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Afrikaans

Afrikaans (/ˌæfrˈkɑːns, ˌɑːfri-, -ˈkɑːnts, -ˈkɑːnz/) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and, to a lesser extent, Botswana and Zimbabwe. It evolved from the Dutch vernacular of South Holland (Hollandic dialect) spoken by the mainly Dutch settlers of what is now South Africa, where it gradually began to develop distinguishing characteristics in the course of the 18th century. 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 is also variously described as a creole or as a partially creolised language. The term is ultimately derived from Dutch Afrikaans-Hollands meaning "African Dutch". It is the first language of most of the Afrikaners and Coloureds of Southern Africa.

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Afrikaans is a Dutch-based language spoken mainly in Namibia and South Africa. In South Africa, the language continues to be popular among the Free Staters and those residing in the Cape area. Unfortunately, Afrikaans has been arguably removed from many institutions it once harboured -including many universities (the University of Stellenbosch is practically the only Afrikaans-based university left in the country!). The future of the Afrikaans language is uncertain, as many South Africans are emigrating out of the country due to safety reasons.

Contributed by Lisa Pieterse

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