The Languages of South Africa
There are approximately 25 different languages spoken in South Africa, 11 of which are official: isiNdebele, isiXhosa, isiZulu, siSwati, Sesotho, Sepedi, Setswana (Tswana), Tshivenda, Xitsonga, English and Afrikaans.
About the Afrikaans Language
Afrikaans is one of the major languages of South Africa. It is based on Zuid-Hollands, a dialect spoken by the earliest Dutch settlers. Its vocabulary has been enhanced by borrowings from various other European and African languages and its grammar has been simplified.
About The Nursery Rhymes
Many of the nursery rhymes listed on this page correspond to similar rhymes in the English Mother Goose tradition. My friend and correspondent, Marietjie Herselman, an Afrikaans speaking mother of three, has commented:
"I can't say for sure whether these rhymes have been passed on for a few generations but I can tell you that they have been around since I was a baby and my mother knew them. You'll find them in almost every nursery rhyme book in Afrikaans and all the kids know them... they are very popular in Afrikaans."
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