Cape Dutch

Cape Dutch

About Cape Dutch

Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa, Namibia and to a lesser extent in Botswana and Zimbabwe. It originates from 17th century Dutch dialects spoken by the mainly-Dutch settlers of what is now South Africa, where it began to develop independently. Hence, historically, 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). Although Afrikaans adopted words from languages such as Malay, Portuguese, the Bantu languages, and the Khoisan languages, an estimated 90 to 95_percent of Afrikaans vocabulary is ultimately of Dutch origin. Therefore, differences with Dutch often lie in a more regular morphology, grammar, and spelling of Afrikaans. There is a large degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages_especially in written form_although it is easier for Dutch-speakers to understand Afrikaans than the other way around.

Contributions by Quiensabe, Big Adamsky, and Kwertii.