Afrikaans is one of the official languages of South Africa. It is also spoken widely in Namibia, and to a lesser extent Botswana and Zimbabwe. Due to South Africans travelling and living abroad, there are also pockets of places in Australia, Canada, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, the United States, Zambia, Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom. There are many accounts of English people learning Afrikaans in the UK, due to the widespread South African population speaking Afrikaans on the Tube - thinking perhaps mistakenly these days that their conversations are private due to a language difference!
Afrikaans is the fourth most spoken Germanic language in the world after English, German and Dutch. It is much easier to learn than the other Germanic languages, due to the lack of complicated grammar. Despite the grammar not being entirely like English, it is very simple compared to many other languages.
Afrikaans is most widely spoken in the Cape, followed by Gauteng. These
two places are economic powerhouses in South Africa, so learning Afrikaans
can greatly increase your job prospects. Afrikaans remains one of the most
widely used languages in South Africa.
Afrikaans has made a phenomenal image transformation in recent years, with a dynamic and vibrant younger crowd influencing the media with their cultural talents. There is a strong Afrikaans music genre, comedians, emerging film industry, the Afrikaans Bible translations and many talented writers, just to name a few areas of recent talent.
As with all High School subjects, this will require work and commitment. It is most difficult to change focus between the two choices of Afrikaans or isiZulu if you have specialised in the one and decide to change later, so make sure that you practise as often as you can, to keep up with any additional language choice. A benefit of choosing Afrikaans as a matric subject, is that most parents will have learned Afrikaans at school themselves, so this means that you have access to more resources to help you practise and learn this language at home.
For those wishing to enter tertiary institutions, Afrikaans offers the opportunity to get yourselves selected to the course of your choice, provided your aggregate is high enough. This applies world-wide.
Learning an additional language changes how you view the world. Your eyes are opened to different perspectives and this allows you to gain much wisdom and understanding. It certainly expands your mind and your entire world! The more languages you speak, the more marketable you are in the global village in which we reside these days.