Are Dutch and Afrikaans mutually intelligible?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Looks like the answer is yes, and you can see for yourself. Here's a video of an interview with Charlize Theron (from South Afrika) and a Belgian reporter. He does the interview in Dutch, she responds first largely in English and then later on in Afrikaans. Both of them seem pretty happy about getting to use their respective languages in an interview like this. Thanks to 37 Languages for finding the video.

A post from March here also details her plans to learn Spanish and has another video of her speaking Afrikaans.


Robert Lindsay said...

This is not really true. Dutch and Afrikaans have about 80% intelligibility in general. That is probably true for Dutch-Afrikaans. For Afrikaans-Dutch it is worse - around 65%. I know this because I have read quite a bit on this subject. Now, you may well consider 65-80% to be intelligible but I don't.

데이빛 / Mithridates said...

I know - I've linked to your site before with the numbers on mutual intelligibility. I probably should have said that they are *with effort*, as shown in the interview. I'm sure it would be much harder to understand if the interviewer were hanging out with his friends or vice versa, talking in their own language at a breakneck pace without needing to worry about toning it down to make it easier to understand.

Arjan said...

with a bit of effort I could follow at least 90% of it (I'm a native Dutch speaker).

Jeroen said...

Same here. Native Dutch speaker. I understood about 95% of what she said. Though I'll concede that without the context of the interview question, I'd definitely score a lot lower.

Plus, I love how she always responds with "definitief". She has just won a fan.

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