MyNews24 is a user-generated section of The stories here come from users.

Comments: 8
Article views: 534
Latest Badges:

View all ShanduMul's badges.

We MUST learn vernac

25 May 2013, 09:15

There is no need to learn vernacular languages in Higher Institutes of learning They say. English will get you further because it is the language used in business and other formal platforms They remark.

What businesses are these and what formal platforms do they speak of? They have shown great disdain for the University of Kwazulu-Natal's (UKZN) decision to make Isizulu a compulsory semester course for all first year students. Why?

They say that this is a waste of time and it is wrong to force a language on people. They forget that if it were not for colonisation, English would be foreign to us as Africans. They forget that English was, and still is technically forced on us every single day.

They, represent all the people in our country who have come to believe that English is not only a better language but a superior one too. They, represent those people who think learning Isizulu is worthless and it would be more worthwhile to learn Mandarin or French. They, are black, white, Indian and coloured and Asian. They are elitist South Africa.

I sat in court this entire week. And the only case I heard that was conducted solely in English was in the South Gauteng High Court and was between business men. The rest, were in Johannesburg's magistrate court and were conducted in two or more languages.

The languages used varied from Sesotho to Portuguese. It was interesting and also sad to watch. There were people who looked as though they did not understand what they had been charged for or why they had been sitting in a holding cell for up to 37 days.

One case that stood out to me was one where I understood both languages being used. The man, who was accused of assaulting his baby's mother was originally from Bethlehem and communicated best in Sesotho.

At some point during his cross-examination the State Prosecutor asked him something which the court interpreter completely botched. I was shocked. It was a completely different question to what the prosecutor asked and because she [the prosecutor] did not understand Sesotho, she just assumed the accused was being evasive and moved on.

After the trial I asked one of the attorneys if this was a common occurrence in the court. He said yes and proceeded to tell me that often attorneys ignore messages that are lost in translation when this works in their favour. He said often people were convicted for crimes simply because their testimonies were weak due to misinterpretations.

They say in formal platforms African languages are not used and it is not necessary to learn them. They say African languages are simply for leisure. They are wrong. If an attorney can lose a case because he was not aware that the interpreter misinterpreted his clients' testimonies, then They are misguided.

We live in a country that is rich with culture and it is sad to know that most people only learn two if not one of our 11 official languages in their lifetime.

I am a 23-year-old female. My mother tongue is Tshivenda and I am proud to say I am multilingual. It is enriching to be able to communicate with most people I meet in their mother tongue. It allows you to interact with people from all walks of life and makes life interesting.

Also, fewer people can gossip about me.

I personally believe that every South African should know a minimum of three languages. It just makes sense.

The argument that English is the "professional" language of South Africa is baseless. No one is saying we must be taught in our vernacular languages relax. All we are saying learn them along with your English.

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
No.You're a handbag
Not All Muslims Are Terrorists

In the wake of several attacks around the world claimed by ISIS, Boko Haram and a variety of Al Qaeda affiliates, there's been a backlash against Muslims, and it's not fair.  Read more...

0 comments 1060 views
Submitted by
Bobby Shabangu
The Plight of Poverty in Zimbabwe

I'm looking at this photo that's trending on social media, of two Zimbabwean women who work at a butchery, and have been caught with stolen meat hidden on their bodies... Read more...

0 comments 405 views
Submitted by
Trudy Mhluli
Forgetting your roots Commissione...

Members of the Department of Correctional Services have for years been burdened with the fact that it’s National Commissioner that was serving the department lacked experienced and understanding of the circumstances under which its members are supposed to be performing at optimum levels with loyalty and dedication being appointed from outside of its own ranks. Read more...

0 comments 86 views
Submitted by
David Hill608
Terrorism is a consequence of the...

Terrorism is a consequence of the different types of environments that people are born into in the main and not until the root causes of terrorism are addressed in practical terms, the growth in terrorism will continue. Read more...

0 comments 46 views
State and institutions of higher ...

The debate around institutional autonomy and academic freedom is not new in the circles of students’ movement, university managers such as Vice – Chancellors and by the government through the Ministry of Higher Education.  Read more...

0 comments 59 views
Submitted by
Owen Simons
Kicking dust in the face of the P...

I would like to think of myself as a reasonable, and reasoned person.That is when my basic sense of what is right or wrong is not offended. Read more...

0 comments 787 views


E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

Interactive Advertising Bureau
© 2015 All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.