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Afrikaans Making A Return in South Africa

Carjosse

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I was browsing Reddit the other day and looking at a map subreddit when I found this thread.

It shows the increase in people who speak Afrikaans as a primary language. Even more of the population can speak it. It has apparently dropped the reputation as a language of Apartheid and is now seen as a cultural lingua franca. It has even grown among all three racial groups: Whites, Coloureds, and especially Blacks. It is expected by 2030 to overtake Xhosa (one of the tribal languages) as the second most spoken language in South Africa.

I find this kind of thing incredibly interesting since I love the history of South Africa and I am learning some of the language since it is incredibly easy to learn. I especially find it interesting that in a country so divided there is one thing uniting the country.
 

Jetboogieman

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I was browsing Reddit the other day and looking at a map subreddit when I found this thread.

It shows the increase in people who speak Afrikaans as a primary language. Even more of the population can speak it. It has apparently dropped the reputation as a language of Apartheid and is now seen as a cultural lingua franca. It has even grown among all three racial groups: Whites, Coloureds, and especially Blacks. It is expected by 2030 to overtake Xhosa (one of the tribal languages) as the second most spoken language in South Africa.

I find this kind of thing incredibly interesting since I love the history of South Africa and I am learning some of the language since it is incredibly easy to learn. I especially find it interesting that in a country so divided there is one thing uniting the country.

I'd be interested to see if it was still required learning at my old school for example.

When I was a kid, we were basically told we had to learn English and Afrikaans to be able to get a job.

I would estimate that even today, there's still a pretty decent financial incentive to know the language, it can definitely open doors for you.
 

Carjosse

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I'd be interested to see if it was still required learning at my old school for example.

When I was a kid, we were basically told we had to learn English and Afrikaans to be able to get a job.

I would estimate that even today, there's still a pretty decent financial incentive to know the language, it can definitely open doors for you.

Well it is apparently being taught through primary and secondary level education, at least in the Western Cape. I would imagine it is still required to fully function in the business world and it will only become more necessary.
 
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Interesting. I wonder if it has anything to do with its relation to Dutch. It's possible that younger generations identify more with the language for the sake of better prospects of immigration to either the Netherlands or Flanders, or better job opportunities there or elsewhere.

But having looked at the map, I can't seem to discern the increase. For one, the language maintained the same national standing between 2001 and 2011 at around 13%.
 

spud_meister

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Didn't we recently have a thread decrying language shifts as a bad thing?
 

Carjosse

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Interesting. I wonder if it has anything to do with its relation to Dutch. It's possible that younger generations identify more with the language for the sake of better prospects of immigration to either the Netherlands or Flanders, or better job opportunities there or elsewhere.

But having looked at the map, I can't seem to discern the increase. For one, the language maintained the same national standing between 2001 and 2011 at around 13%.

Well the relation to Dutch is what makes it easy to learn for Whites. That is not the reason though, even Afrikaans speaking Whites have a strong cultural African identity and they would never leave. The primary reason for this shift is Black migration to largely White and Coloured Afrikaans speaking areas of cities where they integrate by learning the language. It is being seen as a uniquely African language to promote and unite culture as it is both widespread and easy to learn even for a speaker of Xhosa or Zulu whereas English is relatively hard to learn. Even in Botswana and Zimbabwe Whites are speaking it more to be more African while still keeping their White heritage and identity. It is also being helped that a lot of the country was now born after 1994, so they never experienced Apartheid and the role Afrikaans played.

In summary it is because it seen as an easy to learn African language that is also geographically spread out across the country. The map only shows primary speakers, the actual number of just speakers is a lot higher.
 
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Carjosse

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Didn't we recently have a thread decrying language shifts as a bad thing?

Never thought about it but yeah this does kind of fit into that theme expect this one has a positive spin on it, uniting a very divided country.
 
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