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LOCAL TIME: 11:09 am | Wednesday, 21 February
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Afrikaans Language (Taal) Museum, Paarl

Afrikaans Language Museum, PaarlThe Afrikaans Language Museum traces the development of Afrikaans as a unique language forged by the melting pot of the early white settlers (Dutch, German, French and Portuguese), the Malay tongue of slaves brought here by the Dutch East India Company, and an array African languages, dating from the ancient San.

The museum is situated in the house of Gideon Malherbe – a wealthy Paarl businessman in his time – and is the very place where a body called the Association for True Afrikaners (ATA), established in 1875 for the promotion of the Afrikaans Language, used to meet. Gideon Malherbe was one of its leaders.

The museum has several fully restored rooms, including a lounge, dining room and bedroom. Great care has been taken to refurnish this historic house with original ornaments and furniture, much of it from the family and local citizens. Accurate replicas have been created wherever necessary. The result is a very realistic re-creation of an Afrikaans home during this era. The children’s bedroom is just as it was some 135 years ago.

The exhibition on the 2nd floor presents the development of the Afrikaans culture and language, highlighting Afrikaans in print, theatre, radio, film and TV. The exhibits are imaginatively presented as games and soundtracks. The interactive introduction to Afrikaans, and the people who speak it –from sheep shearers, fishermen and taxi drivers to Cape Afrikaans, spoken by the coloured people of Cape Town and its surrounds – brings the history of the language to life. Exhibits are translated into English and Xhosa, so speaking Afrikaans is not a prerequisite.

The museum is also home to the printing press on which Die Afrikaanse Patriot, one of the first Afrikaans newspapers, was printed.

Open: Mon. to Fri. 09:00–16:00: Closed: Weekends, public holidays, Christmas to New Year’s Day.

Tel: +27 (0)21 872 3441: Mobile: +27 (0)76  017 6026: E-mail: Website. 11 Pastorie Avenue, Paarl. Take Exit 55 from the N1 (which leads to Paarl’s Main Road, the R45). Pastorie Avenue is between Market and Lady Grey streets.

The Afrikaans Language Museum is best visited in conjunction with the Taal Monument, which is on the outskirts of Paarl with stunning views, nature gardens and walks.

Directions to the Taal Monument: Take the R44 off ramp off the N1 from Cape Town. Continue a short distance and take the first turn left onto the R45. Drive 7.9km and pass the turn-off to the R44, and turn left again onto Sandwyk Street. Turn first right onto Pieter Hugo Street.  Turn left onto Gabbema Doordrift Rd. You will see the signs to the ultra modern Afrikaanse Taal Monument.

More info on the town of Paarl More info on the Cape Winelands

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