What makes Afrikaans relatively easy?
• GRAMMAR - Unlike Danish, Afrikaans grammar is very regular with very few exceptions to the rule.
• VERBS - Other than for two verbs (to be; to have) there is no verb conjugation. The nice thing is, you have one conjugation for a whole tense and not one conjugation for every pronoun. So "I, YOU, HE, WE. etc." all use the same form. Not so bad, hey!
• NOUNS - You have masculine and feminine nouns in French (le; la) and Spanish (el; la) and German as a neutral category too (der; die; das). Afrikaans (die) is like English (the) - no gender of nouns. All nouns get DIE + noun.
• VOCABULARY - Many terms are very descriptive. Like with Finnish not many words were borrowed, so the root terms are used to create new words. This helps a lot to figure out these compound words. In English, the profound impact of borrowing from Latin makes it more difficult to understand many roots without some understanding of Latin.
• PRONUNCIATION - It is an elegant, very regular phonetic system.
The icons indicate the basic manipulations to do with every sentence.
How to learn Grammar
With any sentence, use every one of these manipulations (icons) in turn.
1. At first you want to see if you can do it with a short sentence (basic).
2. Then do it with a long sentence (advanced).
3. Then you want to see if you can remain fast and fluid by randomly picking the icons (automatic).
Note: Doing sentences correctly with a bit of reflection is fine -- for starters. But you want to be able to do it like when you add up 2+3=?
4. Finally combine the manipulations, e.g. PAST + MODAL + QUESTION, then switch tenses.
|Jan lees sy epos. |
Jan sal sy epos lees.
Jan het sy epos gelees.
|Jan lees nie sy epos nie. |
Jan sal nie sy epos lees nie.
Jan het nie sy epos gelees nie.
|Het Jan sy epos gelees? |
Sal Jan sy epos lees?
Het Jan sy epos gelees?
|Jan wil sy epos lees. |
Jan wou sy epos lees.
Jan sal sy epos wil lees.
|Wil Jan nie sy epos lees nie? |
Wou Jan nie sy epos lees nie?
Sal Jan nie sy epos wil lees nie?
Master Map of Afrikaans Grammar
This master map below has subjects A - N. Make sure you are perfectly fluent with A and B. The rest will then flow beautifully. Otherwise it will hold you back with the rest as well. Remember, you can be familiar but not fluent. Your objective is to be fluent (automatic) in speech.
The GRAMMAR Section is divided into a BEGINNER and INTERMEDIATE section. As you can see in the graph below, the YELLOW indicates the beginner section, and the GREEN indicates the INTERMEDIATE section. Knowing all this fluently will be the equivalent of a three or four semester course at university.