The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) is a body in South Africa which focuses on developing and promoting African Indigenous Languages. One of it’s legs, the National Lexicography Unit (NLU), is responsible for developing the terminology of all 11 SA official languages. In turn, the lexicography unit Sefala, is responsible for developing and promoting Setswana terminologies and dictionaries.
One of our lecturers, Mrs. Dolly Dlavane, is the deputy Chairperson of Sefala. Recently, Sefala was responsible for the development and compilation of a new Setswana monolingual dictionary (Thanodi ya Setswana) and it was launched on the 16th July 2009. Setswana experts in South Africa and neighbouring countries worked on this project on a voluntary basis and it took ten years to complete.
Speaking at the launch, Dr. Semane Molotlegi said that the dictionary will help to restore the culture of the Batswana people, as the young generations will be able to refer to it for proper use of Setswana words. She said that she believes that the dictionary will heighten academic excellence as learners can now consult an academic work of reference for terminology in their own language.
Mrs. Dlavane emphasised the significance of such a dictionary in order to lay a solid foundation for the psycho-social development of Setswana learners, as conceptual development usually takes place in learners’ mother tongue. Developing and valuing mother tongue education also guarantees cognitive equilibrium which in turn builds self esteem.
To find out more, contact Mr Ntshale Phalatse, the marketing manager of Sefala at (018) 389 2088.