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"Do Speakers Of Afrikaans Understand Dutch, Vice Versa?" Topic

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275 hits since 18 Jun 2017
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 12:27 p.m. PST

Just curious, seeing as how one sprang from the other in just the last couple of centuries.



Personal logo Patrick R Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 12:58 p.m. PST

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They are quite intelligible to each other. I could follow her quite easily as a Dutch/Flemish speaker, but she probably used a "polished" Afrikaans and avoided using using too much colloquial dialect.

You have to understand that Dutch was heavily influenced by the Antwerp Flemish dialect around 1585, when most of the Antwerp protestants fled the city and moved to the Netherlands.

The Boers moved to South Africa in the 1650 and probably spoke a Dutch variant that was a bit closer to Flemish than the Dutch spoken in the Netherlands today.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 1:19 p.m. PST


Fascinating how dialects and new languages form.

As for the Boers, their language may have sprung from a Flemish dialect, but for the speakers to be able to understand one another, they must have maintained regular cultural (and some trade?) interactions with Dutch until recent times, did they not?

I mean, did other Dutch settlers settle SA alongside Boers during the colonization period, or did they each keep to themselves?

Even after the US took over Cuba and Puerto Rico, and the fact that our form of Spanish contains unique idioms and a sprinkling of West African and Native American words (and now Anglicisms), for decades we continued to get most of our textbooks and dictionaries from Spain. So today's Puerto Rican's can Still understand Spaniards and vice versa.


Personal logo Gungnir Supporting Member of TMP18 Jun 2017 9:30 p.m. PST

CC, there has always been a close contact between the Dutch and the South Africans of Dutch/Flemish decent.

My father was offered a chance to emigrate there in the 50's, and while we didn't go, other families did.

A lot of Boers attended Dutch universities, many Boer preachers were trained at the Kampen seminary, for instance.

The difference between Dutch, Flemish and South African is not unlike that between British and American English, IMO.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2017 6:18 p.m. PST

Wow. That is definitely close!


Old Wolfman23 Aug 2017 6:30 a.m. PST

Not to mention the Amish dialect.

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