Easy Afrikaans: Saying “Hello”


To many English-speakers’ ears, Afrikaans sounds a lot like German, or a cross between German and Dutch. But while its Germanic roots certainly have a lot to do with how it’s spoken today, Afrikaans has also been influenced by Indonesian and, of course, African languages.

Afrikaans carries quite a lot of political baggage, being the language of the country’s rulers during apartheid, but it remains in good health, and is spoken by millions of South Africans, white and black. I personally think it’s quite beautiful, and am fascinated by its origins.
Afrikaans greetings are quite easy:

Say “Goeie môre” (HWEE-uh MOR-uh) for “good morning”, and “Goeie dag” (HWEE-uh dag – with the “g” like the “ch” in the Scottish “loch”) for other times of day.

Your new friends will say “Goeie môre/dag” back. Then they’ll say – “Hoe gaan dit?” (hoo hahn dit? – “How are you?”)

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Your reply: “Goed, dankie” (Huut, DON-key – “I’m fine, thanks.”)

Then you say “Hoe gaan dit met jou?” (hoo hahn did met yoh – “How are you?”).

Now you’ve got it! Easy, no?

Afrikaans Greeting Cheat Sheet

Goeie môre/dag – HWEE-uh MOR-uh – Good morning/day!
Hoe gaan dit?hoo hahn dit – How are you?
Goed, dankie – huut, DON-key – I’m fine, thanks!