LEXICAL MIX UPS: AFRICANS VS. AFRIKAANS

“Africans” are people born respectively in ANY NATION WITHIN THE CONTINENT of Africa. That could be Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Arabia, South Africa, South Sudan…. Although they have their own national names (i.e. Liberian or South African), they can be classified as “African” however, there isn’t really such a nationality. Because Africa is a fusion of many nations, tribes and cultures inside of one huge continent. It would sound better to say that someone is “of African descent” than saying “African” because there are so many different nations within the continent.

It’s kind of like America. America is a melting pot of many cultures from around the globe as well as from different regions within the nation (I.e. Western, Eastern, Mid Western, Southern). Every region has different characteristics, cultures, and even dialects that make them different from other parts of the nation. You have the east coast, west coast, Gulf Coast… New England, Cajun/Creole, South Western, Caribbean, South Pacific (Hawaii). One can be called American, but there are many different areas of America that makes a very common ethnic identity, not so common in background.

 

 

Afrikaans is a language spoken in South Africa and Namibia. It is also the official language of South Africa. Those who speak Afrikaans were born and/or raised in South Africa and speaks Dutch. The word Afrikaans is derived from the 1892 Dutch word, “Afrikaansch” or to put it in a casual English term, “Africanish” meaning an African person who speaks Dutch, likely in a more informal vernacular where some African words and dialect are blended with the language. One can relate this to the so-called word “ebonics”, which is an African-American person who speaks English in a very informal vernacular or dialect. Ebonics is a word developed in America during the late 20th Century. “Ebon” or ebony and phonetics, meaning. the system of speech sounds used in a language. Ebonics is called “Black English” which is considered equally if not more offensive by some African-Americans.

An Afrikaner is a person born in Africa but has Dutch origins. He or she is a native of South Africa but has Dutch ancestry. It’s like using the word, Hollander for a person who is a native of Holland or Englander for a person who a native England or have ancestry from either of these places.

Some of the Afrikaans language could reflect some dialects from other parts of the African region, which would be seen as a form of Creole for this particular culture of people. A type of creole that is NOT to be confused with those who live in the Cape Verde Islands, a small group of islands located about 350 miles off the west coast of Africa near Mauritania and Senegal. Cape Verde is also known as “the Caribbean of Africa”. Although many Cape Verdeans emphatically deny that they have any ethnic or cultural connection with the continent of Africa, they are indeed a part of the African nations. And although Cape Verde was once an uninhabited Island of Africa claimed by early Portuguese navigators. After discovery of the “vacant” island, the Portuguese set up shop there, establishing a slave trade close business associations with native African rulers in Guinea who were prospering greatly from the slave trade at that time. Yes, there were slave owners of African descent who owned and traded other natives of African descent for profit and territorial gain way before the Europeans brought them to America. The African slave trade did not take place in Guinea and Cape Verde only, but in other nations throughout the continent as well.

~Article Written By Arose N Daghetto

© Copyright 2011 by Arose N Daghetto for Quiet Storm Enterprise. All Rights Reserved.

 

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