Reading old handwriting can be tough, especially if you don’t speak the language the document is written in. Never fear, help is here! Brigham Young University has has a project on the web SCRIPT TUTORIALS, that can help you become familiar with many different handwritings styles. Spanish, French and English are just a few. For some of the languages there are also practice tests and old handwriting guides from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
You can also access vocabulary, name and occupation lists, on scripts.byu.edu or on FamilySearch.org. There are no specific articles under Research Helps on South African genealogy, but you can find info on your ancestral countries: France, Germany, England, The Netherlands and many more, all for free!!!