I bless the rains down in Afrika[ans]

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/07/25 15:02 -07:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/michkap/archive/2006/07/25/678265.aspx

Ok, if I could get اردو, മലയാളം, Qhichwa Simi, فارسی, isiZulu, ಕನ್ನಡ, नेपाली, Lëtzebuergisch, कोंकणी, Setswana, বাংলা, తెలుగు, and ਪੰਜਾਬੀ to all move over a little bit.

Because the Afrikaans Language Interface Pack is now available!

Some info about Afrikaans:

Number of speakers: 4 million

Name in the language itself: Afrikaans

Afrikaans is one of the 11 official languages of South Africa and is spoken mainly in the western one-third of the country, especially the Northern Cape and Western Cape provinces. After Zulu and Xhosa, Afrikaans has the third-largest language community in South Africa. It is also spoken in the neighboring country of Namibia.

The language is a heritage of the Dutch colonization of areas of today’s South Africa from the 17th century onwards – which is why it was originally known as “Kaaps-Hollands” (“Cape Dutch”). It gained loanwords from languages of others settlers (mainly English, French and German) and the surrounding African people and underwent grammatical simplification and some phonetic changes. Afrikaans became a literary language about a century ago after it had been a spoken language only, and it replaced Standard Dutch (which had been the written language until then) officially in 1925.

Fun facts:


Afrikaans is principally derived from the same 16th-century Dutch dialect that led to modern Dutch and is closely related to that language. Both belong to the West Germanic branch of the Indo-European language family. Afrikaans is the youngest Germanic language.


Latin script, 26 letters (like in English), with c, q, x, and z rarely being used. There are special characters: è, é, ê, ë, î, ï, ô, û



This post brought to you by A (U+0041, a.k.a. LATIN CAPITAL LETTER A)

# Maurits on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 11:04 PM:

Back when I was growing up in South Africa, the official language of the Suid-Afrikan government was Afrikaans.  If you called City Hall, the receptionist would answer in Afrikaans.

But most people on the street spoke English.

My classmates and I spoke English, but were required to take Afrikaans in school.

# Maurits on Tuesday, July 25, 2006 11:06 PM:

Originally one trekked across the veld[t], but Star Trek was popular in South Africa too :)

# Paul Clapham on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 1:10 PM:

Perhaps the post should have been brought to us by U+0149, a.k.a. LATIN SMALL LETTER N PRECEDED BY APOSTROPHE -- a character that as far as I know is only used in Afrikaans?

# Ruben on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 2:47 PM:

Indeed. But I believe that 'n is just as dubious as the precomposed ij character. Note that Dutch also uses 'n (short for een, as English 'a, an'), but it's never seen as a precomposed character, just an aportrophe followed by a consonant.

Having 'n as a seperate character does spare you the trouble of quasi-intelligent word processors that automatically type opening quotes rather than an apostrophe. Now if only I could find a keyboard containing that character...

Dutch has more than just 'n though: 'k, 'm, 'n, 'r, 's and 't. All informal except for 's; in written text one usually uses ik [I], hem [him], een [a, an], haar [her], het [it], but never des ('s) [in/at/of the].

# legolas on Wednesday, July 26, 2006 4:31 PM:

Are you sure it's 'gedoen', and not 'gedaan' in afrikaans? It's 'gedaan' in Dutch and 'gedoen' sounds really crazy, even for afrikaans (which already sounds like funny Dutch sometimes).

# vedala on Thursday, July 27, 2006 12:43 AM:

What I noticed the sequence of the following characters:
(తెలుగు)   looks wrong. Instead of reading "Telugu"  it reads as "Tha-ey-lu-gu"  . The second character should actually appear on top of first character thus making totally three characters (Te-lu-gu). Here is the pronunciation of the language "Telugu":
"Te" as in "[The]spian", "Lu" and "gu" as in "[Lo]op" and "[go]od" respectively.

# Willie on Thursday, July 27, 2006 2:07 AM:

The only context I can think of for the word trek is to move house, usually associated in South Africa with picking up to two guys from the street corner to do the heavy lifting, and getting a case of beer for your mates to help.

Gedoen is correct. Prefixing verbs with ge in Afrikaans makes it past tense, so "Hy het niks gedoen nie" is past tense for "Hy doen niks nie".

It's really strange to read the Afrikaans pages on the Microsoft download site. This is not at all how we speak the language, at least not my generation. This is not due to bad localization from Microsoft and local Afrikaans publication also write this way.

Unfortunately this doesn't install on 2003, I'll have to install XP today, if only for amusement reasons.

# Michael S. Kaplan on Thursday, July 27, 2006 7:18 AM:

Well, the LOCALE_SNATIVELANGNAME is తెలుగు (U+0c24 U+0c46 U+0c32 U+0c41 U+0c17 U+0c41), so I may need to stick with that for now? :-)

# Michiel on Thursday, August 03, 2006 8:52 AM:

Ruben: "Precomposed" ij is definitely correct. It really is one letter, and when capitalizing the first letter of a word this is clear: IJmuiden [correct] versus Ijmuiden [not]

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