Here it goes:

But the Dutch language as spoken by the Boers was now seen as a distinct language called Africaans.

Does as mean because there? To me it seems it was used to mean the Dutch language that is spoken..., but it seems to be an ungrammatical use of as. It was in this video. It is at around 2 minute and 23 second.


2 Answers 2


It means "in the way that" or "in the manner of", so it's "the Dutch language in the way that it was spoken by the Boers...". See definition 5 or 6 here. As has a lot of meanings!


+1 to stangdon but let's approach the question from another angle too.

The passive construction the language as spoken by the Boers if inverted to active voice would be the language as Boers speak|spoke it.

The Dutch language, as Boers spoke it, was now seen [i.e. now was regarded] as a distinct language [i.e. separate and sufficiently different from the language spoken by the Dutch, as a language that had embarked on a different journey of development].

I can see where you might conclude that as means "because" there. But the mere fact that a different group is speaking a language is not sufficient grounds to consider what comes out of their mouths a different language. That other group must be speaking the language in a different way.

An omelet as prepared by an Italian chef would be rather dryer than how my Irish mom would make it.

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