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01:24 Jan 26, 2002
Afrikaans to English translations [Non-PRO]
Afrikaans term or phrase: boer
negative term
leesha
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Summary of answers provided
5 +1Context dependent!
Sven Petersson
4 +1actually, neutral (in historical terms)
Parrot
5Boer = Farmer, Afrikaner, police (derogatory)
Folio Online
5 -1white person
Samuel Murray


  

Answers


1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
actually, neutral (in historical terms)


Explanation:
BOER
NOUN: A Dutch colonist or descendant of a Dutch colonist in South Africa.
ETYMOLOGY: Afrikaans, from Dutch, farmer, from Middle Dutch gheboer, peasant.


Parrot
Spain
Local time: 08:14
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Samuel Murray
1 day 5 hrs
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4 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
Context dependent!


Explanation:
When "boer" is used by members of the African Nationl Congres, chanting "Kill the farmer, kill the boer!" one could percieve it as negative.

When, on the other hand, members of the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging say "boer" they express pride and solidatity.

From first reference:

boer: ~noi, ~nooi, see boermeisie; ~pampoen, white pumpkin; ~perd, (strong) farm horse; Boer horse; ~plaas, farm; ~plek, haunt, favourite spot; den (of robbers); ~pot, jackpot; ~s, (-e), boorish; rustic, agrestic, countrified; ~seep, home-made soap; Boerseun, Afrikaner (Boer) boy; ~seun, farm lad, country boy; ~s´heid, rusticity, boorishness; ~tabak, boer tobacco; ~tannie, country woman.
boer´tig, (-e), jocose, jocular; comical; ~heid, jocularity.
Boer´volk, Boer (Afrikaner) nation.
boer: ~vrou, country woman; farmer’s wife, peasant wife; ~woning, farmhouse, farmstead.


    Pharos Woordeboeke
    Reference: http://www.lantic.co.za/~awb/
Sven Petersson
Sweden
Local time: 08:14
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 15

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Samuel Murray
1 day 2 hrs
  -> Thank you very much!
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10 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): -1
white person


Explanation:
The word "boer" means "farmer", but since two or more centuries ago the word "Boer" was also applied to the Dutch speaking farming white person. In later years the word "Boer" became to mean "white person". The word has 'n negative meaning if used to denote any white person as having rightwing political views, and a positive meaning if used by a person with rightwing political views to refer to himself or his kind.

Much like the word "Negro" might have a negative connotation in the USA, but a neutral connotation in parts of Africa, so too can the word "boer" (and "Boer" as well) have positive and negative meanings depending on who uses the word and what it is supposed to mean.

If you encounter "boer" in a negative context, and you can rule out the meaning "farmer", then "white person" is your next best bet for a possible translation.

Samuel Murray
Netherlands
Local time: 08:14
Native speaker of: Native in AfrikaansAfrikaans
PRO pts in pair: 50

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Sven Petersson: By translating it as "white person" you remove any connotation, positive or negative, from the text. That's a very grave translation error! As a translator you should translate the content (message) of the text, not the individual words!
10 hrs
  -> Obviously the phrase "white person" alone would not suffice, and unless the context suggest negativity (which in this case it does, it seems), additional connotative markers would be required, obviously. "Farmer" or "boer" would be worse translations.
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1 day 16 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
Boer = Farmer, Afrikaner, police (derogatory)


Explanation:
"Boer" can also be used in a derogatory way to indicate the SA police, as in "Die boere". This was particularly common amongst the Afrikaans-speaking Coloured people of the Cape during apartheid. "Boer" is still commonly used to describe Afrikaners in general, in a derogatory way. Afrikaners, on the other hand, often use the word to describe themselves, without any negative innuendo.

Folio Online
South Africa
Local time: 09:14
Native speaker of: Native in AfrikaansAfrikaans, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 24
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