First of its kind Trilingual Terminology Booklet Launched by Minister Marais | Western Cape Government

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First of its kind Trilingual Terminology Booklet Launched by Minister Marais

30 September 2015

Yesterday, 29 September 2015, Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Anroux Marais launched the first of its kind trilingual terminology booklet.

This is a crucial step in the ongoing development of the province’s 3 official languages – Afrikaans, isiXhosa and English. The booklet, a first of kind, has created new official words for use in the language of government in the Western Cape, and standardizes terms across the 3 languages. This is an important contribution to our provincial language heritage.

The booklet consists of terms and standard phrases used by the Western Cape Government which are not available in existing dictionaries.

Examples of these include:

  • Equal opportunity programme – inkqubo yokunika amathuba ngokulinganayo, program vir gelyke geleenthede
  • MOD Centre – iZiko leMOD, MOD-Sentrum
  • Transparency – kuheleni/nyaniseko, deursigtigheid

The full Trilingual Terminology booklet is available here:

Minister Marais presented the booklets to representatives from the various departments of the Western Cape Government, including officials from the City of Cape Town and National and Provincial Parliament.  The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport also provided each representative with framed copies of the Provincial Language Code Of Conduct to be displayed in their respective buildings.

[Note to editors: This extract is based on a speech delivered by Minister Anroux Marais during her keynote address at the launch of the Trilingual Terminology Booklet]

It is fitting that we are meeting at this significant hand over of the Language Code of Conduct and the launch of the trilingual terminology booklet event as tomorrow, we celebrate International Translation Day.  

One of the important tools of facilitating multilingualism in the Province is the establishment of the Western Cape Provincial Language Forum in 2008. The Language Forum consists of language practitioners of the various provincial departments, the City of Cape Town, National and Provincial Parliament and the Western Cape Office of the Department of Justice.

This Language Forum meets bi-monthly to address language issues affecting the Province. One of the standard items on the agenda is terminology development. In 2013/14 financial year, the first isiXhosa-English bilingual terminology list was published. It consists of terms and standard phrases used by Western Cape Government not available in existing dictionaries. It is available on the internet and in booklet format, and supplements the existing dictionaries in translating official documents of this provincial government. Afrikaans terminology has now been added to the list to make it trilingual and to facilitate full implementation of the Western Cape Language Policy.

Today we are launching this trilingual terminology booklet. This is a systematic way of maintaining the balance between the three official languages of the Province. It is crucial step in the development of the isiXhosa language, and the standardisation of terms between the 3 official languages, the others being Afrikaans and English. The booklet will be available to government language practitioners and stakeholders that may find it useful.

We are also handing over framed copies of the approved Language Code of Conduct to representatives from the various provincial departments. It is important that these copies be displayed prominently in departments. The management of all departments will ensure adherence to the letter and spirit of this Language Code of Conduct. 

In closing, we should never underestimate the immense power of language and specifically access to one’s mother tongue. The late great President Nelson Mandela once said, “Without language, one cannot talk to people and understand them, one cannot share their hopes and aspirations, grasp their history, appreciate their poetry or savour their songs”.


Media Enquiries: 

Stacy McLean
Spokesperson for Anroux Marais, Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport
Tel: 021 483 4426
Cell: 083 504 1171