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Afrikaans phrasebook

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Afrikaans is spoken throughout South Africa and Namibia. The language is mainly derived from Dutch. However, most Afrikaans speakers in the workplace have some knowledge of English.

Pronunciation guide[edit]

Vowels[edit]

as in sun
as in met but sometimes as in meet or angel
ê 
as in apple
ë 
usually pronounced the same as 'e', but when it is accented due to grammar, such as in words like 'geëet' which means 'to have eaten', it can be pronounced three other ways: meet, fear or wet
as in bit
as in fort or mood or boy
ô 
as in cauldron
as in u in hut with rounded lips
as in to'ey' in hey
'n 
in 'a' as in 'a dog' or 'a song'. This is the article; it is never capitalised even if used at the start of a sentence: the word that follows is capitalised.

Note that Afrikaans pronunciation is extremely difficult and can be a challenge, even for Dutch speakers.

Consonants[edit]

as in bat
as in king (uncommon, usually proper nouns eg 'Coetzee'
as in dance but pronounced as English 't' at the end of words
as in fan
similarly to the 'ch' in bach, but a lot harder and more glottal - a bit like hawking up phlegm :-).
as in hat
as in yak
as in king
as in lamp
as in man
as in nap
as in pet
as in rant, but the sound is rolled
as in set
as in tale
same as the English 'f'
pronounced the same as the English 'v' as in vet
as in fix but extremely rare, usually found in scientific terms or loanwords.
as in blitz

In some loan words, 'g', 'v' and 'w' may be pronounced the same as their English equivalents, but this is uncommon.

Digraphs and trigraphs[edit]

aa 
as in father
ae 
two sounds, one after another, quite quickly. Starts as 'aa' and is quickly finished off with the Afrikaans 'a' as in dust
ch 
can be pronounced in three ways: loch or shine or king
kk 
as in cane
nn 
as in man
sj 
as in machine
ee 
as in fear
eë 
as in fear but pronounced as two separate sounds. Sounds almost like 'ee-ye'
ië 
same as eë
ei 
as is sale
eu 
pronounced two ways: as in ear or as in mew
gh 
same as English 'gh'. For example: ghost
ll 
as in lamp
mm 
as in mend
ie 
pronounced either as long 'ee' like in breed or as 'i' in sick
kn 
as in pick 'n pay
ng 
as in sing
nk 
as in think
oe 
pronounced either as the long 'oo' as in loot or as a short 'oo' as in foot
oë 
as in English doer
oo 
same as German "ü", make your lips into the position of "o" but say "ee" instead.
ou 
as in coat
rs 
like farse, but the 'r' is rolled
tj 
as in chunk
tj 
combined with ie as in kid
ui 
also a unique sound. Sounds like play but with pouted lips. The name shane is the closest english equivalent
uu 
similar to German über but pronounced with more emphasis and much longer. Identical to the final 'yy' sound
aai 
like the 'y' in shy, but a pronounced a lot longer.
eeu 
A unique trigraph. The closest English equivalent is the English word ewe. Try blending the sounds 'ew' and 'oo'
oei 
similar to phooey but pronounced with a rapid 'w' in it
ooi 
similar to oil but pronounced with a rapid 'w' in it
uie 
similar to player but pronounced much longer

Note on Afrikaans[edit]

Like English, double consonants in Afrikaans are pronounced as a single sound, and not two separate sounds, unless occurring at a syllabary break: 'wekker': 'vack-er' (alarm clock) but 'melkkoei': 'melk-koo-ee' (milking cow).

Note that although Afrikaans digraphs and trigraphs contain mostly vowels and sound as though they contain many syllables, they in fact are seen as a single syllable.

For example, the word 'Goeie' sounds as if it contains 3 syllables, but in fact contains only two: 'goei' and 'e' are the 2 syllables.

From this, you can see Afrikaans pronunciation, like English for a foreigner, can be rather irregular. Pronunciation can be hard and the accent is extremely difficult to master, but when spoken correctly, Afrikaans is the most melodic Germanic language.

However, one should not be daunted. Afrikaans grammar is really quite simple and is more similar to English than to any other Germanic language. Verbs are even simpler than English: there is no am or are or were but only is and was.

One who is learning Afrikaans will probably catch onto it rather quickly and will have no problem with speaking Dutch or understanding German.

Important differences between Dutch and Afrikaans[edit]

A rukkie in Afrikaans is a short period of time, not a sexual act performed on oneself.

Common use examples are Ek gaan 'n rukkie slaap or Ek sal oor 'n rukkie daar wees

Baie means veel (many); however, the word veel also exists in Afrikaans and has the same meaning.

Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Common signs

OPEN 
Oop
CLOSED 
Toe
ENTRANCE 
Ingang
EXIT 
Uitgang
PUSH 
Stoot
PULL 
Trek
TOILET 
Toilet
MEN 
Here / Mans
WOMEN 
Dames / Vrouens
FORBIDDEN 
Verbode


Hello. (formal
Goeie dag. ("...")
Hello. (informal
Hallo. ("...")
How are you? 
Hoe gaan dit? ("...")
Fine, thank you. 
Goed, dankie. ("...")
What is your name? 
Wat is jou naam? ("...")
My name is ______. 
My naam is ______. ("...")
Nice to meet you. 
Aangename kennis. ("...")
Please. 
Asseblief. ("...")
Thank you. 
Dankie. ("...")
You're welcome. 
Dis 'n plesier. ("...")
Yes. 
Ja. ("...")
No. 
Nee. ("...")
Excuse me. (getting attention
Verskoon my. ("...")
Excuse me. (begging pardon
Verskoon my / Jammer. ("...")
I'm sorry. 
Ek is jammer. ("...")
Goodbye 
Totsiens. ("...")
Goodbye (informal
Baai. ("...")
I can't speak Afrikaans [well]. 
Ek kan nie [ goed ] Afrikaans praat nie. ("...")
Do you speak English? 
Praat jy Engels? ("...")
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Is hier iemand wat Engels praat? ("...")
Help! 
Help! ("...")
Look out! 
Oppas! ("...")
Good morning. 
Goeie môre. ("...")
Good evening. 
Goeie naand. ("...")
Good night. (to sleep
Goeie nag. ("...")
I don't understand. 
Ek verstaan nie. ("...")
Where is the toilet? 
Waar is die toilet? ("...")
I am wearing jeans. 
Ek dra 'n denim broek. ("...")

Problems[edit]

Leave me alone. 
Laat my met rus.
Los my uit.
Don't touch me! 
Moenie aan my vat nie!
Moenie aan my raak nie
I'll call the police. 
Ek sal die polisie roep/bel. (...)
Police! 
Polisie! (POLI-see)
Stop! Thief! 
Stop! Dief! (...)
I need your help. 
Ek het u hulp nodig. Ek benodig u/jou hulp. (...)
It's an emergency. 
Dit is 'n noodgeval. (...)
I'm lost. 
Ek is verdwaald. (...)
I lost my bag. 
Ek het my sak verloor. (...)
I lost my wallet. 
Ek het my beursie verloor. (...)
I'm sick. 
Ek is siek. (...)
I've been injured. 
Ek is beseer. (...)
I need a doctor. 
Ek het 'n doktor nodig. (...)
Can I use your phone? (formal)
Mag ek u telefoon gebruik?
Can I use your phone? (informal)
Mag ek jou telefoon gebruik?

Numbers[edit]

1
een ("...")
2
twee ("...")
3
drie ("...")
4
vier ("...")
5
vyf ("...")
6
ses ("...")
7
sewe ("...")
8
ag ("...") / agt ("...")
9
nege ("...")
10
tien ("...")
11
elf ("...")
12
twaalf ("...")
13
dertien ("...")
14
veertien ("...")
15
vyftien ("...")
16
sestien ("...")
17
sewentien ("...")
18
agtien ("...")
19
negentien ("...")
20
twintig ("...")
21
een-en-twintig ("...")
22
twee-en-twintig ("...")
23
drie-en-twintig ("...")

...

30
dertig ("...")
40
veertig ("...")
50
vyftig ("...")
60
sestig ("...")
70
sewentig ("...")
80
tagtig ("...")
90
neëntig / negentig ("...")
100
eenhonderd ("...")
200
tweehonderd ("...")
300
driehonderd ("...")

...

900
negehonderd ("...")
1000
eenduisend ("...")
2000
tweeduisend ("...")
1,000,000
een miljoen ("...")
1,000,000,000
een miljard ("...")
Note the difference with American English numbers.
1,000,000,000,000
een biljoen ("...")

Ordinal Numbers[edit]

1
eerste ("...")
2
tweede ("...")
3
derde ("...")
4
vierde ("...")
5
vyfde ("...")
6
sesde ("...")
7
sewende ("...")
8
agste ("...")
9
negende ("...")
10
tiende ("...")
11
elfde ("...")

...

20
twintigste ("...")

...

100
honderdste ("...")
101
honderd-en-eerste ("...")

Time[edit]

now
nou (know)
later
later (...)
before
voor (...)
morning
oggend (...)
afternoon
middag (...)
evening
aand (...)
night
nag (...)

Clock time[edit]

What time is it?
Hoe laat is dit? ("...")
one o'clock (when AM/PM are obvious)
een uur (...)
two o'clock (when AM/PM are obvious)
twee uur (...)
one o'clock AM
een uur in die oggend (...)
two o'clock AM
twee uur in die oggend (...)
noon
middag (...)
one o'clock PM
een uur in die middag (...)
two o'clock PM
twee uur in die middag (...)
midnight
middernag (...)

Duration[edit]

_____ minute(s)
_____ minuut (...) / minute (...)
_____ hour(s)
_____ uur (...) / ure (...)
_____ day(s)
_____ dag (...) / dae (...)
_____ week(s)
_____ week (...) / weke (...)
_____ month(s)
_____ maand (...) / maande (...)
_____ year(s)
_____ jaar (...) / jare (...)

Days[edit]

today 
vandag (...)
yesterday 
gister (...)
the day before yesterday 
eergister (...)
tomorrow 
môre (...)
the day after tomorrow 
oormôre (...)
this week 
die week (...)
last week 
verlede week (...)
next week 
volgende week (...)
Monday 
Maandag ("...")
Tuesday 
Dinsdag ("...")
Wednesday 
Woensdag ("...")
Thursday 
Donderdag ("...")
Friday 
Vrydag ("...")
Saturday 
Saterdag ("...")
Sunday 
Sondag ("...")
Weekend 
Naweek ("...")

Months[edit]

January 
Januarie (YAN-ua-ree)
February 
Februarie (VEE-brua-ree)
March 
Maart ("...")
April 
April (AH-pril)
May 
Mei (May)
June 
Junie (YOU-knee)
July 
Julie (YOU-lee)
August 
Augustus ("...")
September 
September ("...")
October 
Oktober ("...")
November 
November ("...")
December 
Desember ("...")

Writing time and date[edit]

Day 
Dag ("...")
Week 
Week ("...")
Month 
Maand ("...")
Year 
Jaar ("...")
Century 
Eeu ("...")
Leap Year 
Skrikkel jaar ("...")
1:00 PM 
13:00 / 13h00
2:00 PM 
14:00 / 14h00
3:00 PM 
15:00 / 15h00
...
12:00 PM 
24:00 / 24h00 / 00:00 / 00h00

Colors[edit]

Red 
Rooi ("...") (Intensive form: bloed rooi, blood red)
Yellow 
Geel ("...") (Intensive form: goud geel ("..."))
Green 
Groen ("...") (Intensive form: gras groen ("..."), grass green)
Blue 
Blou ("...") (Intensive form: hemel blou ("..."), sky blue)
Black 
Swart ("...") (Intensive form: pik swart ("..."), pitch black)
White 
Wit ("...") (Intensive form: spier wit ("..."))
Purple 
Pers ("...")
Orange 
Oranje ("...")
Brown 
Bruin ("...")
Grey 
Grys ("...")
Pink 
Pienk ("...") / Rooskleurig ("...")

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Hoeveel kos 'n kaartjie na _____? (...)
One ticket to _____, please. 
Een kaartjie na _____, asseblief. (...)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Waarheen gaan hierdie trein/bus? (...)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Waar is die trein/bus na _____? (...)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Stop die/hierdie trein/bus in _____? (...)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
Hoe laat vertrek die trein/bus na _____? (...)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Hoe laat sal die trein/bus in _____ arriveer? (...)

Directions[edit]

How do I get to _____ ? 
Hoe kom ek tot in _____ ? (...)
...the train station? 
...die trein stasie? (...)
...the bus station? 
...die bus stasie? (...)
...the airport? 
...die lughawe? (...)
...downtown? 
...middedorp? (...)
...the youth hostel? 
...die jeug hostel? (...)
...the _____ hotel? 
...die _____ hotel? (...)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...the Amerikaanse/Kanadese/Australiese/Britse konsulaat? (...)
Where are there a lot of... 
Waar is daar baie... (...)
...hotels? 
...hotelle? (...)
...restaurants? 
...restaurante? (...)
...bars? 
...kroeë ? (...)
...sites to see? 
...besienswaardighede? (...)
Can you show me on the map? 
Kan jy dit vir my op die kaart aandui? (...)
street 
straat (...)
Turn left. 
Draai links. (...)
Turn right. 
Draai regs. (...)
left 
links (...)
right 
regs (...)
straight ahead 
reguit vorentoe (...)
towards the _____ 
in die rigting van _____ (...)
past the _____ 
verby die _____ (...)
before the _____ 
voor die _____ (...)
Watch for the _____. 
Wees op die uitkyk vir die _____. (...)
intersection 
kruising (...)
north 
noord (...)
south 
suid (...)
east 
oos (...)
west 
wes (...)
go uphill 
gaan op teen die heuwel (...)
go downhill 
gaan af teen die heuwel (...) / The road goes downhill : Die pad loop afdraend (...)
It is uphill 
Dit is opdraende (...)
It is downhill 
Dit is afdraende (...)

Taxi[edit]

Taxi! 
Taxi! (...)
Take me to _____, please. 
Vat my asseblief na _____ toe. (...)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
Hoeveel kos dit om na _____ toe te gaan? (...)
Take me there, please. 
Vat my soontoe, asseblief. (...)

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available? 
Het u enige kamers beskikbaar? (...)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
Hoeveel kos 'n kamer vir een/twee persone? (...)
Does the room come with bedsheets 
Is daar lakens in die kamer? (...)
Does the room come with... 
Het die kamer... (...)
...a bathroom? 
...'n badkamer? (...)
...a telephone? 
...'n telefoon? (...)
...a TV? 
...'n TV? (...)
May I see the room first? 
Mag ek die kamer eers sien? (...)
Do you have anything quieter 
Het u enige iets stiller? (...)
Do you have anything... 
Het u enige ... kamer? (...)
...bigger? 
...groter... (...)
...cleaner? 
...skoner (...)
...cheaper? 
...goedkoper... (...)
OK, I'll take it. 
Goed, ek sal dit neem/vat. (...)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
Ek sal ____ aand(e) bly. (...)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Kan u 'n ander hotel aanbeveel? (...)
Do you have a safe? 
Het u 'n kluis? (...)
...lockers? 
...sluitkas(te) (...)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
Is ontbyt/aandete ingesluit? (...)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
Hoe laat is ontbyt/aandete? (...)
Please clean my room. 
Maak asseblief my kamer skoon. (...)
Can you wake me at _____? 
Kan u my wakker maak teen _____? (...)
I want to check out. 
Ek wil uitteken. (...)

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Aanvaar u Amerikaanse/Australiese/Kanadese dollars? (...)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Aanvaar u Britse ponde? (...)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Aanvaar u kredietkaarte? (...)
Can you change money for me? 
Kan u geld wissel vir my? (...)
Where can I get money changed? 
Waar kan ek geld verwissel? (...)
Can you change a traveler's cheque for me? 
Kan u 'n reisigerstjek wissel vir my? (...)
Where can I get a traveler's cheque changed? 
Waar kan ek 'n reisigerstjek verwissel? (...)
What is the exchange rate? 
Wat is die wisselkoers? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
Waar is 'n autobank/ATM? (...)

Eating[edit]

A table for one person/two people, please. 
'n Tafel vir een/twee person(e) asseblief. (...)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Mag ek 'n spyskaart sien, asseblief? (...)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Mag ek in die kombuis kyk? (...)
Is there a house specialty? 
Is daar 'n huis spesialiteit? (...)
Is there a local specialty? 
Is daar 'n lokale spesialiteit? (...)
I'm a vegetarian. 
Ek's 'n vegetariër. (...)
I don't eat pork. 
Ek eet nie varkvleis nie. (...)
I only eat kosher food. 
Ek eet slegs kosher kos. (...)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Kan u dit asseblief olie-vry voorberei?(...)
fixed-price meal 
Vaste prys ete (...)
à la carte 
à la carte (...)
breakfast 
ontbyt (...)
lunch 
middagete (...)
tea (meal
(...)
supper 
aandete (...)
I want _____. 
Ek wil _____ hê. (...)
I want a dish containing _____. 
Ek wil 'n gereg met _____ hê. (...)
chicken 
hoender (...)
beef 
beesvleis (...)
fish 
vis (...)
ham 
ham (...)
sausage 
wors (...)
cheese 
kaas (...)
eggs 
eiers (...)
salad 
slaai (...)
(fresh) vegetables 
(vars) groente (...)
(fresh) fruit 
(vars) vrugte (...)
bread 
brood (...)
toast 
roosterbrood (...)
noodles 
(...)
rice 
rys (...)
beans 
bone (...)
May I have a glass of _____? 
Mag ek 'n glas _____ kry? (...)
May I have a cup of _____? 
Mag ek 'n koppie _____ kry? (...)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
Mag ek 'n bottel _____ kry? (...)
coffee 
koffie ('...)
tea (drink
tee (...)
juice 
sap (...)
sparkling water 
vonkelwater (...)
water 
water (...)
beer 
bier (...)
red/white wine 
rooi/wit wyn (...)
May I have some _____? 
Mag ek _____ kry? (...)
salt 
sout (...)
black pepper 
swart peper (...)
butter 
botter (...)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Verskoon my? (...)
I'm finished. 
Ek is klaar. (...)
It was delicious. 
Dit was heerlik. (...)
Please clear the plates. 
Kan u assebleif die tafel skoonmaak. (...)
The check, please. 
Die rekening, asseblief. (...)

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol? 
Bedien u alkohol? (...)
Is there table service? 
Is daar tafel diens? (...)
A beer/two beers, please. 
'n Bier/twee biere, asseblief. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
'n Glas rooi/wit wyn, asseblief. (...)
A pint, please. 
'n Pint, asseblief. (...)
A bottle, please. 
'n Bottel, asseblief. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ ( ) en _____ ( ), asseblief. (...)
whiskey 
whiskey (...)
vodka 
vodka (...)
rum 
rum (...)
water 
water (...)
club soda 
soda (...)
tonic water 
tonic (...)
orange juice 
lemoensap (...)
Coke (soda
Coke (koeldrank)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Is daar enige versnaperinge / snacks? (...)
One more, please. 
Nog een, asseblief. (...)
Another round, please. 
Nog 'n rondte, asseblief. (...)
When is closing time? 
Hoe laat is toemaaktyd? (...)

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size? 
Het u dit in my mate/grootte? (...)
How much is this? 
Hoeveel kos dit? (...)
That's too expensive. 
Dit is te duur./Dis te duur (...)
Would you take _____? 
Sal u _____ aanvaar? (...)
expensive 
duur (...)
cheap 
goedkoop (...)
I can't afford it. 
Ek kan dit nie bekostig nie. (...)
I don't want it. 
Ek wil dit nie hê nie. (...)
You're cheating me. 
Jy verneuk my. (...)
I'm not interested. 
Ek stel nie belang nie. (..)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, ek sal dit vat./Reg, ek sal dit vat. (...)
Can I have a bag? 
Kan ek 'n sakkie kry? (...)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Verskeep u (oorsee)? (...)
I need... 
Ek het ... nodig (...)
...toothpaste. 
...tandepaste. (...)
...a toothbrush. 
...'n tandeborsel. (...)
...tampons. 
...tampons. (...)
...soap. 
...seep. (...)
...shampoo. 
...shampoe. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...pyntablet (...)
...cold medicine. 
...verkoue-medisyne. (...)
...stomach medicine. 
...maagmedisyne. (...)
...a razor. 
...'n skeermes. (...)
...an umbrella. 
...'n sambreel. (...)
...sunblock lotion. 
...sonbrand-olie. (...)
...a postcard. 
...'n poskaart. (...)
...postage stamps. 
...seëls. (...)
...batteries. 
...batterye. (...)
...writing paper. 
...skryfpapier. (...)
...a pen. 
...'n pen. (...)
...English-language books. 
...Engelse boeke./Boeke in Engels. (...)
...English-language magazines. 
...Engelse tydskrifte. (...)
...an English-language newspaper. 
...'n Engelse koerant. (...)
...an Afrikaans-English dictionary. 
... 'n Afrikaans-Engelse woordeboek. (...)

Driving[edit]

I want to rent a car. 
Ek wil 'n motor huur. (...)
Can I get insurance? 
Kan ek assuransie kry? (...)
stop (on a street sign
stop (op 'n straat teken)
one way 
een rigting (...)
yield 
gee toe (...)
no parking 
geen parkering (...)
speed limit 
spoed beperking (...)
gas (petrol) station 
petrol stasie/vul stasie (...)

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
Ek het niks verkeerd gedoen nie. ("...")
It was a misunderstanding. 
Dit was 'n misverstand. ("...")
Where are you taking me? 
Waar heen vat jy my? ("...")
Am I under arrest? 
Is ek onder arres? ("...")
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
Ek is 'n Amerikaanse/Australiaanse/Britse/Kanadese burger. ("...")
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
Ek wil met die Amerikaanse/Australiaanse/Britse/Kanadese ambassade praat. ("...")
I want to speak to a lawyer. 
Ek wil met 'n prokureur praat. ("...")
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Kan ek onmiddelik 'n boete betaal? ("...")
This is a usable phrasebook. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use it to get by, but please plunge forward and help it grow!

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