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Language and identity: lessons from a unique Afrikaans community in Patagonia

Mis à jour : 17 Jan 2019

Source: The Conversation, January 8, 2019

The Patagonian desert in southern Argentina is a harsh environment. Little seems to thrive on its seemingly endless red plains and parched land. Yet in this unlikely place there is a unique bilingual community. It’s made up of the Afrikaans and Spanish-speaking descendants of the about 650 South African Boers, who came to Patagonia in the first decade of the twentieth century.

The Boers trace their origins to the Dutch population that settled on the southern tip of Africa in the seventeenth century. They came into conflict with the British Empire as it expanded in the region, culminating in the Second Anglo-Boer war of 1899–1902. Many Boers, unwilling to accept British rule, then sought to relocate elsewhere, including Argentina. Read more... >>>>>