Afrikaans sentences

As I’ve become more interested in Afrikaans (comprehension mainly), I thought that it would also make sense to learn the Afrikaans sentences on SL.

In starting to do so, I discovered the sentence page didn’t work as well as I wanted on phones. Well, that is now fixed. Yippee.

I learnt Sentences 1-10 yesterday and Sentences 11-20 today. So far, so good.

But what if I now want to test myself on all the sentences that I have learnt so far?

I can’t 🙁


I’m going to fix this over the following week(s).



Afrikaans comprehension

Sup doods?

I could just have well written Italian comprehension, Greek comprehension and so on.


The elephant in the room.

The big k.

There is  often a focus on speaking within the language learning circles. But perhaps going against the flow here, I think that comprehension is a more difficult skill to master.

If  you want to start talking, start with these five hundred sentences in your preferred language, and then, well … talk.  There is no need to buy expensive courses etc, although (again swimming against the tide) I would also buy a grammar book and dictionary.

However, learning these 500 sentences won’t enable you to understand much, even though you can talk a bit about yourself. (They are based more or less on conversation topics that have come up over the years in language exchanges that I have done).

Understanding native speech takes time, and I don’t so much mean face to face conversation (where with luck your conversation partner will modify their speed if you can’t understand), but the television, a film or the radio.

I have Afrikaans radio on in the background (I can’t stand silence), and understand not a word.

My current language experiment is to slowly work my way through an Afrikaans audio book (Kobra if you must know), and at the end, see how much of say the radio, that I can understand.

It might be a crazy experiment. We will c.




Trying to understand Afrikaans

Well, the title says it all.  I’m either reading Kobra (the Afrikaans version) or listening to Afrikaans music in my spare time, and not understanding very much. As I have no background in Germanic languages (other than English),  this is hardly surprising but doesn’t bother me particularly. In fact, it’s probably an advantage. There is something strangely therapeutic  about slowly working through books and lyrics to unearth the hidden (to me) meaning – when there is no particular pressure or need to do so. I’m just scratching an itch really. My grandfather was an Afrikaans speaker, and somehow this has sparked my interest in the language. I’m determined to finish Kobra, and see where that takes me with the language.




False Gods

Beware false gods. And idols. I haven’t turned religious but am referring to people who become experts.

There is a trend general internet trend followed by people who become experts and authorites on something. They do something a bit out there, a bit radical, a bit polemic,  and through this gain a following. So far, so good and often interesting.

They then make pronouncements and set themselves up as experts, and after a while, start selling something.

These instant experts usually have no particular relevant qualifications, either gained through practical experience or more formal methods of learning.

As a somewhat crotchety old man, I at times, read their blogs and muse a bit upon their confidence and perhaps arrogance. When you are young, you believe that you know everything. The older you get, the less you know. You realise that there are subtleties and uncertainties in almost anything that you do.

In my more charitable moments, I think that these ‘so-called’ experts scratch the surface of something and think that they have mastered  the subject. They never dig deep enough to peel back the layers. They never even realise that the layers exist.

The more you learn about a subject, the more you realise that you don’t know.

Programming is a good example. It is straight-forward to learn how to write some javascript (and a useful skill), but in more depth you might want to connect to a server. A whole load of server side scripting will be required and maybe connecting to a database. Perhaps a knowledge if SQL will be required?

But this is still at a high level, it is possible that you might need to understand how an operating system works, write interfaces to devices, structure code containing millions  of lines and  and so on.

You can not master programming in weeks or months, but you can learn how to function in a specific domain.

I think that the same goes for learning a language. It is easy to scratch the surface, but digging deeper takes time.

So, sense check what you read.

Besos & baci,