Here’s a fast fact: Next to English, Afrikaans is one of the only two Indo-European languages to be recognized by the South African government as an official language. It’s no surprise since 17 million people use the language, 7 million of them being native speakers!
Although some may have reservations about using this language publicly, nevertheless, it bears deep historical, cultural, and social roots that make it interesting to take up.
Yet, if you’re to ask: Does Duolingo have Afrikaans?—then, unfortunately, the answer is no. As of late, the developers haven’t responded to online forums, nor have they officially commented on the matter. It’s also not offered on Rosetta Stone or Babbel.
But while Duolingo Afrikaans is not available, there are other platforms to learn Afrikaans. Let’s take a look at them, shall we?
Why is there no Afrikaans on Duolingo?
Given its striking similarity to Dutch, it’s not entirely hard to learn Afrikaans. Apart from being widely spoken in South Africa (and other international communities), the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) recognizes it as a Category I or “easy” language.
However, there is no Duolingo Afrikaans on both the app and the Duolingo Incubator.
Ruling out difficulty, here are some possible reasons why it’s not yet being offered:
Afrikaans is less popular for English speakers
There likely isn’t an Afrikaans Duolingo course due to the lack of demand from consumers.
The developers are drawn to courses that not only attract but keep users on their platform. (Hence, why you’ll find fictional languages in the fray.)
On the contrary, the clamor generated by Duolingo users—as well as the mere existence of this article—proves that there is some form of interest in an Afrikaans course.
Afrikaans is similar to Dutch
This is purely speculative, but Afrikaans’ similarity to Dutch might’ve discouraged developers from creating another course. Being its “parent language,” they admittedly share some vocabulary and grammar.
But, in any case, this shouldn’t be a gauge as to whether a language should be covered or not, since Afrikaans has its own identity.
Duolingo halted volunteer contributors
Last 2021, Duolingo ended its volunteer contributor program due to financial and management concerns. As a result, they will only be consulting their employees on language courses henceforth.
The absence of Afrikaans on their incubator could imply that they currently don’t have enough resources or experts on their team to make this course. While it’s allegedly “easy” to teach, I can understand that they’d only want to produce the best results, and thus require the right assistance.
Duolingo has no plans of making an Afrikaans course at this time—but fortunately, many other apps have already gone the mile!
Apps to learn Afrikaans other than Duolingo:
Duolingo might not have Afrikaans at the moment, but these three apps do! Start your studies the best way with these three alternatives:
Bite-sized and delightful, Mondly is the perfect platform for beginners, intermediates, and advanced students alike!
Like Duolingo, it uses a competitive leaderboard with its lessons and covers a variety of topics such as vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation.
But what makes this platform exceptional is its hands-free integration, which allows you to speak and practice dialogues anywhere you like! Upgrade to Mondly Premium for more content.
- High-quality audio
- Structured and interactive interface
- Comprehensive courses for all fluency levels
2. Ling App
Fans of Duolingo games might enjoy Ling, as it’s got a lot of fun-filled activities for any level of proficiency!
This minigame-packed app presents you with numerous opportunities to advance your learning. You can match pictures to words, sort sentences by order, or practice conversing with its built-in chatbot.
Upon availing of its premium version, you’ll get to study even more!
- Courses for beginners and up
- Playful flashcards and word quizzes
- Interactive chatbot
3. Simply Learn Afrikaans
Get started on Simply Learn Afrikaans
Simply Learn Afrikaans showcases a wide collection of words and phrases that are useful for practical situations. Here, key Afrikaans vocabulary is presented in both its original and phonetic form.
Say you’re learning for a trip, or need additional assistance for your lessons—well, this audio-supported phrasebook is handy for any of those situations, and is convenient enough to travel with!
On top of that, its dynamic quizzes and flashcards make the app all the more exciting.
- Contains essential words and phrases (with English translation)
- Practice by listening and repeating after native speakers
- Additional quizzes and flashcards
Other great resources to learn Afrikaans:
Want some more Afrikaans learning resources? Check out these Afrikaans language books, games, videos, and websites to extend your knowledge even further!
Memrise: Top up your lessons with Memrise, a user-driven platform filled with supplementary language courses, media, and games.
EasyAfrikaans.com: As the name suggests, this website makes Afrikaans courses free, simple, and readily accessible for beginners! Both students and tourists can enjoy its basic guides to vocabulary and grammar.
AfrikaansPod101: Dialogue-heavy and comprehensive, this podcast-based app includes a broad library of audio and video files—alongside written study material—to boost your understanding of the Afrikaans language.
italki: Find your ideal language teacher on italki! Whether you want a community tutor or a professional instructor, this platform’s got you covered.
Clozemaster: Missing your Duolingo streak? Worry not, since Clozemaster’s interactive system allows you to play games, level up, and compete with friends! Best for intermediate and advanced students.
Preply: There are only a handful of Afrikaans tutors on Preply but they’re all experienced and highly rated. Get help with Afrikaans pronunciation, vocab, and even grammar!
Complete Afrikaans: Complete your studies with this extensive textbook! Inside, you’ll find tutorials and assessments suitable for beginner and intermediate learners.
Colloquial Afrikaans: Learn Afrikaans as it’s spoken! This beginner’s guide thoroughly covers reading, writing, listening, and speaking lessons, complete with exercises and additional resources!
Afrikaans with Lindie: This energizing YouTube channel features a series of interesting Afrikaans tutorials, vlogs, and interviews taught by famed South African polyglot, Lindie Botes.
Afrikaans isn’t being taught on Duolingo—but, to your luck, it’s available on several language platforms, these three in particular!
With numerous games and structured content, these platforms will definitely make great alternatives. Apart from this, you can consult different Afrikaans apps, books, media, and games to bolster your studies. The opportunities are endless!