Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 10 years ago

Why do non-Afrikaans speakers in South Africa have an Afrikaans accent when speaking English?

I see coloured, black, or English South Africans who never learnt or spoke Afrikaans but yet have an Afrikaans accent. What is the reason for this? To me it seems like if I, a native English speaker, for some reason spoke English with a French accent even though I've never learnt or spoken French.

4 Answers

  • 10 years ago
    Best Answer

    It happens for the same reason that Welsh people who speak no Welsh speak with a Welsh accent, Irish people who speak no Irish speak with an Irish accent and Scots from the Highlands who speak no Gaelic still sound like "choochters". The language which was once prevalent in a given region still exerts its influence long after it has declined or even disappeared.

  • 4 years ago

    Yes, its never a waste to learn a language. The vast majority of whites speak both English and Afrikaans - some better than others of course. Until recently a pass in both languages were required to graduate from high school. The "split" between white English and Afrikaans mother tongue speakers is roughly 60/40 overall but there is considerable variation geographically, socially and by economic sector. The "aspirational" language is English. All schools offer it. Even though the matriculation standards specify "any two" of SA's 11 official languages, English is inevitably chosen as one of them. Meanwhile the number of schools offering Afrikaans as a subject are declining as Afrikaans medium schools (as well as colleges and universities) are put under enormous pressure to introduce other languages. Among black South Africans there is a very strong shift away from Afrikaans toward English as a second (even third, fourth or fifth) language. This shift began in the 1970's but was "delayed" by the necessity to understand the "bosses" under Apartheid. It became stigmatised as the "language of the opressor". With the Afrikaner's loss of political hegemony the necessity to know the language for political purposes has dissapeared, hence the shift towards English.

  • 10 years ago

    this is true listen to people and try to emulate the way they speak so that you can understand easier the words they are saying.gradually you would slightly change your accent to mirror theirs.I am from London but lived with Americans .and Dutch people .and now married to a Russian .and my original accent is completely gone ,until I return to my home town for a few weeks then it returns with a vengeance.

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    What accent would you like them to have?

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.