It’s one of my favorite South African-isms.

Its an Afrikaans expression used when someone is facing a challenging or difficult situation, or are about to embark on something that makes them nervous or anxious. The closest phrase we have in English would be ‘Good luck,’ but that comes nowhere close to capturing it. At all.


It literally means, simply, ‘Strength’.

It’s used to wish someone the strength to persevere whatever hardship they are experiencing or whatever nerve-wracking situation they are facing.

It’s used to call out the strength you already see in someone’s heart, even when they can’t see it or feel it themselves.

It’s used to infuse strength by affirming that you believe in them and their ability to keep moving forward, by the grace of God.

That’s why ‘Good Luck’ would never suffice as a substitute.

Sterkte speaks courage.

Builds hope.

Demonstrates not-alone-ness.

And today, sweet Gritty family, it is all I have to offer to you.


[photo credit]


13 Responses to “sterkte”
  1. faith says:

    I love it!! Is it said like it looks?

  2. Receiving this with both hands….

  3. Jessi says:

    I love it! sounds like a dutch version of my favorite French phrase, “bon courage.” Also often translated as good luck, it’s more accurate to say “take heart. ” I like to think of it as a psalmic “be of good courage.”

  4. Linda Stoll says:

    … so gratefully received. and offered back to you with appreciation and anticipation …

  5. Suzanne says:

    Love this!

  6. terri poss says:

    sterkte back at ya, friend. soak it in! love you!

  7. Love this. I love words in other languages that convey so much more meaning than English does!

  8. Mark Allman

    That we would offer this more often to those we love to encourage and to build up.

  9. I love being a part of your Gritty family.
    I love even more when your words have perfect timing.

  10. brandiej says:

    oh my. i need this; and friends to speak it to me. thank you.

  11. Alece, Love this! Praying sterkte for you today!

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