The Origins of the Afrikaans Language

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Hello, my name is Danielle. I was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa. My mother tongue is Afrikaans, I also speak English fluently. My mother was born in Holland and has taught my siblings and me, from a young age, to read and speak Dutch. My father however, was born in Pretoria and was brought up in an Afrikaans house. I believe that your language story can be defined by the different up bring you have/had and therefore shape you as a person and your story. Each of us talks, listens, and thinks in his/her own special language that has been shaped by our culture, experiences, profession, personality, mores, and attitudes. Personality is the sum total of all the traits of an individual. It's the combination of all traits that makes an individual different from all others.

Language is a system for encoding information. In its most common use, the term refers to so-called 'natural languages' — the forms of communication considered peculiar to humankind. In linguistics, the term is extended to refer to the human cognitive facility of creating and using language. Essential to both meanings is the systematic creation and usage of systems of symbols—each referring to linguistic concepts with semantic or logical or otherwise expressive meanings.

The ways people use words convey a great deal of information about themselves, their audience, and the situations they are in. Individuals' choice of words can hint at their social status, age, and motives. Words people use are diagnostic of their mental, social, and even physical state. Example: Common errors in speech betray people's deeper motives or fears. Language is the bridge to reality. The styles in which people use words rather than the content of what they say reflects the important aspects of their personality. The distinction between linguistic style and linguistic content can be seen in how two people may make a simple request. 'Would it be possible for you to pass me the salt?' and 'Pass the salt,' both express the speaker's desire for salt and direct the listener's action. However, the two utterances also reveal different features of the interactants' relationship, the speaker's personality, and perhaps the way the speaker understands himself.

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So, language reflects personality as its one of the important ingredient of the recipe called Personality. Language is the way we express ourselves or in other words, express what we are and how we think.

A bit more information on my native language,

Afrikaans, also known as the Cape Dutch, belongs to the West Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. It is spoken by 6.9 million people as a first and by 10.3 million people as a second language in South Africa. Afrikaans is also spoken in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zambia. It is estimated that the total number of first language speakers of Afrikaans is 7.1 million but the numbers have been decreasing.

Baie Dankie (Thank you very much). If anyone out there wants to know how to pronounce 'Baie Dankie' – say 'buy-a-donkey' – how easy is that! The name Afrikaans means ‘African' in Dutch. It was originally used by the Dutch settlers and indentured workers brought to the Cape area in southwestern South Africa by the Dutch East India Company between 1652 and 1705.

Afrikaans was considered a Dutch dialect until the early 20th century. In 1925, it was officially recognised to be a distinct language from Dutch. There is some disagreement about the origin of Afrikaans. Some linguists believe that it originally developed first as a pidgin, and then as a creole that provided a common means of communication between Dutch settlers and their African and South Asian workers. Other scholars think that Afrikaans retained too much of the basic structure and vocabulary of Dutch to be considered a creole.

All in all Afrikaans is a Lekker language and many a times, this word in the Afrikaans language is used by various cultures to describe something satisfying, good, well and just fun!

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