I joined a language school in Cape Town and learnt some Afrikaans, South Africa’s second most popular language.
For many, the language will always be synonymous with the Dutch slave trade and, later, apartheid – itself an Afrikaans word meaning “separateness” but notably never Anglicised. In post-apartheid South Africa, Afrikaans remains the second most spoken language after English. It would be my stimulus to explore the Western and Northern capes.
My vocabulary was growing and I was becoming a geek for words with an intriguing backstory. Spanspek, for example, is Afrikaans for Spanish bacon and honeydew melon – harking back to the early days of Dutch colonial rule when both were served at breakfast. I wandered around the lush, eight-acre subtropical garden of the 17th-century Babylonstoren winery, quenching my thirst for both vocabulary and viognier.
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October 25, 2016