[LISTEN] Indigenous language preservation project underway
One of the most important Heritage preservation projects is currently underway in the country.
Teachers, people of the cloth, and traditional leaders are the majority contributing authors of the 186 writings.
The writings were handwritten and then typed between 1930 and 1950 in several indigenous languages from South Africa.
Azania Mosaka speaks to publisher at SA Heritage Publishers Terence Ball and translation expert Cullen Mackenzie about the project.
The documentation was in fact driven by a man who spoke all of our official languages fluently and was concerned that the traditional way of life of South African's indigenous people was slowly disappearing.Terence Ball, Publisher - SA Heritage Publishers
What we are doing now is transcribing all of the indigenous language material into the current autography of our indigenous languages and then transcribing them into English so that everyone can learn something.Terence Ball, Publisher - SA Heritage Publishers
Ball adds that there is a huge gap in the knowledge of the heritage of South Africans amongst themselves.
Mackenzie says he became interested in the project and got to translate the Zulu writings.
The challenge immediately we the fact that these stories that were being written down were being told in dialect, there were being told in an arcing form of the language.Cullen Mackenzie, Translation expert
Initially, it was a bit of a challenge to try and figure out what was being said in the indigenous language but once we found a way in, it was then a matter of seeking out words that had fallen into disuse. These lost words were beautiful.Cullen Mackenzie, Translation expert
Listen to the full interview below:
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