|Can the new African Language dictionaries empower the African language speakers of South Africa or are they just a half-hearted implementation of language policies?
|Language planning was always a very sensitive topic in South Africa, as language was used to separate people during apartheid. This presentation analyses three different Sesotho sa Leboa dictionaries, which can be seen as examples of a successful implementation of language policies. The policies which are discussed here are the constitution of the Republic of South Africa form 1996, The National Lexicographic Units Bill from 1996 and the South African Languages Bill from 2000. The main objective of those language policies is the development and promotion of the eleven official South African languages. Dictionaries are one possibility to develop languages,i.e. they describe the standardised variety of a language. They can be used as tools to promote the African languages, as they are the visible proof that the language has the words to be used in a specific situation, for example a dictionary of Maths shows that the language has words for mathematical concepts.
The three dictionaries which are discussed here are a Sesotho sa Leboa – English general dictionary which was published by the Sesotho sa Leboa National Lexicographic Unit, a bilingual Sesotho sa Leboa English school dictionary published by OUP South Africa and a Sesotho sa Leboa – English online dictionary published by TshwaneDJe HLT. This presentation discusses the advantages of each dictionary and shows that they all can empower their users but that none of the three dictionaries can cater for everybody in all situations because there is no such thing as THE dictionary that provides a solution for everything.
|Lexicography of Lesser Used or Non-State Languages