DCAS Launches IsiXhosa Terminology Booklet
28 February 2014
A booklet of government-specific isiXhosa terms was launched by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) on 28 February 2014. The publication is the product of five years of terminology development work by members of the Western Cape Provincial Language Forum (PLF).
The PLF is a body established by DCAS in 2008 to help give effect to the Western Cape Language Policy. Its members are language practitioners working for provincial departments, municipalities, the provincial Parliament and the national Parliament.
Xolisa Tshongolo of DCAS explained that terminology development is a time-consuming process involving consultation between language experts, academics, regulatory bodies and members of the public. IsiXhosa-speaking members of the PLF have held bimonthly terminology development sessions since 2008. The list of terms and their English equivalents was refined by a sub-committee which met every week. It was then published on the Internet for public comment. After further refinement, the list was published and submitted for verification to the IsiXhosa National Language Board (XNLB) at a two-day workshop.
Mr Tshongolo said "Terminology development never stops. We in the PLF are now focusing on developing legal terminology for isiXhosa. When we publish the 2nd edition of the isiXhosa terminology list, we expect it to have both English and Afrikaans equivalents so that all of the official languages of the Western Cape are included."
Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport Dr Ivan Meyer said, "the rigorous process that the PLF followed to develop this terminology booklet is a tribute to the language development legacy of the late Dr Neville Alexander." Dr Meyer also paid tribute to a number of partners who played a critical role in the success of the project: the Western Cape Language Committee, the Pan South African Language Board, the XNLB, the City of Cape Town and the Provincial Parliament.
Collaborative terminology development by members of the PLF is one of the ways that DCAS supports language development and equal treatment for the three official languages of the Western Cape.
Download the IsiXhosa Terminology Booklet