J. J. Smith (linguist)

Professor Johannes Jacobus "Jan" Smith (5 October 1883 − 18 June 1949) was a leading figure in the Afrikaans language movement and the compiler of the first standard Afrikaans dictionary.[1][2] He was an important member of the committee which first attempted to standardize Afrikaans spelling, and was made the founding editor of Die Huisgenoot, the family magazine of the Nasionale Pers, in which early Afrikaans literature was discussed.[2] He was a professor of languages at Stellenbosch University from 1919 until his retirement in 1945.[3] His nephew was the politician, judge and Afrikaans writer Henry Allan Fagan.

J. J. Smith
Born5 October 1883
Died18 June 1949(1949-06-18) (aged 65)
NationalitySouth Africa
Known forAfrikaans language movement
Die Huisgenoot
Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal
Scientific career
InstitutionsStellenbosch University


  1. ^ "Prof. J.J. Smith (65), compiler of the first standard dictionary of the Afrikaans language, dies in Cape Town". SA History Online. 18 June 1949.
  2. ^ a b Giliomee, Hermann (2011). The Afrikaners: Biography of a People. Hurst. pp. 375–377.
  3. ^ "History". www.sun.ac.za. Retrieved 2016-07-15.