The language ecology of a new Afrikaans Bible

  • F. Ponelis


Three sets of codes are germane to a current Afrikaans Bible translation: Dutch, English and varieties of Afrikaans, especially Standard Afrikaans. Dutch was established as a local language of culture in the Dutch era from 1652 to 1806. The sweeping transformation of Cape society by British colonial rule gave great impetus to Dutch as a local language of culture. On account of religious language conservatism, which considers an elevated and exclusive code important, the local Dutch church had a powerful vested interest in Dutch. The English linguistic and cultural tradition that penetrated the local Dutch-Afrikaans church in the nineteenth century had an increasing impact. The Afrikaans Bible is translated in Standard Afrikaans. Both the ideological connection of this code with Afrikaner nationalism and its marked divergence from varieties of colloquial Afrikaans are relevant to a new Afrikaans Bible translation.

(Acta Theologica, Supplementum 2, 2002: 280-289)

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