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Estimates of the total number of Afrikaans speakers range between 15 and 23 million.
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Hence, it is a daughter language of Dutch, and was previously referred to as "Cape Dutch" (a term also used to refer collectively to the early Cape settlers) or "kitchen Dutch" (a derogatory term used to refer to Afrikaans in its earlier days).
However, it is also variously described as a creole or as a partially creolised language. It is the first language of most of the Afrikaners and Coloureds of Southern Africa.
One reason for the expansion of Afrikaans is its development in the public realm: it is used in newspapers, radio programs, TV, and several translations of the Bible have been published since the first one was completed in 1933.
Both Afrikaans and German are recognised regional languages in Namibia, although only English has official status within the government.
Similarly, South Africa's diplomatic missions overseas now only display the name of the country in English and their host country's language, and not in Afrikaans.
In spite of these moves, the language has remained strong, and Afrikaans newspapers and magazines continue to have large circulation figures.The linguist Paul Roberge suggested the earliest 'truly Afrikaans' texts are doggerel verse from 1795 and a dialogue transcribed by a Dutch traveller in 1825. In 1983, a fresh translation marked the 50th anniversary of the 1933 version and provided a much-needed revision. Afrikaans has been influential in the development of South African English.Printed material among the Afrikaners at first used only standard European Dutch. Meurant published his Abu Bakr Effendi also compiled his Arabic Afrikaans Islamic instruction book between 18, although this was only published and printed in 1877. Many Afrikaans loanwords have found their way into South African English, such as (American "sneakers", British "trainers", Canadian "runners").Before the Boer Wars (1880––1902), "and indeed for some time afterwards, Afrikaans was regarded as inappropriate for educated discourse. There is a much smaller number of Afrikaans speakers among Zimbabwe's white minority, as most have left the country since 1980.Rather, Afrikaans was described derogatorily as ‘a kitchen language’ or as ‘a bastard jargon', suitable for communication mainly between the Boers and their servants." in which 'Dutch' was "declared to include Afrikaans". Afrikaans was also a medium of instruction for schools in Bophuthatswana, an Apartheid-era Bantustan.The new policy means that the use of Afrikaans is now often reduced in favour of English, or to accommodate the other official languages.