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Teach Yourself Afrikaans: A Complete Course for Beginners Paperback – 31 Mar 1993

4.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: Southern Book Publishers; 2 Reprinted e. edition (31 Mar. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1868124703
  • ISBN-13: 978-1868124701
  • Package Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.7 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 363,839 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Synopsis

An up-to-date guide for all those who want to learn basic Afrikaans. It was written for students with no previous experience of the language, and especially those who wish to study at home. The grammer, syntax and vocabulary of the language are introduced in carefully graded stages, and are fully illustrated with examples and exercises. Spoken Afrikaans is also given close attention, with examples of everday conversations, and a detailed section on pronunciation. By working through the exercises and examples in this book, the student should gain a good basic knowledge of Afrikaans as it is spoken every day.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book teaches the fundamentals of Afrikaans. The dialogues and grammar notes enable one to begin using this language (both in oral and written communication). The pronunciation guide at the front is not enough to learn adequate pronunciation (nor is the pronunciation guide in any language book). Without the presence of a native speaker, one may get by with the tape "Afrikaans" from conversa-phone (also sold by Amazon). The Hippocrene Afrikaans-English/English-Afrikaans dictionary is a good first dictionary.
Why learn Afrikaans? As the newest Germanic language, its relationship to the other members of this family is fascinating. With a good knowledge of German, Afrikaans may be learnt in a short time. One reason for learning Afrikaans may be as a stepping stone to learning Dutch, as the two languages are closely related.
For English speakers with no prior foreign language experience, Esperanto is easier to learn but won't help you learn other Germanic languages to the extent a knowledge of Afrikaans will.
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Format: Paperback
This book teaches the fundamentals of Afrikaans. The dialogues and grammar notes enable one to begin using this language (both in oral and written communication). The pronunciation guide at the front is not enough to learn adequate pronunciation (nor is the pronunciation guide in any language book). Without the presence of a native speaker, one may get by with the tape "Afrikaans" from conversa-phone (also sold by Amazon). The Hippocrene Afrikaans-English/English-Afrikaans dictionary is a good first dictionary.
Why learn Afrikaans? As the newest Germanic language, its relationship to the other members of this family is fascinating. With a good knowledge of German, Afrikaans may be learnt in a short time. One reason for learning Afrikaans may be as a stepping stone to learning Dutch, as the two languages are closely related.
For English speakers with no prior foreign language experience, Esperanto is easier to learn but won't help you learn other Germanic languages to the extent a knowledge of Afrikaans will.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was sent the original 1988 edition without CD and it is absolutely brilliant. So easy to understand and includes real type conversations between ma, pa and the kids. It is very realistic and not just a pile of phrases you wouldn't use. I don't personally know anyone who speaks Afrikaans but I am getting on very well with it, and the conversations are written properly rather than being literally translated as in "ek is nie honger nie" so you have the extra no which is written as it would be said. I honestly couldn't ask for a better book, this is brilliant
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Format: Paperback
I feel uniquely qualified to review this book as an American who used it to develop a basic knowledge of Afrikaans. I was able to become quite proficient in Afrikaans, but without the help of my Afrikaans speaking wife in the areas of pronunciation and grammar, I would have probably been able to develop at best a reading knowledge of Afrikaans.

Teach Yourself Afrikaans is a reasonable attempt to provide a basic knowledge of Afrikaans to someone who knows only English. (Native Dutch speakers will not benefit from this book.) There is a section on pronunciation which is intended for *South African English* speakers, so some of the examples won't make sense to Americans. For example, the Afrikaans "stap" (meaning: walk) sounds just like the American "stop" to my ear, but is explained as a soft "a" as in "fat". If you are an American, then language tapes are an essential supplement to this book.

Otherwise, the sections are broken down into learning things that you would need to know to navigate situations such as restaurants, banks, business calls, etc. These are at least moderately interesting, but there is too much emphasis placed on vocabulary and not enough on grammar. You really must read most or all of the book before even a reasonable idea about how to form sentences is imparted.

In short, understanding the entire contents of the book will not allow you to have more than rudimentary conversations with people in Afrikaans, but it will teach you something about communicating in certain situations. If you really want to learn Afrikaans and you know someone who speaks it and will help you, this book gives a great starting point. (If you don't know anyone who speaks Afrikaans, then why in the world would you want to learn it?)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 3.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A 'must buy' because you probably won't find anything else. 4 July 2000
By Michael Gage - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before I purchased my plane ticket to Cape Town, I decided to purchase a book that taught Afrikaans. After searching local bookstores to no avail, Amazon.com suggested the selection of Afrikaans books and tapes that almost everyone reading this review has found en route to bumping into the period at the end of this sentence.
'Afrikaans (Teach Yourself)' is a decent book. It provides a chunk of vocabulary, and some peripheral grammar notes. Vocabulary and grammar are good enough, I suppose; but self-instructed language methodology isn't very successful without sufficient drills and answers (and a cassette tape wouldn't hurt, either!).
Yes, there is a pronunciation guide. No, a native speaker of English will not be able to pronounce Afrikaans by reading it. Don't believe me? Just try! (: Americans in particular must also be aware that most (if not all) Afrikaans textbooks present Afrikaans pronunciation through English words as pronounced by an Englishperson.
As I had no native speaker of Afrikaans on hand here in California, I decided that I would pronounce Afrikaans incorrectly, but at least keep my inaccuracies consistent, as written. In other words, I made up my own pronunciations, guessing as well as I could. After my arrival, my Capetonian friends pointed out my *gross* verbal discrepancies, and generalizing their corrections to the rest of my mispronunciations became easy.
I strongly recommend this book, as I have not found anything better.. I would purchase a more comprehensive book in a heartbeat.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book if you also have access to a native speaker 28 Feb. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I feel uniquely qualified to review this book as an American who used it to develop a basic knowledge of Afrikaans. I was able to become quite proficient in Afrikaans, but without the help of my Afrikaans speaking wife in the areas of pronunciation and grammar, I would have probably been able to develop at best a reading knowledge of Afrikaans.

Teach Yourself Afrikaans is a reasonable attempt to provide a basic knowledge of Afrikaans to someone who knows only English. (Native Dutch speakers will not benefit from this book.) There is a section on pronunciation which is intended for *South African English* speakers, so some of the examples won't make sense to Americans. For example, the Afrikaans "stap" (meaning: walk) sounds just like the American "stop" to my ear, but is explained as a soft "a" as in "fat". If you are an American, then language tapes are an essential supplement to this book.

Otherwise, the sections are broken down into learning things that you would need to know to navigate situations such as restaurants, banks, business calls, etc. These are at least moderately interesting, but there is too much emphasis placed on vocabulary and not enough on grammar. You really must read most or all of the book before even a reasonable idea about how to form sentences is imparted.

In short, understanding the entire contents of the book will not allow you to have more than rudimentary conversations with people in Afrikaans, but it will teach you something about communicating in certain situations. If you really want to learn Afrikaans and you know someone who speaks it and will help you, this book gives a great starting point. (If you don't know anyone who speaks Afrikaans, then why in the world would you want to learn it?)
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for vocabulary, but not the best for conversation 6 Jan. 2002
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The main differences bewteen this book (TYA) and Donaldson's Colloquial Afrikaans (CA), is that TYA (a) doesn't have cassettes available, (b) TYA introduces a much broader vocabulary (almost too much at times), and (c) CA is more modern, both in terms of vocabulary presented and dialogs. If I wanted to learn to speak Afrikaans, I would go with CA.
I think a good combination is to get both CA (first) and then TYA as a reinforcement/vocabulary builder. Even given that there aren't many books on learning Afrikaans out there, TYA isn't bad.
One thing that some (esp. female) readers might find amusing or insulting (depending) is that many of the dialogs cast characters in very traditional gender roles : men play/watch sports, women shop and worry about their hair and makeup. Sentences like : "As 'n dame mooi wil lyk, moet sy grimmer" (If a woman wants to look nice, she has to wear makeup) on pg. 103 might not make the author (a woman!) many friends in some circles.
Still, not a bad book, especially if you're interested only in reading, but otherwise I would only use it as a supplement to TYA.
(Incidentally, the (much) older edition of TYA is a very good book for the more linguistically-oriented learner who's not overly concerned with speaking Afrikaans, especially one that already knows Dutch or German. Unfortunately, it's also hard to find).
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book when coupled with other material 14 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book teaches the fundamentals of Afrikaans. The dialogues and grammar notes enable one to begin using this language (both in oral and written communication). The pronunciation guide at the front is not enough to learn adequate pronunciation (nor is the pronunciation guide in any language book). Without the presence of a native speaker, one may get by with the tape "Afrikaans" from conversa-phone (also sold by Amazon). The Hippocrene Afrikaans-English/English-Afrikaans dictionary is a good first dictionary.
Why learn Afrikaans? As the newest Germanic language, its relationship to the other members of this family is fascinating. With a good knowledge of German, Afrikaans may be learnt in a short time. One reason for learning Afrikaans may be as a stepping stone to learning Dutch, as the two languages are closely related.
For English speakers with no prior foreign language experience, Esperanto is easier to learn but won't help you learn other Germanic languages to the extent a knowledge of Afrikaans will.
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book when coupled with other material 14 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book teaches the fundamentals of Afrikaans. The dialogues and grammar notes enable one to begin using this language (both in oral and written communication). The pronunciation guide at the front is not enough to learn adequate pronunciation (nor is the pronunciation guide in any language book). Without the presence of a native speaker, one may get by with the tape "Afrikaans" from conversa-phone (also sold by Amazon). The Hippocrene Afrikaans-English/English-Afrikaans dictionary is a good first dictionary.
Why learn Afrikaans? As the newest Germanic language, its relationship to the other members of this family is fascinating. With a good knowledge of German, Afrikaans may be learnt in a short time. One reason for learning Afrikaans may be as a stepping stone to learning Dutch, as the two languages are closely related.
For English speakers with no prior foreign language experience, Esperanto is easier to learn but won't help you learn other Germanic languages to the extent a knowledge of Afrikaans will.
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