Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 1 decade ago

Can the white South Africans speak only English or can they also speak Afrikaans?

I'm not trying to be racist or anything, it's a genuine question. I was talking about a South African I know (he's white) to my mum and I said to her, 'I wonder if he can teach me some Afrikaans' and she said that she doesn't think the white South Africans actually speak Afrikaans, only English.

Surely that's not true though?

18 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    Ignore the idiotic poster above me. Your question was not offensive in any way.

    Some white South Africans are not able to speak Afrikaans or perhaps are not as fluent in Afrikaans as they are in English but a lot of them are bilingual in both English and Afrikaans.


    No, I do not find that question in anyway offensive and neither has anyone else that has answered the question. Her question was completely innocent, she even stated that she is not trying to be is an innocent question that she wants to know the answer to. How dare you tell people to go get an education when you can't even answer a question in a civilised manner. And what on earth do you mean by, 'if you are educated you will know more than one language?' I mean, what on earth is that supposed to mean, there are plenty of educated people that can speak only one language - talk about ignorance. Hey, I'm not the one with 9 thumbs down. To answer your question as well, I am British by nationality, I am from Iraq and I speak Arabic, English, French and Welsh. Good day to you.

    You complete and utter idiot. I as born in Iraq, yes, but I moved to Britain when I was two years old. I am a British citizen, I have a British passport, I am British. I think it's you who needs an education. Furthermore, even if I was living in Iraq I still wouldn't be Arab because I'm an Iraqi Assyrian. So shove that up your pipe and smoke it.

  • 6 years ago

    The majority of white people in South-Africa speaks Afrikaans as a first language.

  • 1 decade ago

    No its not true at all, the majority of white South Africans speak Afrikaans as a first language, but its not an all white language either.

    Source(s): Full blooded boerseun, ek verstaan my eie taal.
  • 1 decade ago

    The majority of white South Africans speak Afrikaans, but about half that many don't. I have a friend in South Africa who doesn't speak it, but her mother's family is Afrikaner, and they do. The South Africans who speak English are of British colonist descent, and the Afrikaans-speaking ones are of Dutch-French Huguenot descent. And not only white South Africans speak Afrikaans, but many others including black and mixed-race and those of Indonesian descent who lived there before the British arrived and took over the Cape and what used to be mainly Boer areas.

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  • 1 decade ago

    I am a white South African, and although English is my first language, I can speak a bit of Afrikaans.

    There are a large number of white South Africans for whom Afrikaans is a first language.

  • 1 decade ago

    Afrikaans is the language of the white South Africans...and English is usually their first or second language

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Afrikaans is a Low Franconian language mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia with smaller numbers of speakers in Botswana, Lesotho, Swaziland, Zimbabwe and Zambia. Due to emigration and migrant labour, there are possibly over 100 000 Afrikaans speakers in the United Kingdom, with other substantial communities found in Brussels, Belgium; Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Perth, Australia; Toronto, Canada; and Auckland, New Zealand. It is the primary language used by two related ethnic groups in South Africa: the Afrikaners and the Coloureds or kleurlinge/bruinmense (including Basters, Cape Malays and Griqua). It is also spoken as a first language by many Tswana people in South Africa's North West Province.

    Afrikaans is derivated from Dutch.

    They can speak both language.


  • gav
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    White S Africans generally can speak Afrikaans - which is a variant of Dutch. The original Dutch settlers brought this language with them when they arrived. It is not an 'indigenous' language.

    • False, Afrikaans is indigenous to South-Africa since it was born here. No one brought it from anywhere.

  • dave a
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    some do speak Afrikaans it is true.

    Source(s): used to date a lovely South African (white) and she spoke it! UH OH - STALKER ALERT!
  • 1 decade ago

    Some do speak the lingo as a way of getting on,day to day.

    Some will not speak this lingo for their own reasons.

    Whats the harm in learning a few phrases anyway friend?

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