In this Afrikaans/Kaaps interview Prof Dyers describes her upbringing in Elim, Western Cape, and how she struggled to choose a ‘mother tongue’ on school forms as she and her family used many different varieties in her home. She is a ‘Kaapse kind’ but adapts to different situations by using different varieties of Afrikaans and English.

In her research for ‘The Semiotics of New Spaces’ published in 2018 by African Sun Media, Prof Dyers describes how important Kaaps was for interacting with research participants:

Ek dink nie ek sou baie vêr gekom het as ek bepaalde soort Afrikaans gepraat het, maar in Kaaps lyk ‘it my was mense baie tuis gewees en saam met my. (I don’t think I would have got very far if I spoke a standard sort of Afrikaans, but in Kaaps it looked to me as if people felt at home and were with me.)

Prof Dyers’ language biography is a testament to the strength of flexible language use and a wide linguistic repertoire in current times.


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