How To Learn Afrikaans Quickly: 10 Tips To Learn Faster
Afrikaans may be one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn, but that doesn’t mean you’ll learn it quickly.
Any language, no matter how closely-related to your mother tongue it is, is going to take some time to learn. The way languages evolve means that, even if they started off the same, centuries and foreign influences will make them distinguishable from each other.
(If you want to know roughly how long it will take to learn Afrikaans, check out our post How Long Does it Take to Learn Afrikaans?)
That said, there are still plenty of things you can do in order to reduce the amount of time it takes to learn Afrikaans. They all revolve around getting increased exposure to the language. Let’s take a look at 10 of them below.
10 Simple Ways to Learn Afrikaans Faster
Get a tutor
One way to make the learning process quicker is by studying with a native Afrikaans tutor. An Afrikaans tutor can help you to focus on the areas that you struggle with the most and can answer any questions that you have along the way.
Now, you might think that tutors are expensive and you won’t be able to find any native Afrikaans speakers in your area, but neither of those are barriers anymore. Thanks to the Internet, you have access to tutors from all walks of life at your fingertips.
For example, italki connects you with affordable Afrikaans tutors from all over the world. Their hourly rates start from as little as $6. Two 1-hour lessons per week is an indulgence you can allow yourself in order to learn faster, and it’ll be worth every penny.
Not interested in getting a tutor? Well, there’s a free alternative…
Find a language exchange partner
A language exchange is when two people who are learning each other’s languages teach each other. So, for example, you can teach your English to someone who wants to learn it; and in return, they’ll teach you Afrikaans.
The most popular way to find an Afrikaans-speaking language exchange buddy (without wandering the streets and looking for “Afrikaans language exchange” written on people’s foreheads) is by using a dedicated platform or app.
We recommend Tandem. It’s completely free to use, and puts you in touch with people happy to converse over voice call, video call, or text. You can easily make international friends.
Watch Afrikaans TV shows and movies
If you want to get better at speaking Afrikaans, then you need to immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. A great way to do this, if you don’t live in an Afrikaans-speaking country, is by watching Afrikaans TV shows and movies.
Not only will you be able to hear new colloquial terms and phrases used by native speakers, you’ll also start to get a feel for the rhythm and flow of the language, thereby improving your pronunciation.
Listen to Afrikaans music
Another great way to immerse yourself in the language is by listening to Afrikaans music. By its very nature, music is supposed to be listened to over and over again; and it’s this repetition that will help embed new Afrikaans words and phrases into your memory.
Plus, it’s a super fun way to learn, because who doesn’t like listening to music?
Some musicians that sing in Afrikaans are:
- Die Heuwels Fantasties – an electronic band
- Fokofpolisiekar – an alternative rock band
- Jack Parow – a rapper
- Karen Zoid – a rock singer
- Refentse Morake – a pop singer (and the first indigenous South African to sing in Afrikaans)
Read books in Afrikaans
Reading is one of the most effective ways to learn a new language. Not only will you be exposed to lots of new vocabulary, but you’ll also get to see how that vocabulary is used in context. You’ll naturally start to form a better understanding of Afrikaans grammar and structure without even realising it.
So, if you’re serious about learning Afrikaans quickly, we recommend reading as much as you can. Start with Afrikaans children’s books then work your way up to more advanced material.
If possible, choose Afrikaans translations of your favorite English books, as this will make reading and understanding much easier, because you’re already familiar with the stories.
Memorize Afrikaans vocabulary and phrases with flashcards
One of the most effective methods for memorizing new vocabulary is by using flashcards. The best way to do this is to find a quiet place, free from distractions, where you can focus on learning.
Start by making a list of all the most common Afrikaans words and phrases, and draw pictures to aid in memorization. You should then break up your study sessions into manageable chunks. For example, you could spend 20 minutes per day working with your flash cards.
You could start with this list of the most common verbs in Afrikaans.
Study Afrikaans longer than 1 hour a day
The more you put in, the more you get out. This is especially true when it comes to learning a new language. You need to be prepared to put in the hours if you want to speed up your progress.
That means dedicating more than one hour a day to studying Afrikaans. To see real progress, we recommend spending at least one and a half hours on dedicated study – this doesn’t include watching TV, listening to music, or reading books. We mean actual studying, whether that be with an audio course or online Afrikaans lessons.
Schedule Afrikaans study into your day like you would any other important appointment, and make sure you stick to it. Routine and consistency are crucial in gaining fluency.
(For an in-depth look at how long you should study a language daily and why, check out our post, How Many Hours a Day Should I Study a Foreign Language?)
Take Afrikaans classes
Where possible, you might want to consider taking an in-person or online Afrikaans class. Believe it or not, the group setting can actually be more beneficial for learning than learning by yourself.
You’ll get to practice your speaking and listening skills with other learners, as well as ask any questions you might have about the language. Plus, it’s always great to have a teacher there to help guide and motivate you along the way.
Learn Afrikaans with a friend
Learning a language with a friend can be fun and motivating – and it also makes the learning process a lot easier. You can help each other out with homework, practice speaking together, and even test each other on your grammar skills.
It’s always great to have someone to practice with, and friends make the best language learning partners, as they’ll usually keep you on track (well, the good ones will, at any rate!) and encourage you to persevere.
Take part in Afrikaans-language forums
Online forums in Afrikaans are great places to practice your reading and writing skills. Here, you’ll be able to converse with natives about a range of topics you’re interested in, from travel to food and everything in between.
These types of places are meant for native speakers, so you’ll get to experience authentic Afrikaans as it’s used every day. You might not be able to respond for a while, but spend enough time there and you’ll see how quickly you start to pick up the language.
Check out this Afrikaans Reddit forum, where all posts are in the Afrikaans language.
So there you have it – ten tips to help you learn Afrikaans quickly. While it might seem like a lot of work, if you stick to a study schedule and use some of the methods we’ve mentioned, you’ll be surprised at how much progress you can make in a short amount of time.