: Afrikaans
Kinyarwanda: Ikinyafurikansi
Kiswahili: Kiafrikaans
latviešu: Afrikandu valoda
lietuvių: Afrikanų kalba
Limburgs: Afrikaans
lingála: Afrikansi
Lingua Franca Nova: Africans (lingua)
lumbaart: Afrikaans
македонски: Африканс
മലയാളം: ആഫ്രികാൻസ്
მარგალური: აფრიკაანსი
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa Afrikaans
Minangkabau: Bahaso Afrikaans
Nederlands: Afrikaans
Nedersaksies: Afrikaans
नेपाल भाषा: अफ्रिकांस भाषा
Nordfriisk: Afrikaans spriak
norsk: Afrikaans
norsk nynorsk: Afrikaans
Nouormand: Afrikaans
Novial: Afrikansum
occitan: Afrikaans
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Afrikaans
پنجابی: افریقان
Papiamentu: Afrikaans
Piemontèis: Lenga afrikaans
Plattdüütsch: Afrikaans
português: Língua africâner
română: Limba afrikaans
Runa Simi: Afrikans simi
русский: Африкаанс
Gagana Samoa: Faʻa Afelika
Seeltersk: Afrikoansk
Sesotho: Seburu
Sesotho sa Leboa: Afrikaans
Setswana: Seburu
sicilianu: Afrikaans
Simple English: Afrikaans
slovenčina: Afrikánčina
slovenščina: Afrikanščina
ślůnski: Godka afrikaans
Soomaaliga: Afrikaans
کوردی: ئافریکانس
српски / srpski: Африканс (језик)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Afrikaans
suomi: Afrikaans
svenska: Afrikaans
татарча/tatarça: Африкаанс
Tshivenda: Afrikaans
Türkçe: Afrikaans
українська: Африкаанс
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: ئاڧرىقانچە
vèneto: Afrikaans
vepsän kel’: Afrikaans
Tiếng Việt: Afrikaans
West-Vlams: Afrikoans
Winaray: Afrikaans
Xitsonga: Xibhunu
Zazaki: Afrikaanki
Zeêuws: Afrikaons
žemaitėška: Afrėkanu kalba
中文: 南非語