Die Afrikaanse Taalmuseum
The Afrikaanse Taalmuseum
One of South Africa’s 11 official national languages, Afrikaans is also one of the youngest languages in the world. With its roots firmly in its Dutch origins, but influenced and affected by a nautical and African diversion, today it is, by some distance, the most spoken language in the Western Cape. The Afrikaans language is celebrated and explored at the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum (Afrikaans Language Museum) in Paarl.
A museum to a living language
The museum is situated in the heart of the spectacular village of Paarl in the heart of the wine-growing region. Paarl is home to the longest main road in South Africa and is truly is one of the most picturesque towns in South Africa. It is just off this lengthy main road that one will find the Afrikaanse Taalmuseum, on Pastorie Avenue. The museum explores the origins of the Afrikaans language, tracing the influences to 3 continents, and is situated in what was once the home Gideon Malherbe – a notable supporter and custodian of the language. The Association of True Afrikaaners (Die Genootskap van Regte Afrikaaners) was established in this house in 1875, so it is only fitting that the exploration and celebration of the language continues here.
Guided through the language
Guided tours of the museum are available on request and are presented by Afrikaans-speaking guides who are able to unpack and explain the language and its roots from deeply personal perspectives. This is an ideal way to really make the most of your visit here. These tours must be booked in advance and can be done by calling the museum on the contact number below. The museum is open from Monday – Friday, between 8h30 and 16h30.
A monument to the language
Associated to the museum and easily visible as you approach Paarl, is the iconic and imposing granitic sculptural Afrikaanse Taalmonument (Afrikaans Language Monument) completed in 1974. For more information on this impressive structure and its design and history have a look here. It makes for a wonderful partner to the museum and will make for a complete exploration of the uniquely South African language.
Tel: +27 (0)21 872 3441
Address: 11 Pastorie Avenue, Paarl
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