Christo van Rensburg
Co-production Malan Media & Lapa
Does one need to search for a subject if one wants to talk about Afrikaans? What about the origins of Afrikaans? And how the languages from the East enriched Afrikaans? Or perhaps the similarities in language behaviour among people who lived in townships over the centuries. This is another way that Afrikaans can be looked at. Finding Afrikaans introduces these and many other themes. There are the various treks undertaken by Afrikaans-speakers. The significance of the eighteenth century trek into the interior for Afrikaans is undoubtedly worth considering. The language contact that followed – and even the fear of language contact – is one of Afrikaans’s most important stories. There were various reasons for Afrikaans being written down, and the standardisation of the language holds a whole slate of stories. Not to mention what a grassroots language Afrikaans was at the start, or the question whether the Cape really was Dutch in the beginning. What is happening now that the language’s century of truth has dawned, and how are social changes reflected in the language behaviours of Afrikaans-speakers?
Christo van Rensburg started his academic career at the University of Pretoria. He then worked at the University of the Free State before returning to his alma mater. The existence of and relationship between the dialects of Afrikaans interested him from the beginning of his academic career, which resulted in his undertaking various research projects on Afrikaans. This interest led to insights related to the way Afrikaans came into being, views on changes in language and the relationship between Afrikaans and other languages, which have found expression in a range of books and research publications.