CAPE TOWN – It is a historic moment for Kaaps, often referred to as the ‘language of the Cape Flats working class’, as the language gets its first dictionary.
The Trilingual Dictionary of Kaaps has been launched in the Kaaps, Afrikaans and English languages; by the Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research (CMDR) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) along with community NGO Heal the Hood Project.
Kaaps, also known as Afrikaaps, was developed in settler colonial South Africa by the 1500s. The language formed during encounters between indigenous Khoi and San, South-East Asian, Dutch, Portuguese and English people.
Language, not a dialect
Quentin Williams, Director of CMDR and an Associate Professor of Sociolinguistics in the Linguistics Department at UWC, explained why it is important to understand that Kaaps is a language, not a dialect.
As part of Heritage month, Minister @Anroux_Marais has celebrated the development of the first ever trilingual Kaaps dictionary, which the DCAS helped to fund.— CulturalAffairsSport (@WCGovCas) September 7, 2021
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Finally! Well done! https://t.co/6E3PKUnhqB— Nazier Paulsen (@NazierPaulsen) September 8, 2021