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Introduction to Afrikaans:
Lesson 5

By Linas

We have my, ons, jou for me/my, us/our and you/your. Let’s learn him and her.

Afrikaans for him is hom.

Just some one letter change. Say:

I see him.

Answer: Ek sien hom.
Not correct. Please try again.

We don’t want him.

Answer: Ons wil hom nie.
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We also have a simple one letter change (and one letter added in writing) for the word for her:

Afrikaans for her is haar.

It is her water.

Answer: Dit is haar water.
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As we have gotten this out of the way, I want you to learn the formal word for you:

Afrikaans for formal you is u.

It is kind of the opposite as it is in English: in English, the proper word is you and in chats or whatever one sometimes writes u as in how are u?. In Dutch, the chat-version is jy and the formal version is u. You don’t have to worry about it, though, because it’s usage is no different than that of jy. The word u is also not used too often. Say formally:

What do you work?

Answer: Wat werk u?
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And state:

You speak Afrikaans.

Answer: U praat afrikaans.
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Good. Now look at this:

Afrikaans for the day is good is die dag is goed.

All the words are related to those in English. How would you say:

The time is good.

Answer: Die tyd is goed.
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What about:

A friend is good.

Answer: ’n vriend is goed.
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Afrikaans for warm is warm.

Say:

The day is warm.

Answer: Die dag is warm.
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If you want to put the adjective in front and say a warm day or a good day instead, you have to put e after the adjective.

Try:

It is a warm day.

Answer: Dit is ’n warme dag.
Not correct. Please try again.

There is, however, a small exception with goed and e:

If you put e after goed, a small exception occurs and instead of becoming goede it becomes goeie.

He is a good friend.

Answer: Hy is ’n goeie vriend.
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Afrikaans for a house is ’n huis.

The house is warm.

Answer: Die huis is warm.
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The warm house is good.

Answer: Die warme huis is goed.
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Nice. Let’s learn nice:

Afrikaans for nice is mooi.

The house is nice.

Answer: Die huis is mooi.
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Also very is a good word to learn:

Afrikaans for very is baie.

Say:

The house is very nice.

Answer: Die huis is baie mooi.
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Try this sentence now:

They want a very nice house but they don’t have it.

Answer: Hulle wil ’n baie mooie huis maar hulle het dit nie.
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Mooi. Finally, let’s learn some greetings.

Do you still remember the word for tomorrow?

tomorrow

Answer: môre
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The word môre not only means tomorrow but it can also mean morning.

This makes sense because tomorrow comes when morning comes.

How would you say:

Good morning.

Answer: Goeie môre.
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Exactly. That’s what is the Afrikaans for good morning too. To distinguish it, however, if it’s a greeting, they write it as one word goeiemôre and if it’s not a greeting (and you are just talking about the morning) they write it separately. They do this for all of the good something greetings.

Another one is good midday which means good afternoon. You already have all the words needed to say it:

Good afternoon.

Answer: Goeiemiddag.
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You could also be pretty English-like and simply say hi for hi!

Then, what about asking how are you?. They usually ask how goes it instead.

Afrikaans for how is hoe.

Just one letter of a difference again. Ask:

How is it going?

Answer: Hoe gaan dit?
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They would often ask how is is with you, though:

Afrikaans for with is met.

Try asking formally (using that u):

How is it going with you?

Answer: Hoe gaan dit met u?
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You could also ask informally but you would have to use jou for you (we didn’t really get into reasons why but know that jou is used whenever you is not the subject in the sentence... that means - pretty often; jou replaces jy for you just like me replaces I).

How is it going with you?

Answer: Hoe gaan dit met jou?
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You could also ask:

How is it?

Answer: Hoe is dit?
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These are valid questions for how are you. You could answer:

It goes good.

Answer: Dit gaan goed.
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Which means something like I’m fine, thanks.

Oh, and what about thanks?

Afrikaans for thanks is dankie.

This comes from Dutch dank je which is thank you and it just got incorporated into one word in Afrikaans. How would you say:

I’m fine, thanks.

Answer: Dit gaan goed, dankie.
Not correct. Please try again.

What if you want to say bye?

You could say good morning or good afternoon or whatnot again. Alternative, you could say sien jou which means see you as you must have learned already. You could also use the nice Afrikaans expression for bye which is ta ta. This is very Afrikaans so I recommend you use it.

We are done with the learning. I hope that this course has exposed you to a bit of Afrikaans and now you can compare it with English and with Dutch if you have taken the Dutch course on this site or you happen to know some Dutch by other means.

Let’s finally have a conversation in Afrikaans in the end. Imagine that you are walking your dog (hond in Afrikaans... related to English hound) when somebody approaches you and asks some questions. You try to find out what the problem (probleem in Afrikaans) is and you get into a conversation. Translate everything (and use hi for hi).

Hi! Is this your dog?

Answer: Hi! Is dit jou hond?
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Good morning. Yes, it is my dog. What is the problem?

Answer: Goeiemôre. Ja, dit is my hond. Wat is die probleem?
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There is no problem. I want to speak with you. Can you do it?

Answer: Daar is geen probleem. Ek wil met jou praat. Kan jy dit doen?
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Yes but my Afrikaans is not very good.

Answer: Ja maar my afrikaans is nie baie goed.
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I want your dog.

Answer: Ek wil jou hond.
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What? It is my dog. You can’t have it.

Answer: Wat? Dit is my hond. Jy kan dit nie het.
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But I have money...

Answer: Maar ek het geld.
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No thanks!

Answer: Nee, dankie.
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So you have already learned not to sell your dog in Afrikaans! Well done!