The Pareto Principle and learning Afrikaans

The Pareto Principle

The Pareto principle is an idea originally observed by an Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto that 80% of effects come from 20% of causes. The original observation was in connection with wealth and population.

However, it has been exteneded to other subjects. The basic idea is that the first 20% of your effort will get you 80% of the results regardless of what you do - provided that you do whatever it is efficiently.

Here, we are talking about learning afrikaans, and as an illustration think about how to form the plural of Afrikaans words.

Basically, you add an e or an s.

Assume that you have learnt the common words which need an s , and this takes 20% of the time needed to learn all the plurals. You then add an e to any other word you come across (to make it plural).

You will get a large number of plurals correct - 80% or maybe more - and you have spent only 20% of the total time needed.

And now you need to spend the next 80% of your time learning exceptions which comprise less than 20% of the total of all words in the plural.

The Grammar rules on this site

The grammar rules on Easy Afrikaans follow this principle, and only cover the major grammatical points. It is easier and more efficient to learn exceptions through exposure to the language - and buy an Afrikaans grammar book if necessary!