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Metaglossia: The Translation World
News about translation, interpreting, intercultural communication, terminology and lexicography - as it happens
Curated by Charles Tiayon
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South Africa: 'The ANC Continues Its Cultural Vandalism of Afrikaans'

"The ANC is continuing its cultural vandalism of Afrikaans," says Koos van der Merwe MP and Chief Whip of the IFP. "The latest blatant example is Government placing six full pages of advertising for vacant positions in Rapport of Sunday 15 July 2012 all and only in English."

Van der Merwe has urgently placed questions on the Order paper of Parliament asking why English is used in an Afrikaans newspaper. These questions are put to the Ministers of Local Government, Arts and Culture, Social Development, Transport, Tourism and Public Enterprises.

Van der Merwe is asking the Ministers why only English was used and whether advertisements in English only are aimed at eliminating prospective Afrikaans applicants. He also wants to know how much the advertisements cost the state and whether the advertisements will be placed in Afrikaans also.

"It is becoming clearer by the day that the ANC is vandalising Afrikaans and Afrikaner culture," says Van der Merwe. "It is not only happening to our language, but also to Afrikaans schools being turned into English schools. Correspondence by State Departments is conducted almost exclusively in English. Hardly 1% of Court Reports are now in Afrikaans whilst it used to be almost 50%."

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Urgent Afrikaans project

I have a huge project for translation and voice over frm English to afrikaan , Job Details Job:- Technical Translation Domain:- Automotive Language:- Afrikaan PS:This is a sample of 3 million word project,please do the sample and send it...
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Computing in Mother Tongue

For all intents and purposes, many of South Africa's indigenous languages are listed among the world's most endangered languages. What this means in simple terms is that many of our languages will most likely become extinct in the near future.

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Recently, I was asked to give a basic translation into any South African language of my choosing. While I take pride in my language competence and consider myself an expert in my own language, I was reminded of how shameful our people are. When efforts like these come our way, many people, instead of being honest to say they are not equipped to translate to our languages, will happily give substandard work! These are people who themselves hardly speak the language, yet they find it normal to translate into a language they do not speak. This trend is the same with professional translators. While many may have degrees in translation and communication, many simply just translate nonsense.
The result is software that is unusable. I am one of the few people in South Africa who use software in my language, but the standard and quality of translated software is pathetic. This unfortunately has the negative effect that many people end up staying away from using software in their own languages. I have used translated software that even I could not make sense of what was being said in the translations.
I am left wanting to ask, particularly of African intellectuals and professional translators, have we lost all integrity that we cannot tell the truth about our ability to speak (or lack thereof) our languages? We rather produce horrible work that no one will ever use?
Unfortunately, language usage goes hand in hand with its growth and development. A language that is being actively used will grow and develop, and the opposite is true.

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The South African Issue Between English and Afrikaans

If you visit South Africa, you’ll find that English is now the main language for signage, education and tourism. But South African English, as well as being spoken with a distinctive accent, has adopted many words from the Afrikaans language that still is spoken by the 13% of the population.

However the language debate in South Africa is very delicate. Although English has been adopted as a lingua franca – due to the numerous languages spoken in the country – there are still many controversial issues regarding languages and especially the large use of English in pretty much every field.

Take education, for instance. Most of the courses are taught in both English and Afrikaans, but many are those who claim it is necessary to activate more courses in Afrikaans. It might sound a very nationalist request, but maybe it should be read considering the complexity of South Africa. The need for more Afrikaans courses is not exactly a matter of translation, but a need for keeping the tradition and not letting the language disappear. Because of this goal, at the University of the Free State a full set of parallel-medium courses are offered; at the University of Pretoria 45% of the lectures are in dual medium, 28% in parallel medium and 25% in English medium. At the Potchefstroom campus of North-West University there is instant translation of almost all Afrikaans classes.

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