Afrikaans Language Course

Eden Language Academy offers Afrikaans language courses on both basic and intermediate levels.

The Afrikaans Language

Afrikaans is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa, Namibia and to a lesser extent Botswana and Zimbabwe. It is an offshoot of several Dutch dialects spoken by the mainly Dutch settlers (17th century) of what is now South Africa, where it gradually began to develop independently in the course of the 18th century.  Hence, historically, it is a daughter language of Dutch, and was previously referred to as “Cape Dutch” (a term also used to refer collectively to the early Cape settlers) or “kitchen Dutch” (a derogatory term used to refer to Afrikaans in its earlier days).

Although Afrikaans adopted words from languages such as Portuguese, the Bantu languages, Malay, and the Khoisan languages, an estimated 90 to 95% of Afrikaans vocabulary is of Dutch origin.  Therefore, differences with Dutch often lie in the more analytic morphology and grammar of Afrikaans, and a spelling that expresses Afrikaans pronunciation rather than standard Dutch.  There is a large degree of mutual intelligibility between the two languages – especially in written form.

With about 7 million native speakers in South Africa (13.5% of the population) it is the third-most-spoken mother tongue in the country. It has the widest geographical and racial distribution of all the official languages of South Africa and is widely spoken and understood as a second or third language.  It is the majority language of the western half of South Africa — the provinces of the Northern Cape and Western Cape — and the first language of 75.8% of Coloured South Africans (3.4 million people), 60.8% of White South Africans (2.7 million) and at 4.6% the second most spoken first-language among Asian South Africans (58,000). About 1.5% of black South Africans (600,000 people) speak it as their first language.  Large numbers of Bantu-speaking and English-speaking South Africans also speak it as their second language. Estimates of the total number of Afrikaans-speakers range between 15 and 23 million.

Modern Dutch and Afrikaans share 85% plus of their vocabulary. Afrikaans speakers are able to learn Dutch within a comparatively short period of time.  Native Dutch speakers pick up written Afrikaans even more quickly, due to its simplified grammar, whereas understanding spoken Afrikaans might need more effort.  Afrikaans speakers can learn a Dutch accent with little training. This has enabled Dutch and Belgian companies to outsource their call centre operations to South Africa.

Today Afrikaans it one of 11 official South African languages recognized by the Constitution.  The most common home (first) language in South Africa is Zulu, followed by Xhosa, and Afrikaans.  Afrikaans is the most widely spoken language in the country because most South Africans have it as either their first, second or third language.  Afrikaans is spoken in Botswana and is one of the three most spoken languages of Namibia.

Basic Afrikaans Course Outline & Learning Outcomes

Module 1:  Pronunciation and numbers

  • How to learn Afrikaans
  • The tone in Afrikaans and on which syllables the stress is placed
  • Pronunciation of the alphabet and words
  • Reading words fluently in succession
  • Numbers and counting up to a 100 and beyond
  • How to pronounce telephone and cell phone numbers
  • How to pronounce quantities and costs

Module 2: Greetings and forms of address

  • Initiate conversation and cultural norms
  • Greeting and courtesies – types of greetings
  • The importance of greetings
  • Greeting protocol when dealing with younger and older persons
  • Forms of address, good manners and social norms
  • Understanding the rules of etiquette in speaking Afrikaans
  • Meeting Afrikaans cultural expectations
  • The family tree and relationships
  • The days of the week, months of the years and the seasons
  • Talking about weather

Module 3: Making appointments

  • Etiquette, keeping an appointment, what to do if you are late
  • Express opinions and feelings – Afrikaans cultural norms
  • Asking the time
  • Telling the time
  • Ask for and give simple information with regards to appointments
  • How to use the dictionary

Module 4:  Gender forms and structuring sentences

  • Explaining gender forms in Afrikaans
  • Personal pronouns
  • Possessive pronouns
  • Professions and the vocabulary thereof

Module 5:  Verbs and tenses

  • Afrikaans dialects
  • The finite and infinitive form of verbs
  • Learning more vocabulary – the learner’s choice of own work-related verbs
  • Building short sentences with pronouns and verbs
  • The past, present and future forms of the tenses
  • Basic negation
  • Afrikaans etiquette when asking/ responding to opinions or feelings

Module 6:  Nouns

  • The learning of the nouns of the body and hands
  • Learning to change these singular forms into plural
  • Learning more vocabulary – the learner’s own choice of work relating nouns
  • Learning nouns related to the working environment
  • Making sentences related to being ill and visiting the doctor
  • Giving information: tell us about yourself
  • Sentence construction

Module 7: Questions and Answers

  • Definite and indefinite articles
  • Specific question words (what, where, how, why, who, which)
  • Forming questions
  • Select and present content appropriate to the writing task
  • Prioritization of the written language
  • Explain how to fill in documents or forms
  • Helping clients fill in forms with the correct language
  • Responding to written text with comprehension

Module 8: Office vocabulary and instructions

  • Adjectives
  • Adverbs
  • Speaking on the telephone
  • Manners and social norms when giving an instruction
  • Building sentences:writing down a quotation
  • Offering help (with correct etiquette)

Module 9: Your workplace

  • Asking and giving directions
  • Prepositions
  • Conjunctions
  • Afrikaans sentence structure
  • Addressing gaps and specific learners needs
  • Practice sessions for questions and answers
  • Practice sessions for reading
  • Practice sessions for writing
  • Preparation for final assessment

Module 10: Final summative oral assessment and review

Language Course Assessments

If you’re interested in obtaining a certificate of competence upon completion of your language course, you will need to do the formative and summative assessments included in our language courses. The pass rate for these assessments is 50%, with the exception of 60% for HPCSA members.

Formative assessments:

The formative assessments do not count towards your grade, they are merely there to help with your learning process and to monitor your progress. The formative assessments can be found at the end of each module in the learner manual.

Formative assessments in practice:


Delegates will do the formative assessments at home after each class. Upon return to the next class, the memo with the answers will be made available for delegates to grade their assessments.

Distance learning:

Delegates will do the formative assessments at their own pace from home. The memos with the answers will be sent to delegates so that they can grade their assessments.

Summative assessments:

The summative assessments count towards your grade and are there to measure your competence. There are two different types of summative assessments: a written and an oral assessment, each counting 50%.

Written summative assessments in practice:

The written summative assessments are done after each module. There are about 8 of them each consisting of 10 questions.


Delegates will do the written summative assessments in class. It is closed book and invigilated by the course facilitator. These assessments are graded by an assessor and moderated both internally and externally.

Distance learning:

Delegates will do the written summative assessments verbally via a video-calling session with a language facilitator. As your course fee only includes 3 contact sessions of 30 minutes each, you will need to do 3 verbal summative assessments at a time. You are however at liberty to decide when you would like to schedule these assessments.

Oral summative assessments in practice:

The oral summative assessment is done right at the end of the course. Delegates are asked to prepare a +- 3-minute-long conversational speech (on their topic of choice) which includes open and closed ended questions for the course facilitator.


Delegates will do the oral summative assessments in private with the course facilitator.

Distance Learning:

Delegates will do the oral summative assessment during a final video-calling session with a language facilitator.