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Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French Home

The University of the Free State (UFS) Department of Afrikaans, Dutch, German and French welcomes you.



Description: Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French Keywords: Main page Description: Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French Keywords: Main page Afr Dutch Description: Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French Keywords: Main page German Description: Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French Keywords: Main page French
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Language gives you wings!


Did you know that Afrikaans:

  • with about 7 million home language speakers, is the third-most-spoken mother tongue language in South Africa
  • is a second language to 10,3 million learners in South Africa
  • is still the most widely understood and spoken language in Namibia

Did you know that Dutch:

  • is the mother tongue of people in the Netherlands and Flanders, which is not even as big as the Free State, but is one of the most prosperous countries in the world? The Netherlands is for example, the second biggest exporter of food in the world and its people are some of the best savers on the planet!

Did you know that German:

  • is the language that is spoken the most in Europe? Almost 24% of the inhabitants of the European Union speak German as their mother tongue and 31% can speak and understand it.
  • is recommended to students by 40% of all scientists in the US? In Japan, 68% of all Japanese students are learning to speak German.

Did you know that French:

  • is spoken by 150 million people across the world and that besides English, it is the language with the biggest distribution on earth?
  • is used as governance, trade and educational language by 30 million people in 26 African countries, while a further 40,6 million Africans use French occasionally?

Afrikaans as a university subject

Although the Grey University College (GUC) was founded in 1904 and many activities regarding the development of Afrikaans as cultural- and written language took place in Bloemfontein, only in 1919 did Afrikaans became one of the subjects when DF Malherbe was appointed as professor in Afrikaans. From 1919 to 1921, Afrikaans was part of the subject Dutch; in 1922, the name of the subject was changed to Hollands and the name remained until 1949; in 1950 it became Afrikaans en Nederlands (Afrikaans and Dutch); from 1951 to 1970 Afrikaans-Nederlands (Afrikaans-Dutch); and from 1971 Afrikaans en Nederlands (Afrikaans and Dutch). At the end of 1941, Malherbe retired and he was succeeded as head of department by Benedictus Kok. He was succeeded as head of department by Badenhorst (1967-1972). He was succeeded by Beukes (1973-1978), who was succeeded by C van Heerden in 1979. The later heads of department were Profs JH Senekal (1980–1982), MCJ van Rensburg (1982–1988), HP (Hennie) van Coller (1989–2014).

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