Modern dictionary

2010-10-02 00:00

OXFORD University Press Southern Africa yesterday launched the first new IsiZulu-English bilingual dictionary in 40 years at Zimbali Lodge outside Durban.

Attended by IsiZulu academics and language specialists the launch also saw 11 underprivileged KwaZulu-Natal schools, four primary and seven secondary schools receiving the oxford dictionaries, atlases and study guides worth R200 000.

Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, president of the Inkatha Freedom Party and a patron of the Education Coalition of South Africa who was the keynote speaker thanked Oxford University Press of Southern Africa for what he called “a wonderful initiative” and for making a difference in South African education.

He said the English-Zulu school dictionary or IsiZulu-IsiNgisi Isichazamazwi Sesikole as it is known in IsiZulu would not only help Zulu learners who wanted to know English and English learners who wanted to know IsiZulu but would assist people in general in learning both of these languages.

He said it would also help improve comprehension for Zulu learners at school and improve their language skills.

Buthelezi who is also the traditional prime minister of the Zulu nation said the launch of the dictionary “speak to my long commitment to education,”

“A bilingual dictionary can also improve learner’s understanding of their readers and literature books, as well as their textbooks in other subjects,” he said.

Meanwhile Lieze Kotze, managing director of Oxford University Press of Southern Africa said the work on the dictionary took three years to complete.

She said the new edition from the one made 40 years ago was more modern than the last one and included 5000 more words.

She said the 2, 8 million learners who took IsiZulu as their first language would benefit especially those from grade 4-9.

She however warned that the dictionary did not contain each and every IsiZulu word but that the new edition had sought to boost multilingualism in South African schools.

Buthelezi handed over the Oxford dictionaries and other curriculum compliant resources to the Khanyisa Development Trust, a non-profit organization working to improve the quality of education in rural KwaZulu-Natal schools.

The trust is the one which identified the 11 schools who were the benefactors yesterday.

“I am delighted that the Oxford University Press Southern Africa proactively discovered the need for a new bilingual IsiZulu- English dictionary and sought to meet the need. I am also pleased by your generosity in sponsoring the Khanyisa Development Trust to ensure that these dictionaries would be used as learning aids in the places they are needed the most, in our poorest communities,” Buthelezi said

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