Another experiment involving tweaking Afrikaans

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Since Robert Winter has just obtained his huge shipment of Afrikaans and Interlingua books I thought it would be a good time to try something I've been meaning to give a go at again - the tweaking of Afrikaans to make it more legible to English speakers. A while back (over a year ago) I tried this with a simple search and replace function, but it shouldn't be too hard to create a somewhat more intelligent one, one that recognizes entire words and is also capable of ignoring those that wouldn't serve any useful purpose being changed.

The goal here is to 1) change the text as little as possible, yet 2) make it as legible as possible with these small changes. The most frequent words can be changed a bit more than others as immediate comprehensibility for these is most important, which is why van is changed not just to fan, but to fran (looks like from).

The article is this one from the Afrikaans Wikipedia on Adolf Hitler. You'll notice that right away there's a problem, whether to change verbs with ge- to verb+d, verb+n, or to just remove the ge- prefix. That would probably be the toughest problem to solve in creating something like this. Nevertheless, even without changing the word order you can see that just a few tweaks here and there makes the text much more legible than before.

Thie bored Oostenryker Adolf Hitler was a Duitse politikus an diktator. Hitler was thie leier fran thie Nasionaal-Sosialistiese Duitse Werkersparty, rykskanselier fran thie Duitse Ryk an was thie regeringshoof asook staatshoof.

Hitler was bored in Braunau am Inn op 20 April 1889. Hy is thie seun fran Alois Hitler Junior. Hy was baie skugter an kon daardeur nie goed presteer op thie middelbare skool. Op sy 16the levensyaar ferlaat hy thie skool sonder diploma.

In thie Ferste Wêreldoorlog was hy a Oostenrykse soldaat in thie Beierse (Duitse) krygsmag. In 1925 had Hitler fryvillig afgesien fran sy Oostenrykse burgerskap. In 1932 thanksy thie hulp fran Rudolf Hess is Duitse burgerskap aan hom toe-staand.

Op 30 Januarie 1933 is hy in-sweerd as kanselier fran Duitsland an in 1934 had hy ook thie titel Führer (leier) fran Nazi-Duitsland by-kryd.

Hy had politieke voordeel treken uit thie ekonomiese krisis wat Duitsland na 1919's Versailles-ooreenkoms deur-maakd had. Sy bedeling was verantwoordely fir thie dood fran a gerame 20 miljoen mense an ontelbaar baie se verskuiwing. Hitler, a begaafde spreker, were siend as een fran thie invloedrykste an gevaarlikste leiers fran thie 20ste eeu.

Hitler's pogings tot meer grondgebied, wat begin had met thie inname fran Pole in 1939, was een fran thie aanleidende faktore fran thie Tweede Wêreldoorlog. Thie rassebeleid fran Hitler-Duitsland, wat miljoene's - veral Jode - dood veroorsaak had, were ook aan hom toe-skryfd.

Hitler an sy vrou Eva Braun (met wie hy thie vorige day troud is) had op 30 April 1945 selfmoord pleegd in thie bomskuiling leëd onder thie Duitse kanseliergebou. Hitler had versoek that thie oorblywende bomskuilers sy an Eva's liggame neem an buite in thie kanseliertuin verbrand. Hitler wou nie hêv sy liggaam moes soos a tentoonstelling vertoon were. Sonder a liggaam om uit te ken had gerugte vinnig thie rondte doend that Hitler ontsnap had. Fran so fer af as Suid-Amerika had mense hom "siend". Eers in 2000 had Rusland onthul that hulle a fragment fran sy skedel bêred had.


die - thie
'n - a
en - an
van - fran
nie nie - nie
(ordinal number)de - (number)the
lewe - leve

jaar - yaar
verlaat - ferlaat
eerst - ferst
het (as past tense) - had
het (to have) - hev
vrywillig - fryvillig
dankie - thankie
ge in the middle of a comound verb: replace ge with -, put -d on the end.
was + ge(verb) -- remove ge-, put -(e)n on the end
regular ge(verb) - remove ge-, put -d on the end (unless would clash with another consonant)

se -- 's
-lik adjectives -- -ly
vir - fir
dag - day
dat - that
hê - hêv
word - were
ver - fer

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