Seriously boet! The 7de Laan omnibus is not the only way to learn Afrikaans in 2015. Afrikaans was declared an official language nine decades ago and now is probably the best time for you to catch up. The following online tools are the way to go if you feel like being part of a sometimes hotly contested and yet rich lingual heritage.
We know that cost is usually an impediment to those who are keen to learn a new language. Which is why you might be interested in free lessons, which are available online via OpenLanguages, a site managed by Dr Jacques du Plessis who has taught Afrikaans for over 30 years. OpenLanguages makes it possible for speakers of English, German, Italian and French to learn how to communicate in Afrikaans with their home language as a medium of instruction.
du Plessis is a native Afrikaans speaker and his website also caters for beginners as well as those studying at university. He recommends exposing oneself to Afrikaans as much as possible in addition to learning on through the website.
“…listen to Afrikaans radio as a new habit, watch the Afrikaans soaps on TV and hang around those who speak die Taal. Every bit of exposure makes a difference.” says du Plessis through the learning portal. OpenLanguages also provides links to YouTube videos of Afrikaans sitcom Orkney Snork and lifestyle show Pasella.
Easyafrikaans is another free website where you can learn basic grammar, read stories and complete crossword puzzles conveniently on your way to becoming fluent. Founded in 2006 with several breaks in between the site gives basic lessons and collects statistics to show you how much time you’ve spent learning Afrikaans.
Cool apps and books are available on Google’s Play Store and iTunes for free and at other times for a small fee because payments made to learn something new count as money well spent. The Department of African Languages at Unisa also offers free online african language courses in isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, Setswana and Sepedi.
[Image: by CC 2.0 Andy Carter]