Afrikaans is a Low Franconian West Germanic language descended from Dutch and spoken mainly in South Africa and Namibia. There are also speakers of Afrikaans in Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Canada, Germany, Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, Zambia and Zimbabwe. About 10 million people speak Afrikaans as a first or second language, and several million other have a basic knowledge of the language.
Afrikaans retains some features of 18th century Dutch, together with vocabulary from various Bantu and Khoisan languages and also from Portugese and Malay. Speakers of Afrikaans can understand Dutch, though Dutch speakers tend to need a while to tune into Afrikaans.