Afrikaans in the British Isles by Viv Edwards
An estimated 10 million people worldwide speak Afrikaans as a first language. Of those living in the UK, the largest population is in London. Because of the strong association with apartheid, many South Africans abroad feel ambivalent about the language. Although they are proud of their linguistic and cultural heritage, they are more likely to use English outside the family. However, the odd Afrikaans word - lekker (nice) - as cited by Hendrik above - inevitably creeps in.
Afrikaans comes from the Dutch word for African. Known first as 'Cape Dutch' and later as 'African Dutch', it emerged as the main means of communication between the indigenous Khoi and Bushmen and the people brought to the Cape area of Southern Africa by the Dutch East India Company. Although the majority were settlers from what is now the Netherlands, the newcomers also included Malay indentured labourers and slaves, French and Germans. While the most important influence on Afrikaans vocabulary comes from Dutch, loan words from the other languages are also very much in evidence.
It was only in the early twentieth century that Afrikaans was recognized as a separate language. Together with English, it has been one of the official languages of South Africa for over 50 years. In the post-apartheid era, it shares official status with English and nine African languages.