Health department wants to go trilingual

2015-05-29 19:07


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Johannesburg - In an effort to improve its language policy, the national health department wants to provide official communication in three official languages according to a Government Gazette notice published on Wednesday.

The department was inviting members of the public to comment on the notice.

It said, based on South Africa's language distribution, there are 11 official languages - it picked English, Zulu and Sesotho.

International communication, inter and intra-government communication and communication of its website and social media would be done only in English.

Corporate publications of the department and written communication with the public would be done in English, Sesotho and Zulu.

Figures issued by the department showed majority of people spoke Zulu (23.82%) as a home language, while 9.39% spoke Sesotho and 8.2% English.

Oral communication with the public, public hearings and educational material for health promotion and outbreaks would be done in all 11 official languages, taking into account regional circumstances.

Members of the public could notify the department in writing if they wanted to communicate with it in a language not one of the official ones.

The same went for those who wanted to communicate in South Africa Sign Language.

Read more on:    department of health  |  health  |  language

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