Afrikaans - Future of Afrikaans

Future of Afrikaans

Post-apartheid South Africa has seen a loss of preferential treatment by the government for Afrikaans, in terms of education, social events, media (TV and Radio), and general status throughout the country, given that it now shares its place as official language with ten other languages. Nevertheless, Afrikaans remains more prevalent in the media – radio, newspapers and television – than all the other official languages, except for English. More than 300 titles in Afrikaans are published per year.

Through all the problems of depreciation and migration that Afrikaans faces today, the language still competes well, with Afrikaans DSTV channels (pay channels) and high newspaper and CD sales as well as popular internet sites. A resurgence in Afrikaans popular music (from the late 1990s) has added new momentum to the language especially among the younger generations in South Africa. The latest contribution to building the Afrikaans language is the availability of pre-school educational CDs and DVDs. These are also popular with large Afrikaans-speaking expatriate communities seeking to retain the language in family context. After years of inactivity, the Afrikaans language cinema is also starting to reactivate. With the 2007 film Ouma se slim kind, the first full length Afrikaans movie since Paljas from 1998, a new era for Afrikaans cinema started. Several short-films have been created and more feature-length movies such as Poena is Koning and Bakgat, both from 2008, have been produced, in addition to the 2011 Afrikaans-language film Skoonheid, which was the first Afrikaans film to screen at the Cannes Film Festival. The film Platteland was also released in 2011.

Afrikaans also seems to be returning to the SABC. SABC3 stated in the beginning of 2009 that it will increase Afrikaans programming because of the needs of the "growing Afrikaans-language market and their need for working capital as Afrikaans advertising is the only advertising that sells in the current South African television market". In April 2009, SABC3 started showing several Afrikaans-language programmes.

Further latent support for the language is the de-politicised view of younger-generation South Africans: it is less and less viewed as "the language of the oppressor".Indeed, there is a groundswell movement within Afrikaans to be inclusive, and to promote itself along with the other indigenous official languages.

Read more about this topic:  Afrikaans

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