Indigenous Language Initiative Launched in Namibia

Indigenous Voice
Indigenous Voice14 Dec 2014, Sunday
Indigenous Language Initiative Launched in Namibia

Information and Communication Technology Minister Joël Kaapanda already in 2013 tasked Unam through its Department of Language and Literature Studies to develop more indigenous languages courses to facilitate translations and dissemination of information through the print and electronic media.

Professor Jairos Kangira, Head of the Department of Languages and Literature Studies at Unam, said the initiative is a platform for the recognition of community language varieties, thereby working towards saving some endangered indigenous languages.

Nipam's Executive Director Professor Joseph Diescho said the institution is currently hard at work to prepare a glossary and select translators from various indigenous language groups to prepare them to properly translate indigenous languages simultaneously at national gatherings.

"If we want to transform the public service we need to start with their own needs. Part of this training will go with the induction of members of parliament and Cabinet so that they have material to use when consulting or addressing indigenous communities anywhere in the country," he said.

The Namibian Language Policy of 2003 stipulates that indigenous languages should be strengthened by linguistic development through, amongst others, standardisation and the coining of new words.