Indigenous languages still marginalised: expert

South Africa has 11 official languages. English, however, remains the most used in business, academics and administration. As we celebrate Heritage Day, we explore the importance of South Africans learning each others' languages to promote social cohesion, nation-building and inter-cultural understanding. Courtesy #DStv403

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa has eleven official languages.

English, however, remains the most used in business, academics and administration.

READ: Talking diversity: how accent discrimination affects SA

As we celebrate Heritage Day, we explore the importance of  South Africans learning each other's language to promote social cohesion, nation-building and intercultural understanding.

There's a need for all South African languages to be treated equally, according to Nobuhle Hlongwa from the School of Arts at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

She says English continues to enjoy hegemony at the expense of indigenous languages.

Hlongwa said, "it is very important for all of us as SA to learn each others' languages, so each and every South African must make sure that they learn an additional language in addition to their mother tongue."

"We come from the system where English and Afrikaans were promoted and were used as official languages for a long time."

"So even in the democratic SA we still continue to see the hegemony of English. If you look at South African schools, English remains a language that each learner has to pass."

"So by so doing as SA, we are still continuing to instil that English is more important than other languages and it is not supposed to be like that," Hlongwa said.

Source
eNCA