Archive for the ‘Zulu’ Category

Modern Zulu

Posted on January 29th, 2013by jake
In Zulu | Leave a Comment »

Throughout history great novelists have influenced and expanded their native languages. Dante added to Italian, Shakespeare coined many words for English, and now Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi created ’450 new words in Zulu, the mother tongue of a quarter of South Africa’s 50 million population.’ Mbuyazi wanted to write a novel in his native language but found that many words he wanted to use did not exist in Zulu.

His book, titled “Amayiphendleya,” is an adventure tale about four teenage boys and the wonders of technology. For the first time in Zulu history they come across an isilolongamoya — a machine that controls the air temperature, or air conditioner. They also come to terms with umnukubalo, (pollution) and with ubungqonela (domination), both words derived from their function or sound.

Many people dislike the idea of creating new Zulu words as they wish to keep the language “pure”. Mbuyazi rejects this idea however claiming that if Zulu does not keep up with the times the language will eventually be left behind.

He hopes that the new words will catch on with the legions people who speak Zulu as a first and second language, and eventually become part of everyday vocabulary. But the author’s own path shows how many hurdles exist. He had to set up his own publishing company after several mainstream houses turned him down, saying there was “no market for Zulu literature.” A recent industry survey showed no Zulu books were published in 2011, except for school books.

It is baffling that publishing houses do not think 12.5 million people whose mother tongue is Zulu do not constitute as a viable market. This astounding statistic just highlights the importance of Mbuyazi’s work and the necessity of Zulu to keep up with the times.

via: Oman Observer

New English-Zulu dictionary

Posted on September 9th, 2010by Michelle
In Culture, Education, English, Zulu | Leave a Comment »

The first English-Zulu dictionary for more than 40 years has been published in South Africa.

Zulu is South Africa’s most common African language, and it is hoped the new dictionary will help break down the language barriers in a country where English is the main language used for business and politics. Zulus are the largest ethnic group in the country, and 2.8 million school pupils study the language.

South Africa has 11 different official languages. Many children speak Zulu at home but are taught in English at school. It is hoped the dictionary will bring together children who speak Zulu and English.

Megan Hall, the publisher’s manager for dictionaries, said: “To our knowledge the last substantial bilingual Zulu dictionary was published more than four decades ago. A great deal has changed since then – in the world around us, the language we use to talk about it, as well as in the way we now make dictionaries.”

Hall said the book had been an “enormous project” that took more than three and a half years and involved an international team of academics, teachers, language experts and specialist lexicographers. “It’s taken so long because it’s an exceptionally difficult job.”

It included research with sample entries at schools in the Zulu heartland, KwaZulu-Natal province. “We found out that teachers wanted key curriculum words included in the dictionary, together with definitions – something never done before in a bilingual dictionary of this sort,” Hall said. “So we selected terms from textbooks across the curriculum, like acid, greenhouse effect and multiply, and gave learners and teachers the support they’d asked for.” (Source: The Guardian)

Take a look at the full article for some examples of Zulu translated into English.