Metaglossia: The Translation World
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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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African Books Collective: Zimbabwean Literature in African Languages

Zimbabwean Literature in African Languages
Crossing language boundaries
Edited by Emmanuel M. Chiwome, Zifkile Mguni
The scope of this book is Ndebele and Shona literature, with emphasis on post-independence publications. African literature in English has received more critical attention than literature in indigenous languages. The former has occupied centre stage as representing national literature, while modern literature in indigenous languages= occupies the intermediate lower stratum that is accorded to national languages in the colonial and post-independence eras.

The objective of the study is to combine some of the different genres of literature in indigenous languages in an attempt to understand them on the basis of their common history and culture. While colonialism has promoted and interpreted differences among Zimbabwean ethnic communities as evidence of polarisation, the authors here view African language literatures as parts of one great whole.!
No comment yet. Zimbabwe: What Value is Education to Zimbabwe and Her People?

According to the latest information released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate in Africa, 92.2% of adults and 99.0% of youth are literate.

In the small country of about 13 million people passing five subjects, including mathematics and English Language, at the General Certificate of Education Ordinary Level (GCE 'O' Level) is the threshold for admittance to any institution for tertiary education.

Gardeners and maids are ordinarily required to have at least three subjects at 'O' Level to enhance their chances of finding and keeping a job in a country where the job market is believed to have shrunken by between 60% and 75% between 1998 and 2008, depending on who one chooses to listen to.

A bit of statistics on the performance of Zimbabwe's education system... let us look at information gleaned from the Education For All (EFA) 2000 Assessment Country Reports.

During the first 9 years of independence (1980 to 1989) the number of primary schools in Zimbabwe increased from 3161 to 4504, a staggering 42.48% increase. The number of secondary schools increased from 197 to 1502, an incredible 662% rise.

School enrolments increased by over 200% across the entire education sector (primary, secondary and tertiary levels). In the year before independence primary school enrolment in the 3161 schools was 820 000 pupils, and this had swelled to 2.08 million by 1990, a 154% increase. The number of teachers increased from 18 483 in 1979 to 60 886 by 1989, a 229% increase.

From only one university in 1980, the country now boasts a total of 13 universities, including a virtual university to provide for the needs of the working professional who cannot afford to attend classes on a fulltime or part time basis.

More than 25 000 students graduate with bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees from these universities every year.

For the multitudes who fail to enroll in the universities, there is the option to enroll in the five polytechnic colleges that offer certificate, diploma and degree courses in areas ranging from administration to engineering.

Thousands of school leavers also go through apprenticeship training with the few companies still operating profitably in the current challenging environment.

There is no doubt that this is a great achievement. But does this achievement translate into a better life for Zimbabwe's citizens? The answer can be discerned from the picture above.

The picture was shot just before dusk on Tuesday 29 May 2012. The gentleman in the picture is a graduate of one of the five polytechnic colleges in Zimbabwe, and the structures in the background are what he calls home.

Dominic went to one of Zimbabwe's mission schools that are renowned for their high pass rates, and upon completion of high school he enrolled at one of the polytechnic colleges where he studied diesel plant fitting for 3 years.

In addition to the polytechnic diploma, he sat for trade tests with the Industrial Training and Manpower Development and was awarded the coveted Journeyman Class 1 card.

With these sought after qualifications Dominic cherry-picked jobs, moving from one blue chip corporation to another. He worked for Gulliver, Border Timbers, Zisco Steel and Shabanie and Mashaba Mines, among other blue chip firms.!
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Zimbabwe's Draft Charter Proposes 16 Official Languages, up From Three

Zimbabwe's draft constitution, completed this week by the parliamentary select committee responsible for crafting the country's new charter, will see the Southern African nation adopting 16 official languages, up from just three.
The final draft states that Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa will be treated equally.
Law lecturer at Kent University in the United Kingdom, Alex Magaisa, was one of the expert advisers to the select committee.
He says the official languages issue created heated debates during discussions with many arguing the need to recognize different cultures in the country.
But the legal expert said a practical approach still needs to be taken on the issue. It's one thing, he says, to have an official language but another to have a language of record.
“A language of record means if you go to a court of law it is the language which the records are kept. If you are going to have multiple languages then you might have a very serious problem," said Magaisa.
“Let’s assume you go to Chipinge and Ndau is used there as a language of record, and someone else does not speak Ndau and only speaks Tonga, and someone else might want to get a record in English – it means you have to prepare the record in three languages and that is going to be a practical nightmare.”
He said the list appears to be exclusive and that it would have been easier to simply say all indigenous languages in Zimbabwe are official languages in addition to English to keep the list open.!
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