The “Speak Foreign to Me” guides are meant to be used as a starting point for your language learning. Whether you want a quick reference for your next trip, or you want to start the path to fluency, these guides are for you. 

While you may only know it as the language that comes first alphabetically, Afrikaans is spoken by about 22 million people, whether as a first or second language. It’s also one of the official languages of South Africa and is influenced by 18th century Dutch, Portuguese, Malay, and the Bantu and Khoisan languages. Until it was recognized as an official language in 1925, it was considered a slang version of Dutch. To help us learn Afrikaans, is my friend Lynsey! Born and raised in Paarl, South Africa, Afrikaans is actually her first language. Her parents actually used to speak in English when they didn’t want her to know what was up!


A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h I i
aa bee see dee ee ef gee haa ie
J j K k L l M m N n O o P p Q q R r
jee kaa el em en oo pee kuu er
S s T t U u V v W w X x Y y Z z  
es tee uu vee wee ex y set  



Wildflowers in South Africa


Hello- Hallo

Thank you- Dankie

You’re welcome- Dis ‘n plesier

Where am I?- Waar is ek?

Do you speak English?- Praat jy Engels?

Where is the bathroom?- Waar is die badkamer?

How are you?- Hoe gaan dit?

I’m good- Baie goed, dankie

I’m okay- Dit gaan okay

I’m fine- Dit gaan goed

I’m angry- Ek is kwaad

I’m upset- Ek is onsteld

Go to…- Gaan na…

Goodbye- Totsiens


Red-  Rooi

Orange- Oranje

Yellow- Geel

Green- Groen

Blue- Blou

Purple- Pers

Pink- Pienk

Gray- Grys

Brown- Bruin

Black- Swart

White- Wit


in- in

on- op

under- onder

with- met

behind- agter

above- bo

over- oor

in front of- voor


1- Een

2- Twee

3- Drie

4- Vier

5- Vyf

6- Ses

7- Sewe

8- Agt

9- Nege

10- Tien

20- Twintig

30- Dertig

40- Veertig

50- Vyftig

60- Sestig

70- Sewentig

80- Tagtig

90- Negentig

100- Honderd



hair- hare

face- gesig


nose- neus

mouth/lips- mond/lippe

ears- ore

neck- nek

shoulders- skouers

arms- arms

elbows- elmboë

hands- hande

fingers- vingers

stomach- maag

back- rug

legs- bene

knees- knieë

feet- voete

toes- tone


house- huis

kitchen- kombuis

bathroom- badkamer

bedroom- slaapkamer

living room/den- leefvertrek

dining room- eetkamer

basement- kelder

study- studeerkamer

table- tafel

bed- bed

window- venster

door- deur

couch/sofa- rusbank

shower- stort

toilet- toilet

sink- wasbak

refrigerator- yskas

mirror- spieël


car- kar

bus- bus

airplane- vliegtuig

train- trein

subway- moltrein

bicycle- fiets

taxi- taxi


apartment- woonstel

hospital- hospitaal

grocery store- supermark

shopping mall- inkopiesentrum

market- mark

school- skool

movie theater- bioskoop

restaurant- restaurant

pharmacy- apteek

bakery- bakkery


to be- om te wees/is

to do- om te doen

to have- 

to see/watch- kyk

to feel- voel

to walk- stap

to go- gaan

to read- lees

to listen- luister

to play- betaal

to make- maak

to learn- leer

to study- studeer

to eat- eet

to drink- drink

to buy- koop

to live- leef

to know- weet

to forget- vergeet

to not know- nie (iets) weet nie

to lose- verloor

to find- vind

to look for/ search- soek

to use- gebruik

to understand- verstaan

to want- wil hê

to need- benodig/nodig hê

to sleep- slaap

to come- kom

to love- lief te hê/lief te wees vir

to hate- haat

to say- 

to explore- verken

to discover- ontdek

to travel- reis

to talk- praat

to sing- sing

to dance- dans

to yell- skree

to type- tik

to write- skryf

to draw- teken

to hide- wegkruip

to complain- kla

to work- werk

to give- gee

to receive- ontvang

to get- kry

to look- kyk

to wait- wag


Easy Afrikaans– This website is perfect for anyone who wants to learn Afrikaans online.

Surface Languages– Some of the Afrikaans content on this website can also be found on, but I personally prefer the layout of this site, as well as the intro to and brief history of Afrikaans.

REALIA PRACTICE– is a wonderful website for anyone who wants to learn more about South Africa and everything it has to offer. The great thing about this site is that that the articles are available in both English and Afrikaans.

AKTV– The AKTV is an organisation that is dedicated to preserving, promoting, and developing the Afrikaans language. It offers interesting reading material about the work this organisation is doing.

Reismer– The name of this website directly translates into: The Travelling Ant, and it is one of my absolute favourite websites. It’s dedicated to all things travel related, and the articles are in Afrikaans.

Sarie– Another personal favourite. is the online version of one of the leading women’s magazines in South Africa – and everything is in Afrikaans. I suggest reading the recipes to improve your cooking and kitchen vocabulary.

Wild Aloe at de Kelders

For general tips, check out our real tips for learning a foreign language

Guide and Photographs by Lynsey

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