Book Review: Afrikaans-English / English- Afrikaans Dictionary

Afrikaans-English / English- Afrikaans Dictionary, by Jan Kromhout

One of the joys in being a fan of many languages is that it can be a joy to see how languages are sometimes very similar and very different.  To be sure, a book like this one is a dictionary and thus does not deal with the distinctiveness of Afrikaans grammar as opposed to its mother language Dutch or other similar languages within the German branch of the Indo-European language family, but it is interesting nonetheless to recognize the common Germanic heritage shared by Boer with English.  Admittedly, most of my foreign language studies have been devoted to the Romance language branch, but there are certainly some words here that come from French and some words have more exotic origins given the cosmopolitan nature of the Dutch empire, and so this dictionary provides a solid basis of vocabulary for those who would want to at least be able to have a decent knowledge of what was being said or written in Afrikaans for someone who wanted to travel to South Africa.  If such travels for me have been delayed for various reasons for the last couple of years, hopefully it is a trip I will be able to make at some point.

As far as dictionaries go, this is a good one [1].  It offers alphabetically ordered word lists in both Afrikaans and English to be translated into the other, includes related vocabulary from both languages and also parts of speech.  Using a guide like this it is reasonably clear that one would be able to translate slowly or be able to at least get a sense of the similarities between Afrikaans and English vocabulary, at least where the common ancestry of both languages or their influence on each other in the South African context is concerned, and that is well worth reading such a book like this if one has travel or business interests in South Africa.  It can be reasonably figured that South Africans are as interested in celebrating their language as many peoples are and having at least some familiarity with such a language can be very useful in meeting like-minded people and getting to know them better.  For those of us who love languages, this book is an example of how such tendencies to wish to communicate better may be encouraged without too much trouble or difficulty, and coming in at a bit under 400 pages it is not too massive of a book either.

[1] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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1 Response to Book Review: Afrikaans-English / English- Afrikaans Dictionary

  1. Pingback: Book Review: Jabari: Authentic Jamaican Dictionary Of The Jamic Language | Edge Induced Cohesion

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