Making South African Sign Language official is more symbolic than useful in the lives of a very marginalised community.
Missionaries and African translators working on local versions of the Bible divided South Africa’s ethnic groups by language.
There’s a new wave of indigenous language podcasts that could attract big new audiences.
The first speech sounds were uttered about 70,000 years ago and not hundreds of thousands of years ago as is sometimes claimed.
Indigenous knowledge, African languages, queer rights and Afrofuturism are some of the issues discussed in the new book.
Over two millennia, Swahili has built bridges among people across Africa and into the diaspora.
Reconstructed vocabulary sheds light on cultural items and people’s habitats, including the spread of ideas and the importance of certain concepts.
There is something beautiful about African languages carrying science, fictionalised of course, into imagined futures.
Students from São Tomé and Príncipe must negotiate being both native speakers of Portuguese and Black Africans. And how they speak Portuguese is perceived as an issue.
The documentary resulted in the creation of an active translation network.
A realignment is needed as the current systems have lost the competence to midwife a new nation out of the formative experiences of the last 25 years.
Police officers are also not, and are not expected to be, sworn translators or interpreters. This has serious implications for justice.
Research has shown that African immigrants in South Africa refrain from speaking their own languages and try to speak local languages to blend in.
A much more flexible and open teaching and language policy would help teachers and pupils to enable a meaningful learning environment in a multilingual and diverse classroom setting.
The International Year of Indigenous Languages serves as a good impetus to start implementing policies that prioritises Africa’s own languages.
It’s hailed as one of the greatest works of fiction to emerge from Africa. But Things Fall Apart was written in English, sparking debate about the colonisation of language.
Kiswahili will be easy for South Africans to learn compared to foreign languages from outside Africa.
It’s not far-fetched to suspect that the common understanding of the idea of “mother tongues” in South Africa is coloured by outside influences.
Software tools for South Africa’s Nguni languages may assist with redress and effective communication.
Africa’s current situation has a parallel in European history - the Reformation and the changes it wrought in terms of language exceptionalism.