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Afrikaners abroad

By October 13, 2021December 27th, 2023FinGlobal

Afrikaners abroad

October 13, 2021


Calling all Afrikaners abroad! We’d like to know; how often do you speak Afrikaans, and do you still expose your children to the Afrikaans language? Do you have Afrikaans friends living around you, and if not, do any of your foreign friends have any interest in learning some Afrikaans and a bit more about your culture?  Perhaps it’s time to introduce Afrikaans appreciation month!

All the questions aside, we have become more aware of just how easy it is for Afrikaners abroad to lose touch with their native language. Before you know it, you’ve picked up a foreign accent, your children don’t understand general South African slang, and when you next listen to an Afrikaans speech or read Afrikaans articles, you’re more than just a little shaky on what they’re all about.

Moving to a new country comes with many new things, but that doesn’t mean that you should lose touch with your roots. It’s especially important to maintain ties with your Mother tongue if you have family and friends back in SA and have kids growing up in a foreign country.

If your kids, family members, or friends want to learn Afrikaans, you’re in a great position to teach them. We’ve pieced together this brief Afrikaans language lesson to help you (and others) get started.


South African slang

If you want to teach someone South African slang or learn some yourself, here’s a list of the top words to know:

Slang Meaning
Ag, man!   This means “Oh, man!” and is used to show pity
Babbelas Hangover (derived from Zulu)
Bliksem To hit someone (can also be an expression of shock or surprise)
Boet Brother (Afrikaans) but can also be a reference to a friend
Eish Expression of surprise
Braai Barbecue
Gatvol Had enough or at your wits end
Jol Party
Lekker Nice/good
Yebo Yes
Chommie A friend

This list is just the top of the South African slang iceberg but it’s enough to get you started.


Afrikaans words

If you want to help others brush up on their Afrikaans words (or if you need a little brushing up yourself), here’s a list to get you started.

Afrikaans English
Vandag Today
Môre Tomorrow
Gister Yesterday
Gebruik Use
Doen Do
Kinders Children
Hond Dog
Skool School
Gaan Go
Kom Come
Lag Laugh
Sien See
Pragtig Pretty
Maklik Easy
Hallo Hello
Totsiens Goodbye
Sleg Bad
Aangename kennis Nice to meet you
Goeie môre Good morning
Ek I
My naam is My name is
Hoe gaan dit met jou How are you?
Dankie Thank you
Ja Yes
Nee No
Geen problem No problem
Heerlik Delicious
Maandag Monday
Dinsdag Tuesday
Woensdag Wednesday
Donderdag Thursday
Vrydag Friday
Saterdag Saturday
Sondag Sunday

Again, this is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a very good start. A great place to learn Afrikaans words is on the Afrikaans Pod101 website. Here you can see each word listed and play the pronunciation of each word, which makes it easier to learn. The best part is that it’s free to use.


Alternative ways to learn Afrikaans

The Afrikaans language isn’t complex. The hardest part is probably pronunciation and fluency. If you want to keep your Afrikaans speaking skills current and want your kids and friends to understand Afrikaans too, you don’t have to attend classes. Instead, you can read Afrikaans articles and make a point of reading an Afrikaans speech whenever you have the opportunity.


There are a few great places to read Afrikaans articles online. These include:

There are some great apps available for kids, family members, and friends who want to learn more Afrikaans. The most popular ones being:

Whether you need to write an Afrikaans speech for a special occasion or simply want to ensure you can always communicate with family and friends like the “good old days,” keeping in touch with your Afrikaans language ability is important.


Tips for keeping Afrikaans alive in your family

Just because you’re living abroad doesn’t mean you have to stop speaking Afrikaans, but many families do because it just seems convenient to fit in. Of course, there are several ways you can keep Afrikaans alive in your family, even if you’re in a country where nobody speaks the language.

  • Order Afrikaans books online for a bit of bedtime reading
  • Book the kids into online Afrikaans lessons
  • Always speak Afrikaans as a family at dinner time
  • Send your family messages only in Afrikaans
  • Watch at least one Afrikaans movie or series each week
  • Stream South African news in Afrikaans as often as possible
  • Haul out your old CDs and listen to some Afrikaans music (there’s always YouTube if you don’t have CDs)


Don’t just learn Afrikaans from abroad, sort out your tax & financial ibligations too!

Many South Africans head abroad and are so caught up in their new life that they forget about their obligations back in South Africa. However, SA laws are getting a little trickier, which means you need to get your paperwork in order and your obligations set up. For instance, do you know that you could lose your South African citizenship if you don’t apply with SA Home Affairs for dual citizenship? Also, are you aware that SARS needs to be informed if you are no longer a tax resident in South Africa; otherwise, you could be liable for tax in both countries?

Don’t be a victim of circumstance by overlooking the finer details of emigration. At FinGlobal, we are ready and willing to assist you with all your financial and tax emigration paperwork. Our team is also well versed in the process of emigration and can provide you with nuggets of advice along the way. If you would like to ensure that all of your proverbial ducks are in a row, simply get in touch with us at FinGlobal. You can give us a call on +27 028 312 2764 or send us an email at today.


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