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Archive for the ‘Namibia’ Category

Afrikaans is one of the fastest growing languages in South Africa: Linguist Kerry Jones explains

Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture DictionaryKerry Jones, co-author of the award-winning Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary, spoke to News24 recently, dispelling the notion that Afrikaans is an endangered language.

When asked, “Would you consider Afrikaans an endangered language?”, Jones has a firm answer at the ready:

Absolutely not. Absolutely not. If you look at the national census data you will will see that Afrikaans is one of the fastest growing languages in South Africa. It is one of our youngest, it’s around 300 years old, but it is one of the fastest growing languages. Not only as a mother tongue, but as an additional language. People are speaking Afrikaans as a lingua franca; it is used as a second, third and fourth language; it’s a language of employment; it’s a language of education; it’s also a language of media and literacy.

So it is by no stretch of the imagination disappearing and it spreads well beyond our borders. There are even large Afrikaans-speaking communities in Argentina and New Zeeland, so it’s definitely not only a South African flavour.

Jones, a linguistics specialist from African Tongue Professional Linguistic Consultancy, which specialises in minority African languages – especially Khoe and San – is currently working on a PHD in intergenerational language transfer. Watch the interview to see how she became interested in this topic and how she came to write Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary:

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Kerry Jones Shares the Story of Her Award Winning Book, Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary

Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture DictionaryKerry Jones, co-author of Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary, was recently interviewed about the book by Ilse Salzwedel on RSG.

Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary recently won a 2015 ATKV-Woordveertjie for best dictionary.

Jones tells the story of how she came to write this book. She is trained as a linguist, and started learning the Ju|’hoan language when she shadowed a anthropologist who is fluent in the language, because she wanted to learn how to appropriately interact with people in minority groups.

As a linguist, Jones couldn’t help herself and soon started making a word list of the interesting language of the people she was living with. Because she is not Afrikaans, finding a lingua franca in order to translate the words was difficult, so the people showed her by means of pictures. “It became obvious” she said “that the book needed to include images”.

Listen to the podcast (interview begins at 27:18 – mixes English and Afrikaans):


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Video: Learn How to Say “Hello” and Use a Number of Greetings in Ju|’hoan, a !Xun Language of Namibia

Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture DictionaryThe Endangered Languages Project has shared a video by Kerry Jones, co-author of Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary, of greetings in Ju|’hoan.

Ju|’hoan is a variety of the !Xun language that is spoken by around 10 000 people who live in the area of Tsumkwe in the Otjozondjupa Region of Namibia.

The website has more resources for learning the language, as well as a number of activities and information about the Ju|’hoan language.

Watch the video:

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Join Tsemkgao Fanie Cwi and Kerry Jones for the Launch of Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary in Kimberley

Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture DictionaryUKZN Press invites you to the launch of Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary by Tsemkgao Fanie Cwi and Kerry Jones.

The launch will take place at the McGregor Museum in the Lady Oppenheimer Hall on Friday, 10 October, at 6:30 PM. Jones will give a presentation on the creation of the dictionary and give copies of Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary to the local library.

Then on Saturday, 11 October, the writers will launch their book at the Wildebeest Kuil Rock Art Centre on the outskirts of Kimberley at 10 AM.

Don’t miss it!

McGregor Museum

  • Date: Friday, 10 October 2014
  • Time: 6:30 PM
  • Venue: McGregor Museum,
    Lady Oppenheimer Hall,
    Egerton Road,
    Kimberley | Map

Wildebeest Kuil

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UKZN Invites You to the Launches of Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary in Namibia, Yzerfontein and Johannesburg

Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture DictionaryUKZN Press invite you to the launches of Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary by Tsemkgao Fanie Cwi and Kerry Jones.

The events will take place in Namibia, Yzerfontein and Johannesburg.

Don’t miss it!

Tsumkwe Launch

  • Date: Wednesday, 25 and Thursday, 26 June 2014
  • Venue: Tsumkwe Lodge,
    Namibia | Map
  • RSVP:

Windhoek Launch

  • Date: Tuesday, 1 July 2014
  • Venue: TUCSIN House
    The University Centre for Studies in Namibia (TUCSIN)
    16 Mont-Blanc Street,
    Namibia | Map
  • RSVP:

Yzerfontein Launch

Johannesburg Launch

  • Date: Wednesday, 16 July 2014
  • Venue: Wits Origins Centre
    Jorissen Street,
    Johannesburg | Map
  • RSVP:, 033 260 5226

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New: Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary by Tsemkgao Fanie Cwi and Kerry Jones

Ju|â��hoan Childrenâ��s Picture DictionaryThe Ju|’hoan Children’s Picture Dictionary is a collaborative project between the Namibian Ju|’hoan from the Tsumkwe region and academics from various fields. The primary aim of this dictionary is to provide Ju|’hoan children with a piece of mother-tongue literature that is locally inspired and that can also be shared with those from the outside world.

Entries in this thematic dictionary are in the Ju|’hoan Tsumkwe dialect, Afrikaans and English. All the illustrations and artwork were created by Ju|’hoan people from the Tsumkwe region, who share their knowledge and insight into different facets of Ju|’hoan daily life. Great care has gone into the making of this dictionary, with members of the Ju|’hoan community leading the way in the selection of themes, lexical entries, design and layout to make this publication a community-driven project that highlights Ju|’hoan culture. The categories selected show entries gives rare and fascinating insight into the staple artefacts and traditions of San life.

Included is an interactive CD with a pronunciation guide for each entry provided by Ju|’hoan speakers, as well as a photo and video gallery, short biographies of contributors, interesting information about the Ju|’hoan people and a fun, printable language game. By buying this Dictionary you are helping to spread awareness about the Ju|’hoan language and culture, to stop this endangered language from disappearing forever.

This unique and special project/book is a must for anyone with an interest in San life, the San people and their communities.

About the authors

Tsemkgao Fanie Cwi is an author and illustrator for Ju|’hoan Transcription Group in Tsumkwe Village, Grootfontein, Namibia.

Kerry Jones is a linguistics specialist from African Tongue Professional Linguistic Consultancy.

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Roger Southall’s Liberation Movements in Power Launched with Dale McKinley and Noor Nieftagodien

Prof Roger Southall

Liberation Movements in PowerConsidering that it was held on the eve of a public holiday, the Thursday evening launch of Liberation Movements in Power by Prof Roger Southall was well attended by an enthusiastic crowd of supporters, academics and students.

Southall is Professor Emeritus in Sociology at Wits University and a research associate of the Society, Work and Development Institute. Guest speakers invited to give their impressions of the book were Professor Noor Nieftagodien, NRF Chair of Local Histories, Present Realities, and head of the History Workshop at Wits; and Dr Dale McKinley – analyst, writer, lecturer and political activist.

Southall described the work as a comparative evaluation of three liberation movements in Southern Africa who moved into government, namely the South West African People’s Organisation (SWAPO) in Namibia; the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa; and the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) in Zimbabwe. He outlined a few of the themes in the book.

Southall said that national liberation movements, once seen as the answer, are increasingly seen as the problem in Southern Arica. They are highly complex but also ambiguous at once emancipatory and repressive. Liberation Movement in Power examines the dominant ways in which liberation movements have been characterised through the notion of exclusive nationalism (We are The People) and the notion of them evolving into political machines. An analysis of liberation movements has to be rooted in the dynamics of settler colonialism, which was advanced but repressive, and politically rigid, Southall points out.

In all three of the movements featured in the book the political settlements resulted in liberal democracies with capitalist economies, a retreat from socialism and an emphasis on majority rule. Party states and party machines have been erected with a decline in ideology and rapid class formation.

The book concludes with the “slow death of the liberation movements”, as flawed organisations that threaten democracy. This does not refer to their defeat in elections, but their degeneration into the “party machine”.

Prof Noor Nieftagodien Dr Dale McKinley

In his discussion, McKinley described this as an important book. He maintained that the notion of majoritarianism is not the problem, but rather whether it is going to be inclusive and fair or exclusive and intolerant. He also addressed the corporate role in the national democratic revolution, saying that in fact we have a corporate state.

Nieftagodien chose to look at liberation movements with a historical eye and ask what lessons we can learn from them. He said that Southall’s employment of a comparative approach unsettles the notion of South African exceptionalism and allows us to look at the ambiguities the movements had to face. Southall’s approach demonstrates the complexities of each period and the external and internal factors that shaped the choices that were made. Nieftagodien admitted to being worried that the sub-title may have referred to a notion of the “failed state” and he was pleased that this is not the case as it would have limited the analysis.

Nieftagodien referred to an admission by Ronnie Kasrils that at the moment of transition South Africa looked to other revolutions and thought that the main aim was to seize state power and the rest would fall into place. A compromise was made with corporate power and the national democratic revolution has in fact become the tool of a small black elite, tied to political power.

However, Southall said that he avoided a radical approach in Liberation Movement in Power as it can lead to unrealistic expectations and ignores a basic point – we may not like multi-national corporations but we have to live with them.

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