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African Languages

Why Study African Languages?

African languages are increasingly making their mark in the post-apartheid corporate and public spheres, with different companies and government departments introducing language policy adjustments that are in tandem with the National Language Policy Framework. Expertise in African languages in these different spheres is therefore becoming a requirement as can be seen in media (both broadcast and print), in education, law, and the financial sector.

Possible careers paths with an African language major are: Education (secondary schools, institutions of higher learning, ABET), translation/interpreting, prose/poetry or scriptwriting, language advice in cultural industries, HTL, language policy and planning, publishing, materials development, copywriting and creative strategy in advertising, content authorship for new technologies, communications, and lexicography (the creation of dictionaries, spell-checker software), national language policy-making.

Research Profile

An important research trajectory in the field of African languages is the critical study of films and media in African languages. Both these fields are new and under-researched and hold great potential within the South African academy. Other research in the department looks at African-language popular culture, arts, literature, linguistics, computational linguistics, second language pedagogies, and materials development (currently for CAPS).