Easy Afrikaans: Saying “Hello”

by Ben on May 31, 2006

by Ben | May 31st, 2006  

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?”)

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!

{ 4 comments }

hex June 2, 2006 at 8:53 am
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As a German, I want to state quite categorically that Afrikaans doesn’t sound the least bit like German. When I first came here I couldn’t understand a word of it but found it easy to learn because of extremely simple way it is structured; very unlike German.

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Candise October 28, 2006 at 1:47 am
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Hallo,en goed dag aan jy.Ek net want aan say,dat ek het net started leer die taal nie lang ago,en dis ‘n bikkie confusing omdat at een site dit says dat die woord GOEIE is pronounced as choo/ee/ah en hier dit saying dis pronounced HWEE/UH/DAG.Goed, so which een is presies?Ook hoe doen ek leer die sin structure? Omdat partykeer dis ‘n bikkie hard aan word/kry.Dankie,en totsiens.

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Bob the Pie November 1, 2007 at 8:42 am
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Afrikaans sounds like Maori.

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Giudy March 23, 2008 at 8:05 pm
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Klinkt Afrikaans niet als Nederlands?!! Ik weet het niet, hoor; ik ben er nooit geweest.

Maar ik wed dat Candise hierboven precies begrijpt wat ik schrijf. Ik kan haar tekst ook lezen…

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