27 September 2005
Although South Africa has 11 official languages, only two of these, English and Afrikaans, are used in many technical fields.
Now, three new multilingual dictionaries will bring these fields within the reach of all South Africans, no matter which language they speak.
Speaking at the launch of the publications in Boksburg on Monday, Arts and Culture Minister Pallo Jordan said the dictionaries would establish wider use of South Africa’s indigenous languages in technical fields.
The dictionaries – covering natural science and technology glossary for schools, information and communications technology, and parliamentary/political terms – are translated into IsiZulu, IsiXhosa, IsiNdebele, TshiVhenda, SiSwati, Sesotho, Sepedi, XiTsonga and SeTswana.
Jordan said he was “convinced that multilingualism is a possibility in this country if we continue to work together.”
The natural science and technology dictionary will be distributed to various primary schools for use by teachers and learners while the parliamentary/political glossary will be distributed to translators throughout the country as well as language practitioners in various provincial legislatures.