Culture Corner: Popularising South Africa’s Indigenous Languages

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In 2012 Professor Patrick Ngulube wrote: “If language enables human beings to act together, organise themselves into social groups and units and put into effect group decisions, then its demise signals danger for the society in question: in other words, the demise of a language means the end of a culture.” At present the concern around the potential erasure of indigenous languages through the globalization of the English language, remains. Many of our kids hear the language so often that they are not-at-all well acquainted with their own languages. Added to that is the prediction that of an estimated 6,000 languages spoken worldwide, 80% of this diversity could be lost by 2050. So on today’s culture, we’re getting into how we can popularize our South African indigenous languages as an integral component of culture and identity. Professor of African Languages at the University of the KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Professor Sihawukele Ngubane, joins Morio Sanyane for the conversation.

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