A Boer-decendant playing the accordion in Patagonia, Argentina (Facebook, The Boers at the End of the World)
  • A dialect of Afrikaans dating back to 1925 is experiencing a revival in Patagonia, Argentina.
  • It was brought to Argentina by Boers who left South Africa in the 1900s.
  • US academics are working to preserve the language.

A dialect of Afrikaans, featuring unique words like “vliegtuigstasie” ("airplane station" for aiport), is experiencing a revival in rural Patagonia, Argentina.

The dialect, brought to Argentina in 1925 by Boers who left South Africa to escape British rule, is being preserved through the work of academics at the University of Michigan.

Their findings were first published in the Conversation.

A group of Patagonia Boer decendants make Milk tart and Koeksisters (Facebook, The Boers at the End of the World)

The community of some 650 people has relaunched cultural traditions such as holding annual games, and making traditional dishes such as koeksisters and milk-tart.

They also plan to build a cultural centre and museum to preserve their unique heritage, the academics wrote in the Conversation.

Most of the community today speak Spanish, with a few of the older generation keeping the language alive, the Mail and Guardian reported.

In 1977 renowned travel writer Bruce Chatwin wrote that the community of Boers lived largely in isolation, and that they did not marry outsiders. (About half of the original contingent of 600 families returned to South Africa in 1938 as part of the “Groot Trek” celebrations.) 

Today, however, almost every Boer descendant is married to an Argentine, the Mail and Guardian reported.

A shed owned by one of the Patagonia Boer's proudly displaying the old apartheid flag (Facebook, The Boers at the End of the World)

In 2014, a SAFTA-winning documentary, 'The Boers at the End of The World', about the community was released by South African director Richard Finn Gregory which reignited interest in the community.

He said most of the families there had surnames like Van Der Merwe, Kruger, Visser, Botha, Myburgh, De Lange, Norval, Henning, Grimbeek and Venter. 

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