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Sunday, July 10, 2016

Not Not Negative Not

Afrikaans has a weird double negative nie rule

According to Itchy Feet fan, Afrikaans learner and co-author of this comic, Dave MacLeod, in Afrikaans any negative statement ("not" = nie) must at the end of the sentence feature yet another nie...or Afrikaans speakers will think you're not done speaking yet. Not.

8 comments:

  1. So... like French, but with the same word twice? Nie/nie like ne/pas?
    Can one colloquially leave out the FIRST "nie"? Like in French you can't just leave "ne", but you're fine with just a "pas"? C'est pas trop tard etc.

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    Replies
    1. No you cannot leave it out. "Dis nie 'n kat nie" (that's not a cat) makes no sense as "dis 'n cat nie".

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    2. type as "dis 'n cat nie" its "kat" not "cat".

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    3. I meant "typo" not "type" XD

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  2. Das werde ich nie nicht verstehen nicht!

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  3. Bonus points to anyone that can identify the flag.

    -- Co-author

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  4. In Brazil it's also common to add an extra "não" at the end of simple negative sentences, but just colloquially and to add stress to the negativeness: "Não é um pato, não!". It is not necessary for the sentence to be complete.

    My uncle from the Northeast even used to say, "Né, não, né?". Literally, "Isn't it, no, isn't it?", something like, "Amirite?".

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  5. We won't think you're not done speaking, we'll just think you don't know how to speak Afrikaans ;-)

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