Media on African
Varsity students must take isiZulu
NIVASHNI NAIR and MHLABUNZIMA MEMELA - 17 May 2013
First-year students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal will from next year have to enrol for a compulsory isiZulu course - and pass - to graduate. ...
Vernacular languages to be compulsory
NONTOBEKO MTSHALI - 9 May 2013
Johannesburg - Two schools, one in Gauteng and the other in the Western Cape, will be used to pilot a new sign language curriculum, and from next year, all public schools will be required to teach a vernacular language. ...
Mobile Xhosa translator helps the medicine go down
26 April 2013
Get the message: Sixth-year medical student and president of SHAWCO Health Saadiq Moolla's Mobile Xhosa site provides medical translations for students and healthcare practitioners via cell phone. ...
Is Xhosa going to die out as a language for sharing knowledge?
Wikipedia operates in 286 different languages, but the content is very unevenly spread. There are more than 4 million articles in English, while Xhosa, spoken by almost 8 million people in South Africa, only has 147 articles.
Most expensive letter: H
NASHIRA DAVIDS - 8 April 2013 00:41
Neglect of the letter "h" could prove to be extremely expensive for Cape Town.
The letter was omitted from "Gugulethu" when the name of the township was formalised in the 1980s. Years down the line, it will cost about R200000 to replace signs bearing the incorrect spelling. ...
Zulu goes high-tech
SIBONGILE KHUMALO - 11 February 2013
Johannesburg - When a middle-aged South African engineer recently set out to write a novel in his native Zulu, he found himself hamstrung by a lack of words to describe modern life.
Determined not to use English as a crutch, Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi instead created 450 new words in Zulu ...
Our language in your hands:
South Africa (BBC Radio 4)
Dr MARK TURIN - 10 December 2012Stream direct from here
Anthropologist and linguist Dr Mark Turin travels to South Africa to get to grips with the country's complex language politics and policies. Until the mid 1990s, there were just two official languages, English and Afrikaans, while other indigenous African languages were sidelined. Today the situation is different, with eleven official languages recognized by the Constitution of South Africa as having equal value and importance. But what does that mean in reality? ...
What's in a name, anyway?
CANAAN MDLETSHE - 30 November 2012Read it here
The KwaZulu-Natal education MEC will be looking into "virgin
thighs" and "at the buttocks". These are some of the translations of inappropriate Zulu and
Afrikaans school names that are to be changed ...
The KwaZulu-Natal education MEC will be looking into "virgin thighs" and "at the buttocks".
These are some of the translations of inappropriate Zulu and Afrikaans school names that are to be changed ...
Mother tongue being cut out
Failure to teach in indigenous languages is detrimental to future generations.
GRAEME HOSKEN - 31 October 2012
GRAEME HOSKEN - 31 October 2012
With the 2011 census showing a decline in six of the 11 official languages, linguists are warning that failure to teach in home languages will lead to continued failures at schools and universities...
Surf the global tide in language and survive
CRAIG MCKENZIE - 24 August 2012
The marginalisation of local languages will
continue and nonstandard English is the future to embrace.
CRAIG MCKENZIE - 24 August 2012
South African literature, and especially fiction, faces many challenges, not least among them the low rates of reading in the general public, a steady decline in the sales of books and a younger generation increasingly attuned to the electronic media. Worldwide, printed books are apparently holding their own against e-books, but this cannot be expected to continue...
'There's no time to teach Xhosa'
January 26 2012 at 10:32am By Michelle JonesRead it here
THE new curriculum, introduced in Grades R to three this year, has led some Western Cape schools to drop Xhosa as an additional language. Schools are now only able to teach a home language and first additional language, with no time for a second additional language. This means schools that offer English and Afrikaans to pupils will not offer Xhosa - unless these classes are taught after hours. The Cape Times sought clarification on the issue after weekend media reports and the debate in Parliament over the SA Languages Bill - where concerns have been expressed about the decline in the teaching of indigenous languages at schools. The chairman of UWC's linguistics department, Felix Banda, said this week that it should be compulsory for Western Cape schools to teach pupils three languages. "The system seems to favour the two languages. I don't think anything has really changed. "We are talking....
SA pupils prefer English - SAIRR
2012-02-07 12:34 JohannesburgRead it here
More than 60% of South African pupils choose English for learning and teaching, the SA Institute of Race Relations said on Tuesday. This was despite the fact that only 7% of the country's pupils (852 000 out of 12.2 million) spoke English at home. A total of 7.6 million pupils wanted to be taught in English, the institute's South Africa Survey found. Similarly, the number of pupils wishing to be taught in Afrikaans exceeded the number who spoke the language at home. ....
Language denied means citizens ignored
NEVILLE ALEXANDER | CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - Feb 03 2012 15:56Read it here
Last month the parliamentary portfolio committee on arts and culture held a series of public hearings on the South African Languages Bill 23 of 2011. About 34 civil society organisations made written submissions to the committee and many of them used the opportunity to speak about their submissions and with the parliamentarians from the different parties that form part of the committee. ....
Lost in translation
S'Thembiso Msomi | 25 January, 2012 00:22 Read it here
Did King Goodwill Zwelithini call gay people "rotten"? The controversy that has arisen since this newspaper, and at least one other publication, in KwaZulu-Natal, reported that the Zulu monarch had spoken out against same-sex relationships has helped draw attention to an issue that I think is of the utmost importance if our young democracy is to have an intelligent dialogue with itself: how statements made in indigenous South African languages, by politicians and other public figures, are translated into English by journalists.
'English tongue has colonised our minds'
January 26 2012 at 07:31am By Deon de Lange and Michael Mpofu Read it here
English is widely used in SA - particularly in government circles - because it has "colonised our minds". This, according to Thandile Sunduza (ANC), chairwoman of the National Assembly's Arts and Culture committee, is why English continues to be the de facto language of government communication and services. This is despite the fact that only 8.2 percent of citizens claimed during the 2001 Census that English was the language they spoke most often at home. "(English) has colonised our minds. That's why we speak it. Even sign language is used more than English," she told committee members on Wednesday during an Arts and Culture Department briefing on the controversial SA Languages Bill.
English has colonised our languages
2011-02-15 12:43 Read it here
Our official languages are only official on paper. The Constitution. It is time we became honest about this. One is almost inclined to say that that part of the Constitution was written to make us feel good about ourselves and congratulate one another on how tolerant we are as a nation because we were able to accommodate all 11 official languages. It is just make up. It was done to make us look good. English is South Africa's official language whether we like to admit it or not. This is good and bad. When white schools were opened to black kids in the early 90s, black parents sent their kids to white schools, not just for a superior education, but more importantly, so that they could learn to speak great English; so that they could get great jobs, not just in South Africa but anywhere else in the world. It went so far that some parents in the various townships barred their children from speaking their mother tongues but English at home.
African languages must be taught
PREGA GOVENDER | 29 January, 2012 08:00 Read it here
The Department of Basic Education is developing a policy that will compel all state schools to offer an African language. It confirmed to the Sunday Times that the policy would be made available for public comment. "It is therefore in schools' interests not to drop their African languages from the curriculum. If the policy is approved, all public schools will have to offer one of the African languages," the department said. The announcement comes after the Sunday Times revealed last week that many former model C primary schools, in which English had been the medium of instruction, were sidelining African languages by offering Afrikaans as the first additional language. This year's batch of grades 1 to 3 will be taught a new curriculum that requires them to do only one extra language. Vijay Reddy, executive director of the education and skills development research programme at the Human Sciences Research Council, said it was important for children whose home language was English or Afrikaans to learn an African language. She said it "was about a South African identity, social cohesion and nation building". Tessa Dowling, an adjunct professor in the African languages section at the University of Cape Town, said: "Scrapping African-language teaching at schools creates a new, more insidious apartheid. It says African languages can only be spoken and studied in rural areas and townships by poor black people." But Professor Sarah Gravett, dean of education at the University of Johannesburg, said there was a shortage of qualified teachers for African languages.
How Ultra Mel saved Zulu
06 Nov 2011 | Ndumiso Ngcobo Read it here
" My language is thriving - take a taxi and see" SO, while attending the Time of the Writer literary festival in Durban last year, I'm walking from The Royal Hotel towards The Workshop shopping mall through that flea market adjacent to the post office. It's a Saturday afternoon, so it's quite crowded, which is a source of great consternation for me. One of my many personality disorders is that I do not like to make physical contact with people I don't know, you see. As the sea of humanity squeezes through the narrow tunnel leading to The Workshop, three women walking abreast stop simultaneously to admire a pair of shoes, causing a mildly violent human traffic jam. I feel a slight panic set in as at least three pairs of foreign hands make contact with my back. But then a voice behind me shouts matter-of-factly: "Yin' ndaba kodwa abantu bengenamathoshi abomvu ezinqulwini khona sizobona uma bema?" The irritation evaporates immediately as everyone breaks out into wild laughter. Loosely translated, the fellow shouted: "Wouldn't it be wonderful if people had brake lights on their buttocks so we'd get a warning if they stop?" I have shared many times on these pages how I prefer to enjoy my fortnightly grooming regime inside those informal makeshift tents at taxi ranks. Ignore the fact that the standard price to have one's head shaved is a paltry R10 at taxi ranks. The real reason I like to go there is that it's an opportunity to "soak up some township culture". .....
Sunday Times in Zulu today
Sunday Times | 07 November, 2010
The Sunday Times launches its first Zulu edition today. The edition, which is available in parts of KwaZulu-Natal, consists of the best of the newspaper's news, politics, business, sport and lifestyle, and sells for R8. The Sunday Times, which has been overwhelmed by the positive response of readers to the announcement of the new edition, is investigating the feasibility of making it available in the Gauteng area as well, once it is established in KwaZulu-Natal. The Zulu edition is the product of several years of investigation and planning by Avusa editor-in-chief Mondli Makhanya, who is overseeing its launch. Makhanya said: "We are extremely proud to be making a contribution to the growth of an indigenous language. "This in no small way contributes towards us living up to our claim to be 'the paper for the people.' "In a democratic South Africa, we can play a positive role by providing access to information in various languages, with this edition meeting the needs of our Zulu-speaking readers." Sunday Times editor Ray Hartley said the edition would also lead to the creation of jobs for journalists working in an indigenous language. "We know this edition will succeed," he said.
Ndebele speakers wanted, says king
France Nyaka | Aug 15 2011 10:21AM
Ndebele king Makhosonke II addressed 500 of his subjects who gathered for a general address at Zandpruit Nature Reserve, near Engwenyameni village in KwaMhlanga, at the weekend. The purpose of the gathering was to tell the people about the latest developments with the Ndebele nation and to forge close ties with other kingdoms. Other issues that were highlighted were job creation, education, illegal land claims and the lack of Ndebele authors. The king's spokesperson, Prince Thomas Mabena, said: "Our community is burdened by poverty as a result of unemployment. The king urged business people to work with the nation to create more jobs. "The Ndebele kingdom is also concerned about the lack of Ndebele authors. Our language is underdeveloped because of this problem. "We initiated a trust fund to assist interested students to study Ndebele at university. "The kingdom also wants service delivery to be improved and wants to work with municipalities to achieve this goal. "We need to prevent illegal squatting on land and false land claims. The royal house has received several complaints about illegal squatters."
Mondli Makhanya's asks whether we are going to let our African languages die out. Check his excellent column on http://www.timeslive.co.za/opinion/columnists/
Will this nation allow its languages to die out - from sheer neglect?
Mondli Makhanya | 30 April, 2011 20:32
Mondli Makhanya: When the Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, revealed recently that he was considering making the acquisition of an African language a condition for acquiring a university degree, there was the usual hue and cry from various sections of society.
"Akukwazi ukuba yithi kuphela ekuthiwa sifunde isiNgisi nesiBhunu bakwethu, kodwa ezethu izilimi abanye bangazifundi" ("We can't be expected to learn English and Afrikaans, yet others don't learn our languages"). The remarks, made in passing during the launch of his department's teacher education and development plan, dominated the national conversation. Lost in the controversy was the real issue that Nzimande was trying to address: the rapid decline of indigenous African languages in our country. ...
Online Articles To Read
Mandela's son has backed the move to make university students learn an
African language. Check out http://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/mandla-mandela-backs-language-move-1.1056710
African language could be varsity requirement: BladeApr 5, 2011 2:26 PM| By
Blade Ndzimande's comment created about African language learning by university students created quite a debate around the topic. Check out this webpage
In early April 2011 Blade Ndzimande announced that the future might see all university students having to learn an African language.
Every university student in South could be required to learn one African language as condition for graduating, Minister of Higher Education and Training Blade Nzimande said on Tuesday.
"One of the things we are looking into is... to what extent should we consider that every university student in South Africa must at least learn one African language as a condition for graduating," he said.
This was "very, very critical".
Speaking in isiZulu, Nzimande said: "Akukwazi ukuba yithi kuphela ekuthiwa sifunde isingisi nesibhunu bakwethu, kodwa ezethu iyilimi nabanye bangazifundi [We can't be expected to learn English and Afrikaans, yet they don't learn our languages".
He said the issue of the development and teaching of African languages in universities was something he was taking up as a special ministerial project.
The advisory panel would look at how to strengthen university the teaching and expansion of African languages, which was on a serious decline.
The launch of the strategic planning framework for teachers aims to improve the quality of teachers and teaching in the country in line with calls over the years by teacher unions.
The plan identifies the availability of qualified and capable African language foundation phase teachers as particularly problematic.
Nzimande said this had "severe implications" for the development of early numeracy and literacy, which was the foundation for all future learning.
"African language learners in the poor, rural context are mostly severely impacted," he said.
A European Union-supported programme to strengthen foundation teacher education was already being implemented by the higher and basic education departments.
It would increase the number of universities involved in foundation phase teacher education from 18 in 2008 to 20 by 2014, said Nzimande.
Online Articles To Read
March 2011 - Should we teach grammar? Check this link:
November 2010 The Sunday Times is now in Zulu! Check this
Check this article on the reinvention of African languages
to Tessa Dowling doing funny accents on Radio 702
Broadcast on July 27 2010
still bitter issue in S.African schools
BRYSON, Associated Press Writer - Thu Sep 23, 12:10 pm ET
HOGARTH'S COLUMN - SUNDAY TIMES 11 APRIL 2010
'Ikomba ...' er, I-CPI
There was rejoicing in the streets of Tweebuffelsmeteenskootgeskietfontein when news broke that Pali Lehohla, the head of Statistics South Africa, had developed a guide to statistical terminology in all 11 of the country's languages.
The Ndebele speakers among us no longer need refer to the consumer price index when they can more comfortably say Ikomba yetjhugulukontengo yabathengi enganamalinzalo yebhondi. Further on in the guide you'll find that they could, of course, use the officially approved "I-CPI".
Listen to SAfm Word of Mouth Broadcast
Broadcast on February 28 2010
Broadcast on February 21 2010
Sunday Independent story about TV viewing figures
Published on the web by Sunday Independent on February 20, 2010
TV viewership revolution in the making
By Edwin Naidu
The viewing patterns of South Africa's couch potatoes is as varied as the content on the small screen, according to latest research based on Television Audience Measurement (Tams) on the South African Advertising Research Foundation website.
Generations is the country's most watched soap, with more than 4.5 million viewers between January 18 and 24, while American talkshow host Oprah Winfrey dwarfed Noeleen Maholwana-Sangqu as the queen of chat, attracting more than 1.2 million viewers. Maholwana-Sangqu has 455 000 viewers, while talk show Motswako: The Mix on SABC2 has 849 000 viewers and Asikhlume on SABC1 has an audience of 1.7 million.
In the soap stakes, Generations is streaks ahead of the competition, with e.tv's Scandal next best on 1.9 million viewers, followed by 7de Laan on SABC2 and The Bold and The Beautiful, both with an audience of 1.7 million, while Muvhango on SABC2 has 1.3 million viewers.
The most-watched news bulletin is the Zulu news on SABC1, attracting an audience of 3.2 million, while next best is the Xhosa on SABC1 with 2.7 million viewers, the Afrikaans news on SABC 2 with 1.4 million viewers, E.tv's News at 7 beats the English news at 7pm with 1.2 million viewers compared to the national broadcaster's 808 000 in that period.
Data from Tams is said to be an independent, reliable and transparent audience measurement system that provides the currency by which television is bought, sold and evaluated. The data is used by a range of parties such as television networks, advertisers, media buyers and programme suppliers to help them understand viewer behaviour, and in assessing programme or network performance.
Reality show Survivor does not feature among the country's most-watched with Khumbul'ekhaya on SABC1 a firm favourite, boasting two million viewers while the next hot favourite in this segment is Cheaters on e.tv with an audience of 1.4 million.
In the actuality show stakes, e.tv's Third Degree has 1.3 million viewers compared to SABC3's Special Assignment with 579 000 viewers.
Thinus Ferreira, a television expert and blogger, said a silent television viewership revolution was taking place, making advertising executives, media planners and television bosses both extremely nervous and excited.
He said the arrival of pay broadcaster ODM later this year, while it will not compete directly with DStv, will give viewers more choice.
"It will give South Africans a second and cheaper chance to see quality television before free-to-air channels. In essence, it will introduce for the first time a second-hand, or used-car market in terms of television viewing the country has never had before. Where people had to buy a new car (DStv) or use public transport (SABC/e.tv) they'll now be able to buy something in the middle."
Ferreira said that DStv Compact, MultiChoice's cheaper bouquet offering had revolutionised the pay television market the in past year.
"Television households are growing but the pay television share of those households is growing faster. It means a bigger share of households in South Africa are becoming pay TV watchers and moving away from free-to-air. SABC3 had a dramatic decline in audience last year. They're working hard to reverse it. The others like sabc1, 2, e.tv and M-Net are also under pressure," he said.
DStv has 2.6 million subscribers with the eNews channel now the most popular news channel on the platform because of viewers' growing appetite for independent, credible news sources on television.
Mindful of the growing television market and wanting to score with an announcement before the World Cup, Hallmark, the number one international channel on the DStv platform, announced it would be changing its name to Universal on March 24.
Hallmark Channel subscriber base on the continent is almost 3.7 million in Africa and South Africa combined.
Published on the web by Sunday Independent on February 20, 2010.
Business Day story on language equality
Published: 2010/03/09 06:38:47 AM
Hundreds of schoolchildren in Fochville, southwest of Johannesburg, are forced to commute daily so that they can get an education in a language they understand - the Afrikaans-medium schools in their area refuse to accommodate them.
THE High Court in Pretoria yesterday reserved judgment on an application by a Brits attorney who wants to force the government to treat all local languages equally.
During legal argument, Judge Ben du Plessis remarked that the government ought to have been able to promulgate language policy legislation in the past 14 years, but had failed to do so.
He said the Pan South African Language Board had been tasked with monitoring what the government did, but that was "putting the board before the horse".
"It doesn't help to put the policeman in place if government hasn't said what it's going to do or has already done," Du Plessis said. "It seems to me that nothing much has been done."
The constitution required a co- ordinated plan regulating the use of all official languages, he said.
"At least Parliament has a language policy in use. It seems the national government does not have such a policy in place."
The government should work out a way to accommodate all 11 languages, the judge said.
Afrikaans-speaking attorney Cornelius Lourens brought the application, with the support of organisations such as trade union Solidarity.
They seek an order compelling the government to finalise and promulgate national legislation to regulate and monitor the use of all 11 official languages.
Lourens also asked the court to compel President Jacob Zuma to order a language audit of all national government departments. He further seeks a court order directing Parliament not to discriminate against any official language by publishing all national legislation, dating back to 1996, in all 11 languages.
Lourens said in court papers that the government's current practice, in which English enjoys preference, established a language-discriminatory practice.
Legislation intended to promote and protect all official languages had been gathering dust since 2007.
Lourens said as things now stood, all other indigenous languages had to stand back for English, which was the language officially used by government departments.
This resulted in a policy of Anglicisation, he argued.
Lourens accused the Department of Arts and Culture of "disrespecting" his language (Afrikaans) and, indirectly, the other nine languages.
Du Plessis will deliver judgment on the matter next week. Sapa