As for me, I fell in love with warmly sounding words for granny—ouma (ow-mah)—and grandpa—oupa (ow-pah). Strangely enough, a common slang word for an old person is not that lovely and makes me think about a creepy little shrimp—krimpie (crem-pea), but literally translates as a diminutive of "shrinked person".
Some words have that funny attitude similar to Finnish salmon+snake=dragon formula, like the word for "potato"—aartappel (ah-r-tah-pl)—that arises from the union of "earth" (aart) and "apple" (appel), or "garage" that is simply described as a "car house"—motorhuis (motor-hooy-s), etc.
One of the most common slang words, or better said, interjections in Afrikaans is eish (ay-sh). This one is of Bantu origin and can be translated as "Wow!" or "What?" or "Oh, my!" Actually, it has a multitude of meanings depending on the context and intonation:
There are some other slang words that are quite amusing and queer:
Something funny happened to numbers, those of two digits. When you want to say "twenty-two", for example, in Afrikaans you would say it as "twee-en-twintig", literally "two and twenty." No matter how big the number is, when it comes to the last two digits you name them in reversed order: say, 374 would become "drie honderd, vier-en-sewentig" ("three hundred, four and seventy"). Het dit! (Got it!)
I hope this Langventure into Afrikaans gave you an idea and sensation of how unexpected and exciting this language is. As I say "Tot siens!" (Tot seen-s) to the Dutch spirit and African sounds of Afrikaans, I have to mention that battles over this language are still raging, but whatever reasoning each of the sides have—pro-Afrikaans or against it—let's remember that languages exist to bring us closer to each other.
Sterkte! (Stehr-kteh) Good luck! (literally "Strength [to you]")
" I'm kwaai and I know it! Put your like!"
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!
OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly