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Afrikaans (also known as Zuid-Afrikaans and Cape Dutch) is a daughter language of Dutch. It originated from 17th-century Dutch dialects. The language consists of 90 to 95% words of Dutch origin, supplemented with influences from Portuguese, French, Malay, Bantu, Khoisan, and English. With its 7 million native speakers in South Africa (14%), Afrikaans, after Zulu and Xhosa, is the third largest language of the country. In neighbouring Namibia, 11% of the population speaks Afrikaans as their native language.

Afrikaans as a lingua franca

If you include everyone who speaks Afrikaans at a reasonable level as their second or third language, the total number of speakers comes down to 15 – 20 million. In South Africa, Afrikaans often functions as a lingua franca (common communication language) between the different population groups. In Namibia, Afrikaans is the lingua franca. English is gaining ground, but this does not yet seem to affect the number of native speakers of Afrikaans; among the white part of the population, the use of Afrikaans is stable, and it is also growing among the black population. Even English-speaking South Africans often use many words from Afrikaans in their English sentences.

Afrikaans written in the Arabic alphabet

Despite the fact that Afrikaans is a direct descendant of the Germanic language Dutch, it is sometimes written in the Arabic script. This is mainly done by the Indonesian Muslim community in Cape Town. This Afrikaans is called Getoelies, after the Malay word for home: tulis.


Normally, a diplomat’s credentials are offered in French, even if nobody in the relevant country speaks French. It is simply a tradition; French is regarded as the international diplomatic language. The only exception to that rule is that the credentials in Dutch are offered in the language that is spoken in the receiving country. This is also the case in Suriname and in Belgium, although French would have been just as well there. The close connection between Dutch and Afrikaans is shown by the fact that credentials in South Africa are offered in Dutch. A nice detail is that Dutch is not even an official language there anymore.

In-country translators

Language and culture: they are inseparable. Clearly, for a successful translation, you need to work with a native translator who is well aware of both the language and the local culture. That is why we always have Afrikaans translations made by an Afrikaans translator who lives in South Africa and speaks Afrikaans as their native language. This means we work with a large number of.

Your guarantees

You can rest assured that the in-country translator we select for your Afrikaans translation meets the highest quality standards. As a translation agency, we are certified at the highest European level (ISO 9001 and ISO 17100). As a result, the translators we work with are subject to strict requirements. On top of that, we also always offer you a lowest price guarantee and our 100% satisfaction guarantee. But what do our clients think of us? You can find out on this independent website.

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Translation Agency has the highest certificates for translation agencies: ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 17100:2015. Top quality and service are always our number one priority.


Translation Agency is a member of the VViN and EUATC; Organisations of translation agencies that work together to optimise quality and service.