‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ to air in Afrikaans as part of an initiative to preserve local languages

Iconic kids cartoon, “SpongeBob SquarePants”. Picture: Supplied

Iconic kids cartoon, “SpongeBob SquarePants”. Picture: Supplied

Published May 21, 2024


SpongeBob SquarePants” is a world-renowned animated television show and its main character, the yellow sea-sponge, is amongst the most recognisable cartoon characters of all time.

Now viewers can enjoy the show in a variety of languages, including Afrikaans.

Nickelodeon, aims to move the needle on promoting and preserving local language, after it discovered, through a study done by the UN, that by the year 2100 more than half of the world’s languages will be extinct.

“Indigenous languages make up the majority of the languages that are under threat and it is believed that one indigenous language dies every two weeks,” the channel explained.

“These sobering numbers highlight the importance of promoting and preserving our local languages and ensuring that our kids are learning to speak local languages and keep them alive.”

Nickelodeon Africa recently announced that in celebration of the 25th anniversary of “SpongeBob SquarePants”, they have dubbed three seasons in three languages as part of “Nick In Your Language” initiative.

Fans and viewers will be able to watch the show in English, Zulu, which started in December 2022, and now in Afrikaans, too.

“‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ enthusiasts of all ages can experience the underwater adventures of SpongeBob and his friends in their mother tongue or use it as a fun way to learn a new language.

“Nickelodeon is committed to helping preserve local languages with its ‘Nick in Your Language’ project, an exciting initiative aimed at promoting inclusivity and cultural diversity in children's entertainment across South Africa.”

Dillon Khan, vice-president of Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Studios and Creative Services (Africa), said: “We’re thrilled to be able to offer ‘SpongeBob SquarePants’ fans the opportunity to celebrate his 25th anniversary in local languages. It’s the first time we have dubbed a Nickelodeon show into Afrikaans.”

To select your preferred language press “options” on your DStv remote, scroll down to “language” and select your chosen language.

“SpongeBob SquarePants” in Afrikaans, isiZulu and English will premiere on NickToons (DStv channel 308) on weekdays from June 17 at 8am with repeats at 3pm.