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2022 ◽  
Vol 4 (1) ◽  
pp. 01-08

In a situation of illiteracy at a rate of 54%, with over 80% of the population not speaking French (ANSD, 2013), it is very difficult to carry out effective development policies in Senegal without taking into account the language issue. From this point of view, the FCFA currency, which is expressed in French, poses a lot of problems for the African populations of the franc zone. The debate around this currency has so far been more focused on financial or fiduciary aspects than on the fundamental mechanisms that help to better understand the environment in which economic agents operate. Beyond its linguistic symbolism steeped in history, the FCFA creates cognitive problems that make it difficult for African populations to use it. We will try in this article to show, by an analytical approach, that the denomination of a currency involves the interaction of several fields of investigation. These are economic, historical, sociological, political, and above all, linguistic. From this angle, there is reason to be interested in the Academy of African Languages (ACALAN) in the resolution of this unit of measurement.

2022 ◽  
pp. 026553222110637
Carien Wilsenach ◽  
Maxine Schaefer

Multilingualism in education is encouraged in South Africa, and children are expected to become bilingual and biliterate during the early primary grades. Much focus has been placed on measuring literacy in children’s first language, often the medium of instruction (MOI), and English, the language typically used as MOI from fourth grade. However, vocabulary development in African contexts is underexplored, owing to the cost of existing English standardized tests, and the comparatively fewer linguistically and contextually appropriate vocabulary assessments in African languages. To address this gap, we document the development of corpus-informed contextually appropriate tests of productive vocabulary in isiZulu, Siswati, and English, which were used for a project evaluation. The initial validation phase included 412 children. Both tests were reliable and were concurrently validated with reading comprehension tests in each language, and oral language skills in English. This study contributes to our understanding of the factors that affect the variation in vocabulary knowledge in an African context, including age, grade repetition, and vocabulary in the other language. Only English vocabulary was affected by the remote rural location of the school. We recommend some modifications to the tests before they are validated further in other populations.

2022 ◽  
pp. 152-161
Mokgale Makgopa

Indigenous languages are the carriers of the communication, culture, and identity. It is through language that one expresses one's thoughts, emotions, and feelings. Unfortunately, colonialism created serious problems and obstacles in the development of African indigenous languages. European languages are used in Africa, rated as official languages of African countries while indigenous languages are sidelined and marginalized. Africa's own vision of decolonization, self-realization, and African Renaissance will always be a dream if African languages don't reclaim their rightful position in Africa. Intellectual decolonization is prudent for the realization of emancipation of the indigenous languages.

2021 ◽  
Vol 5 (1.2) ◽  
pp. 1-13
Akinloye Ojo

 The ever-popular discussion in African literary circles is critically about language choices that African writers make in their creative endeavors. This is part of this write-up’s focus plus the plight of African languages with attention to the benefit and challenges for their empowerment. We set out to achieve two goals in this essay; first contributing to the ongoing discussions on African mother tongues, their vital roles in African literatures while characterizing pointers on proficiency and performance. Second, considering the use of Yoruba language in creative works of late Akínwùmí Oròjídé Iṣọ̀lá. Expectedly, the latter goal will exemplify the importance of indigenous languages to African writers. In pursuance of these dual goals, it is critical to highlight areas in which African writers, especially those writing in their native African languages, have endured to play crucial roles in promotion of African languages. These highlighted areas go beyond now fashionable and expressed goal of focusing on literature in African languages (splendor in African languages) onto push for fairness for languages and their speakers (linguistic justice).

2021 ◽  
Vol 3 (2) ◽  
pp. 1-10
Adeshina Afolayan

Let us begin with an unfortunate fact: Adébáyọ̀ Fálétí is one major writer that is hardly anthologized. The problem could not have been that he wrote in Yorùbá because Fágúnwà is far more anthologized than he is. Simon Gikandi’s edited Encyclopedia of African Literature (2003) has an entry and other multiple references to Fágúnwà. There is only one reference to Fálétí which is found in the index without any accompanying instance in the work. In Irele and Gikandi’s edited volumes, The Cambridge History of African and Caribbean Literature (2004), Fálétí only managed an appearance in the bibliography that featured four of his works—Wọn Rò Pé Wèrè Ni ́ (1965), Ọmọ Olókùn Ẹṣin (1969), Baṣòrun Gáà (1972) and Ìdààmú Páàdì Mínkáílù (1974). In the preface, Irele and Gikandi write: The scholarly interest in African orality also drew attention to the considerable body of literature in the African languages that had come into existence as a consequence of the reduction of these languages to writing, one of the enduring effects of Christian evangelization. The ancient tradition of Ethiopian literature in Ge’ez, and modern works like Thomas Mofolo’s Shaka in the Sotho language, and the series of Yorùbá novels by D. O. Fágúnwà, were thus able finally to receive the consideration they deserved. African-language literatures came to be regarded as a distinct province of the general landscape of imaginative life and literary activity on the African continent (2004, xiii). Essays 60 Adeshina Afolayan In fact, the publication of Fágúnwà’s Ògbójù Ọdẹ Nínú Igbó Ìrúnmalẹ (The ̀ Intrepid Hunter in the Forest of Spirits, 1938) made the chronology of literary events in Africa, and it misses out Fálétí’s 1965 work. In her “Literature in Yorùbá: poetry and prose; traveling theater and modern drama,” in the same volume, Karin Barber seems to redress this imbalance when she gives a place to Fálétí in her discussion of post-Fágúnwà writers. According to her, In the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s there was an explosion of literary creativity, with many new authors emerging and pioneering new styles and themes. Among the most prominent were Adébáyọ Fálétí whose ̀ Ọmọ Olókùn Ẹṣin (1969) is a historical novel dealing with a revolt against the overlordship of Ọyọ, and Ọládèjọ Òkédìjí, author of two brilliantly innovative crime thrillers (Àjà ló lẹrù, 1969, and Àgbàlagbà Akàn, 1971), as well as a more somber tragic novel of the destruction of a young boy who is relentlessly drawn into a life of crime in the underworld of Ifẹ (Atótó Arére, 1981). Notable also are Akínwùnmí Ìsòlá, whose university campus novel Ó le kú (1974) broke new ground in social setting and ambience; Afọlábí Ọlábímtán, author of several novels, including Kékeré Ẹkùn (1967), which deals with the conflicts arising from early Christian conversion in a small village, and Baba Rere! (1978), a contemporary satire on a corrupt big man; and Kólá Akínlàdé, prolific author of well-crafted detective stories such as Ta ló pa Ọmọ Ọba? (Who Killed the Prince’s Child?). These authors were all verbal stylists of a high order; they transformed the literary language, moving away from Fágúnwà’s rolling cadences to a more demotic, supple prose that successfully caught the accents of everyday life (2004, 368). While it may be misplaced to draw a comparison between Fágúnwà and Fálétí, there is a sense in which Fálétí’s demonstrates a more robust literary sensibility that goes beyond the allegorical into a realistic assessment of human relationship and sociality within the context of the Yorùbá cultural template. While Fágúnwà could not resist the influence of Christianity, and especially the allegorical motif of the journey in which humans encounter spiritual challenges (which John Bunyan’s Pilgrim Progress made popular), Fálétí is fundamentally a cultural connoisseur; a writer with a most intimate and dynamic understanding of the Yorùbá condition, especially in its conjunction with the political and sociocultural contexts of contemporary Nigeria. And we have Ọlátúndé Ọlátúnjí to thank for the deep exploration and interrogation of the fundamental poetic and literary nuances that Fálétí has left for us. In this essay, I will attempt to unearth the philosophical sensibility that undergirds Fálétí’s literary prowess, especially as demonstrated by his poems. Fálétí’s Philosophical Sensibility 61 Both the poets and the philosophers have always had one thing in common— the exploration of the possibilities that ideas and visions yield: As theoretical disciplines concerned with raising social consciousness, philosophy and literature engage in similar speculation about the good society and what is good for humanity. They influence thoughts about political currents and conditions. They can, for instance, lead the reader to critical reflections on the type of leaders suitable for a given society and on the degree of civic consciousness exercised by the people in protecting their rights. Philosophy and literature, equally, offer critical evaluation of existing and possible forms of political arrangements, beliefs and practices. In addition, they provide insights into political concepts and justification for normative judgements about politics and society. They also create awareness of possibilities for change (Okolo 2007, 1). Compared to Ọlátúnjí’s exploratory unraveling of Fálétí’s poetry, my objective is to enlist Fálétí as a poet that has not been given his due as one who is sensitive to the requirements of political philosophy and its objective of ensuring the imagination of a society that is properly ordered according to the imperatives of justice.  

2021 ◽  
Vol 4 (1) ◽  
pp. 1-9
Gabriel Ayoola

This essay examines the proverbs, and other wise-sayings as used in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart vis-à-vis the Ogunyemi’s Yoruba translations of the novel, Ìgbésí Ayé Okonkwo. The within-to-within approach is the lens through which the text and its Yoruba translation are explored. The approach establishes some level of similarities in the cultures and nuances of both languages (Igbo and Yoruba) due to their mutual intelligibility. The work encourages more translation of African novels written originally in English, French, or Portuguese into African languages. Doing so preserves the languages and cultures, the sustainability which Akinwumi Isola (2010) refers to as Literary Ecosystem. That is a way of giving back to the society from which the author got inspired. Further, there exists the idea of language retrieval, a process of translation which Isola viewed goes into translation when the novels involved are lexico-semantical and culturally close to each other.

Information ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 12 (12) ◽  
pp. 520
Jakobus S. du Toit ◽  
Martin J. Puttkammer

The creation of linguistic resources is crucial to the continued growth of research and development efforts in the field of natural language processing, especially for resource-scarce languages. In this paper, we describe the curation and annotation of corpora and the development of multiple linguistic technologies for four official South African languages, namely isiNdebele, Siswati, isiXhosa, and isiZulu. Development efforts included sourcing parallel data for these languages and annotating each on token, orthographic, morphological, and morphosyntactic levels. These sets were in turn used to create and evaluate three core technologies, viz. a lemmatizer, part-of-speech tagger, morphological analyzer for each of the languages. We report on the quality of these technologies which improve on previously developed rule-based technologies as part of a similar initiative in 2013. These resources are made publicly accessible through a local resource agency with the intention of fostering further development of both resources and technologies that may benefit the NLP industry in South Africa.

2021 ◽  
Vol 9 (1) ◽  
pp. 1
Aaron Mnguni

Language policies are the cornerstone that establish and maintain communication amongst people. Proper communication, particularly amongst speakers of many languages in a country such as South Africa hinges heavily on perceptions regarding the status of the languages used in that specific country. According to the Republic of South African Constitution (Act 108 of 1996), South Africa has eleven official languages. Nine of these official languages (the indigenous African languages), are regarded as historically disadvantaged, while the remaining two, viz. English and Afrikaans enjoyed official recognition under the then ‘apartheid’ era that lasted until 1994. The previously disadvantaged African languages still lag in terms of development, when compared to English and to a lesser extent, Afrikaans. To address this challenge and reverse the status quo, several measures have been undertaken by government, including the passing of an Act called, Use of Official Languages Act, 2012. This Act aims at managing the use of the official languages optimally, with special emphasis on the previously marginalised languages. South Africa is known for developing good language policies but often criticised for producing such good policies for one good purpose only - to display them in office shelves. Following this state of affairs, this article therefore examines the implementation challenges regarding this Act and suggest what could be done to successfully implement it in South Africa. Second, the article also seeks to alleviate the perceived apathy in implementing language policies, particularly in South Africa, and with implications for Africa as a whole.

2021 ◽  
Vol 3 ◽  
pp. 1-2
Serena Coetzee ◽  
Antony K. Cooper ◽  
Adedayo Adeleke ◽  
Maroale M. M. Chauke ◽  
Luna A. Girmay ◽  

2021 ◽  
Vol 5 (Supplement_1) ◽  
pp. 463-464
Kwame Akosah ◽  
Tetyana Shippee ◽  
Christina Rosebush ◽  
Wynfred Russell ◽  
Joseph Gaugler ◽  

Abstract Most African immigrants report that they had never heard about dementia until their arrival in the United States. Conversations and insights from project advisory board meetings of the African Immigrant Memory Loss and Dementia Education projects (5 conversations and 8 meetings in the Minneapolis area) reveal unique cultural and immigrant characteristics surrounding dementia terminology and awareness. Dementia is often lumped together with mental illness which is associated with stigma. In addition to the fear of bad news and death, mental health issues are often considered a result of witchcraft, spiritual attack or punishment. Additionally, there are no traditional or cultural words for dementia in many African languages and current terms used are related to mental illness and all have negative connotations. There is a need to identify appropriate words for dementia in many tribal and immigrant dialects that can facilitate dementia awareness and education programs in African communities.

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