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Hiring Afrikaans Translation Services: The Top 3 Pitfalls



If you’re familiar with two languages, translating should be a piece of cake, right? Totally not true. And if you’re relying on a machine translation, you’re in for an even bigger surprise, especially if that language is Afrikaans.


A range of translation software is available. Unfortunately, these programs are totally useless when it comes to a professional Afrikaans translation. Translation is an art that requires an experienced native translator who truly understands the context and unique expressions used in Afrikaans to provide professional translation services.


1. Direct translation of the many Afrikaans idioms and expressions will have your readers in stitches.

Afrikaans is rich with idioms and expressions that are only truly understood by native speakers. That’s why a word-for-word translation can be downright hilarious. A phrase might be translated as “don’t shake the chicken,” for example, when it really means “don’t overdo it.” And what does ja-nee (yes-no) mean? Is it yes, is it no, or is it maybe? It simply means you agree.


A good Afrikaans translation service needs to understand and translate the meanings of these idioms, phrases and expressions, and not simply the words themselves. For a non-native speaker or inexperienced translator, this is difficult to do in any language, but even more so in Afrikaans.


2. Afrikaans is a young, vibrant language.

Afrikaans is a relatively young, ever-evolving African language with its roots firmly planted in the Dutch language. It has a sprinkling of influence from other European languages and a large number of words and idioms taken from indigenous African languages for extra spice.

With new words being added almost daily, it takes a professional translator who lives the language to provide an Afrikaans translation service that delivers a smooth, natural-sounding Afrikaans translation. This is something that a machine or inexperienced translator can’t do.


3. The various dialects will leave you in a quandary.

Afrikaans contains at least ten dialects, just to confuse matters further. The standard dialect is used mainly in the interior of the country, but further south you’ll encounter a number of dialects that, on the face of them, bear little resemblance to Afrikaans. There’s Cape Malay Afrikaans, which is peppered with words borrowed from Arabic and Malay. Then there’s the colorful Western Cape dialect, which contains more English words and a big dose of humor.

With so many dialects, facing any one of them can be quite challenging for any translator. You need a really skilled Afrikaans translation service for professional translations from these dialects.


In need of a professional, native-speaking Afrikaans translator who will avoid all the pitfalls?

Fortunately, our highly experienced and proficient Afrikaans translators are able to overcome all these challenges to help you communicate professionally with your global audience. If you have an Afrikaans text to translate, we have local knowledge and expertise in professional Afrikaans translation. We will gladly assist you!

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Professional human translation for any language, any topic