Essay

Het afschalen van het Afrikaans: Een politieke stommiteit

Jacques Van Keymeulen
Literator | Vol 39, No 2 | a1510 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/lit.v39i2.1510 | © 2018 Jacques Van Keymeulen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 March 2018 | Published: 27 September 2018


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Abstract

The downgrading of Afrikaans: A political stupidity. Afrikaans is a partly creolised language, based on Dutch (dialects). It originated as the lingua franca of the dominated population of servants and slaves (the bruinmense), and was taken over by the dominant white population, which standardised it and developed it into a fully-fledged cultural language, comparable with other small Germanic languages such as Danish or Norwegian. It is the only example of a ‘creoloid’ that reached that level. Politically, it is a very bad idea to downgrade Afrikaans as a language of instruction at universities. This will lead to frustration and a renewed rise of Afrikaner nationalism. One should avoid unnecessary political tensions in a country that has to face matters that are far more urgent, such as the racially based inequality in wealth.

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