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Multilingualism: Training and capacity building. Dr Mariëtta Alberts Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB). Outline of talk:. Introduction Language policy, planning and implications Multilingualism Terminology development Terminology management Terminology training

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multilingualism training and capacity building

Multilingualism: Training and capacity building

Dr Mariëtta Alberts

Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB)

outline of talk
Outline of talk:
  • Introduction
  • Language policy, planning and implications
  • Multilingualism
  • Terminology development
  • Terminology management
  • Terminology training
  • Multilingual terms for the HLT virtual network
  • Conclusion

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

introduction
Introduction
  • The language policy of a country influences language development.
  • The language policy of a country determines the number of languages to be developed, e.g.
    • Eastern Africa: Kiswahili (various national languages)
    • Namibia: One official language (English), 16 national languages
    • South Africa: 11 official languages (with special emphasis also on the development of South African Sign Language and Khoe and San languages)

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

language policy planning and implications
Language Policy, Planning and Implications
  • Section 6 of Chapter 1 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996) declared Sesotho sa Leboa, Setswana, Sesotho, Siswati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, IsiNdebele, IsiXhosa and IsiZulu as official languages.
  • “… the statemust take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of these languages”.

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

slide5
The language policy promotes the equitable use of the official languages.
  • It accommodates linguistic diversity.
  • It provides a regulatory framework to facilitate the effective implementation of the constitutional obligations concerning multilingualism.
  • Government documents “shall be made available in all 11 official languages”.

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

slide6
In cases where this is not feasible, national government departments “shall publish documents simultaneously in at least 6 official languages”:
    • Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English
    • One from the Nguni group; one from Sotho group.
  • Result to aim for: Enhanced communication between government and citizens.
  • National Treasury concluded several years ago that it is possible to implement a multilingual language policy. The expenditure is relatively small compared to overall departmental budgets.

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

multilingualism
Multilingualism
  • The concept “multilingualism” is very complex.
  • In Europe a different connotation is attached to the concept “multilingualism” than in Africa, i.e. Belgium three languages (Flemish, French, German) but spoken in distinctly different regions. Belgians may be fluent in all three languages – personal choice.
  • Multilingualism could also just mean that the European Union caters for more than one language.
  • In Africa several different languages are spoken within the same political and geographical areas.
  • It is impossible to be conversant in all these languages.

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

slide8
Governments need to recognize standard varieties spoken by majority groups to be declared official languages.
  • Languages foreign to Africa such as European languages are being used as lingua franca between the indigenous African communities.
  • Some of the official indigenous languages are totally neglected and left to die a natural death.
  • In South Africa the multilingual dispensation allows for languages to develop.

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

terminology as a discipline is
Terminology as a discipline is
  • governed by the language policy of the country;
  • at the service of the language policy of the reigning government, e.g. monolingual, bilingual or multilingual.
  • Compare South African situation:
    • previous dispensation: bilingual technical dictionaries and term lists
    • present dispensation:multilingual term lists

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

terminology development
Terminology development
  • Terminology is a strategic resource and has an important role in a country – especially in a multilingual country.
  • Effective economic, scientific and technical communication skills of the citizens of a country are developed through the use of correct terminology.
  • Although terminological and terminographical activities are not always cost-effective, they are of invaluablecultural, social, historical, functional, academic and scientificimportance.

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

slide11
The availability of multilingual polythematic terminology is an indicator of development.
  • Specialized communication has a central axle or hub in terminology.
  • Standardized terminology contributes to quality of translations, interpreting and subject related communication
  • Streamlined translation and interpreting services provide competitive advantages.
  • BUT: Language services need terminology!!!

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

slide12
The African languages can (like any other language) create terms for any concept, in Science, Technology, Economy, etc.
  • Polythematic terms are available in the African languages, but these terms are not documented and therefore not standardized.
  • Unfortunately several term variations exist for the same concept.
  • Cooperation is needed. Language offices should work together on similar projects – contact TCS, NLS or PanSALB for information on ongoing projects.

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

terminology management
Terminology management
  • Trained terminologists should
    • Excerpt source language (SL) terms from relevant material (translated texts; text books; subject-related journals, …)
    • Explain concepts in context; define terms
    • Supply relevant terminological information
    • Supply target language (TL) equivalents
    • Compile a draft term list for discussion by working group consisting of subject specialists and linguists (e.g. NLBs)
    • Change database according to feedback
  • Request National Language Bodies (PanSALB) to verify and authenticate terms
  • Disseminate terminology to end-users (subject specialists, language practitioners, laypeople…) through term lists, CD-ROM, Intranet, Internet, …

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

slide14

Client

Multilingual terminology list (SL + TLs)

Head of Terminology Office

System Development & Research

Needs assessment, prioritization

Data management & Publication

Print dictionary SL & TLs

Terminography Section

Excerpt SL terms

Define SL concepts

Terminology Section

Supply translation equivalents in TLs

IsiXhosa Tshivenda Sesotho Afrikaans

isiZulu Xitsonga Sesotho sa Leboa

IsiNdebele Setswana

Siswati

Natural Sciences Life Sciences Human Sciences Commercial Sciences

Consultation - Source Language

Consultation - Target language(s)

Subject specialists Linguists Language Users

Subject specialists Linguists Language Users

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

terminology management15
Terminology management
  • Dedicated software is needed for terminology management
  • The compilation of a terminology list is a time-consuming task
  • It is a specialized task that needs commitment and devotion from
    • subject specialists
    • trained terminologists
    • language practitioners, linguists (e.g. NLBs)
  • End-result:
    • enhancement of subject area
    • better / exact communication
    • development of languages into functional languages

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

terminology training
Terminology Training
  • There is an urgent need for trained terminologists.
  • Terminology training is presented at SA universities as modules for lexicography or translation studies.
  • In-service training is needed to equip language practitioners (terminologists, translators, editors, interpreters, …)
  • PanSALB provides terminology training to interested individuals, institutions, government departments, …
  • Basic principles and practices underpinning terminology and terminography are included in the training sessions.
  • The training assists with capacity building of employees.

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

slide17

Individuals, Institutions, Government departments

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

slide18

Multilingual terms for the HLT virtual network

  • SA Government has approved the development of a human language technology (HLT) virtual network.
  • All lexicography and terminology endeavours will be part of HLT virtual network - multilingual terms will be supplied to HLT virtual network.
  • Information on governmental issues will be available to end-users (subject specialists, students, language practitioners, general public) in all official languages.

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

slide19
Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008
in conclusion
In conclusion
  • Terminology development goes hand in hand with language development.
  • Terminology plays a pivotal role in multilingualism – but we need trained terminologists!
  • A language can only become a functional language in all spheres of life if first language speakers would use their language where and whenever possible – i.e. in the working environment.
  • Functional official languages will enhance multilingualism!

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008

thank you
THANK YOU!

Dr Mariëtta Alberts

PanSALB

Private Bag X08

Arcadia

0007

Tel: 012 341 9638

Fax: 012 341 5938

E-mail: marietta@pansalb.org.za

Dr M Alberts, DPLG Conference on Multilingualism and Capacity Building Cape Town, 4 - 6 June 2008