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Afrikaans Interpreters and Translators

Cal Interpreting & Translations provides Afrikaans interpreters with experience in attorney-client meetings, depositions, trials, hearings, mediations, and more. We provide Afrikaans interpretation in both criminal and civil matters. Our interpreters travel all over the world providing impeccable Afrikaans language services to law firms, the entertainment industry, conferences, and more. Professional Afrikaans interpreting and translating services can be difficult to secure in parts of California, due to the limited number of court-certified interpreters in the state.  Cal Interpreting & Translations (CIT) has years-long positive relationships court experienced interpreters, and can provide the highest qualified Afrikaans interpreters in the state, for even the most technical or specialized matters.

We offer Afrikaans interpreters and translators with legal, medical, and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, conferences, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration, patent, copyright infringement, and more.

Cal Interpreting & Translations offers comprehensive Afrikaans language services including interpretation, translation, and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators have been screened, certified, provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and Afrikaans languages through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. Cal Interpreting and Translations’ Afrikaans interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Afrikaans language, as well as of culture and history, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.


Dutch or Afrikaans? What Exactly is the Difference?

Afrikaans uses loanwords from other languages, including Portuguese, the Bantu languages, Malay, German and the Khoisan languages, but an estimated 90 to 95% of the vocabulary of Afrikaans is of Dutch origin.  The common differences with Dutch and Afrikaans often lie within grammar and sentence structure,  as well as with the spelling of Afrikaans, which expresses Afrikaans pronunciation rather than standard Dutch. Still, the languages are nearly mutually intelligible—especially in written form.

As stated, Modern Dutch and Afrikaans share over 90 percent of their vocabulary. This means that Afrikaans speakers are often able to learn Dutch fairly easily, and can learn Dutch pronunciation with little effort. Native Dutch speakers often pick up written Afrikaans quickly, due to the simplified grammar. However, understanding spoken Afrikaans is generally considered more difficult.


Who Speaks Afrikaans?

Totaling around 7 million native speakers in South Africa, or 13.5% of the population, Afrikaans is the third most commonly spoken language. Afrikaans has both the widest geographical and racial distribution of all  eleven official languages of South Africa. Afrikaans is widely spoken and understood as a second or third language throughout the country. It is taught in public schools, with about 10.3 million second-language students.

In neighboring Namibia, Afrikaans is commonly spoken as a second language, and in fact is used as a lingua franca. As a native language, Afrikaans is spoken in 10.4% of households, largely in the capital Windhoek, Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, as well as the southern regions of Hardap and Karas. Afrikaans, with German, was among the official languages of Namibia until the country became independent in 1990. At that point about 25% of the population of Windhoek spoke Afrikaans at home. Before Nambia’s independence, Afrikaans shared equal status with German as an official language. Since independence in 1990, Afrikaans has had constitutional recognition as a national, but not official, language.

There are many Afrikaans speaking South Africans living abroad in Belgium, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United States, the UAE, and Kuwait. They have access to Afrikaans websites, like and Sake24, as well as radio broadcasts over the web, including Bokradio, Radio Sonder Grense, and Radio Pretoria.

Estimates of the total number of Afrikaans speakers range between 15 and 23 million.



Afrikaans Today

Under the South African Constitution of 1996, Afrikaans is an official language, with equal status to English, and nine other languages. This means that Afrikaans is now used less frequently than English, and is often omitted to accommodate the other official languages. For example, in 1996 the South African Broadcasting Corporation reduced the amount of airtime conducted in Afrikaans, and South African Airways dropped its Afrikaans name, Suid-Afrikaanse Lugdiens.

Despite these events, Afrikaans has remained active, and Afrikaans newspapers, magazines, and other publications are in steady circulation. For example, the Afrikaans-language family magazine Huisgenoot has the largest number of readers of any magazine in the country. Rock star Karen Zoid’s debut single “Afrikaners is Plesierig” (released 2001) caused a reawakening in the Afrikaans music industry, and gave rise to the Afrikaans Rock genre. An Afrikaans music channel, MK (Musiek kanaal) was launched in 2005. After years as a less than active industry, Afrikaans language cinema has recently been enlivened. The 2007 film Ouma se slim kind, the first full-length Afrikaans movie since 1998, is often regarded as having heralded a new era in Afrikaans cinema, which had been suffering since the mid to late 1990s. Since then several more feature-length movies have been produced, including the 2011 Afrikaans-language film Skoonheid, which was the first Afrikaans film to screen at the Cannes Film Festival.  The Afrikaans Film industry has also been buoyed by Afrikaans speaking Hollywood film stars such as Charlize Theron and Sharlto Copley promoting their mother tongue.

The post-apartheid government of South Africa has certainly seen a decline of preferential treatment  for Afrikaans, specifically  in education, social events, and in general, status throughout the country, since it now shares its place as the South African official language with other languages. Still, Afrikaans is more prevalent in the media than any of the official languages except English. Over 300 literary titles are published in Afrikaans every year.

In spite of the challenges of demotion that it faces in South Africa, Afrikaans remains highly competitive, being popular in pay channels and plenty of websites, also performing high in newspaper and music sales. A resurgence in Afrikaans pop music since the late 1990s has heightened interest in the language, specifically among the younger generation of South Africans. A common trend is the heightened sales of child education CDs and DVDs. This type of Afrikaans media is popular with the many Afrikaans-speaking expatriate communities who want to retain their mother language in the household.