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8 Must-Read Articles about Language and Translation from Think Africa Press


If you’re not a follower of Think Africa Press, then you should be. A great source of news and opinion on all things Africa related, we thought we would introduce you to their website through 8 of their best articles!

Naturally all of the articles we have picked are about the current development of language in Africa and how this is impacting governments, business and people. Some focus specifically on the area of localization, others on how identities are evolving and local languages gaining in credence. All are a great read and a fantastic introduction to some of the current changes going on in the continent.

1: Wolof 2.0: Spoken Languages in a Digital Age

A fascinating look at how mobile phones and new technology in Senegal is empowering the online generation to communicate in their native tongue, Wolof. Graffiti artists are using the language and advertisers increasingly following suit by using Wolof phrases on their billboard advertisements. A sign of things to come across the continent maybe?

Read the article here

2.  Drought in Namibia: Snapshot of the Future?

Drought in Namibia is causing concern. The Ministry for Environment and Tourism has  investmented in climate adaptation solutions, particularly in rural settings. Toolkits have been produced and translated into several local languages, offering advice to communities demonstrating the power of online translations.

Read the article here

3. iTeachers and Apps in Malawi: Downloading or Downgrading Education?

About an app called ‘Masamu’, which means Mathematics in a number of Southern African languages. It was developed by EuroTalk, a language learning publisher and is used on electronic tablets. It is designed to help improve numeracy among children in the first two years of primary education and has been translated into the local language, Chichewa.

Read the article here

4. Speaking the Same Language? Africa and the Future of la Francophonie

As English becomes more and more the norm across Africa, this article explores why this is happening and the impact it will have not only on the French language but also the role of France within Africa.

Read the article here

5. Sheng: Language of Empowerment or Disobedience?

A wonderful look at Sheng, a modern, buzzing language being spoken in Kenya and how this slang lingo is becoming part of everyday life and slowly gaining a sense of  legitimacy in Kenya.

Read the article here

6. Hold Your Tongue: Yoruba in the Diaspora

Toluwanimi Malomo writes about experiences of those who speak the Yoruba language outside of West Africa. A reflection upon the experiences of the diaspora and their connection to Yoruba culture and identity.

Read the article here

7. The Weight of History: Ethnic Identity and Colonial Rule in Uganda

An historical journey through Uganda’s past, examining how colonial rule impacted the dynamics of ethnic relations and the role of post-colonial politics in the development of language use withing the country.

Read the article here

8. How To Name Your African Nation

An insightful article looking at how African nations chose their names. In light of the recent addition of South Sudan to the world map, it’s a wonderful look at the complexities behind choosing a name including how linguistic diversity within a country can cause all sorts of issues.

Read the article here


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