Template talk:Languages of South Africa

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Changing the names[edit]

If I recall correctly, these are the names used in the Constitution. Since this is the oficial Languages of South Africa template I felt it appropriate to use the official names.

This is not that big a deal, actually. Simply afford the people the dignity of calling them by the names they call themselves. The English language and English speaking people generally have absolutely no interest in eg isiZulu, so how about on those rare occasions they do refer to the language they use the correct name without rationalising and being pedantic about differing Grammars?

Also, this argument about English using French/Spanish/Greek instead of the native names. There's very little about the French that's "foreign". I believe it was 2000 years ago when the Romans were fighting Germanic "tribes" (whom they called "barbarians" since they didn't shave their weirdly coloured facial hair as often as the Romans did) in Germania. They share a very long history with wars, invasions, occupations, and lots of language borrowing. So the argument of giving other "foreign" language names doesn't work if these are your examples. Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 09:57, 2 June 2006 (UTC)

Um. I don't follow that logic - in what way is French not foreign to English-speakers? I certainly can't understand a word of it! But nevermind - fair enough to use the official names from the Constitution if it's an official template. The simple fact of the matter is though, that whether or not it should be, "Zulu" is more common than "isiZulu" in international English (arguably, not in South African English) and templates like that for the official languages of the European Union use the English names. But it is probably easier to use the original names since which have become standard in English is pretty random (why do we use "Sesotho" but not "isiXhosa"? etc) Joziboy 28 June 2006, 07:41 (UTC)

Sorry, I was rambling. French history and culture are not foreign to the English. Why does English use "German" and "Dutch" when these words are so different from the native names? Because they understand them and have an ancient connection with them (after 2 World Wars they're still buddies). These are not "foreign" (the English people and their language and culture would be nothing like they are today without past interactions with these "foreigners"). So when speaking about English, it's falacious to compare eg isiZulu to French. Am I making sense, now?

Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 08:50, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Okay but now we come across the problem of there not being different words for South African English-speakers and "the English" (I presume you mean British?). Because sharing a language does not necessarily mean sharing a culture or identity - I feel foreign in the UK, even after three years. So there is no such thing as "English people and their language and culture"... but I do have a point. I can see where you're coming from if what you mean to say is that other European cultures had an impact on British culture (of course they did - the British still use many French expressions). But then I don't see how that's any different from the various South African languages and cultures having influenced South African English (the people and language). If anything, Zulu is a lot less foreign to me than French is to the British! We at least share a country and a history and (hopefully!) a future common identity. There has been interaction between black and white cultures in SA for a couple of hundred years now, which is exactly why white South African culture is no longer European. What I'm trying to say is, if you object to the term "foreign" being applied to the French or Germans, then you definitely have to object to it being used for the Basotho or Zulus. (Oh and calling it "Dutch" is a historical fuck-up: early Netherlanders were mistaken for Germans in England in whatever century it was and so it's a conversion of deutsch) Joziboy 28 June 2006, 09:09 (UTC)

No, I don't entirely agree with you. I mean English, not British (Germanic, not Celtic). My point is that all this sharing in the past has had a huge influence on the language and the people who speak it. Eg an old Sesotho name for isiXhosa is "Sethepu" meaning "language of the Thembu people". They can use weird names like this because they share a long history with them. Most English-speaking people don't even know what "Zulu" means (cf Oprah). In cases like these, where these words are not at all popular in the language, should not the names used by the people themselves be more important than words picked up from first impressions of (what is still to many English-speaking South Africans) a foreign culture? Khoza, Kaffirs, Sutu, Bechuana, Bastards, Hot-not - aren't you glad no one uses those names anymore? Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 10:11, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Yeah but that's exactly my point - sharing in the past has led to an influence in the language, which is exactly why South African English has diverged from British or American or Australian dialects. We have absorbed vocabulary from other South African languages in the way that British English has absorbed French and American English has borrowed Spanish words. (You'll find ubuntu, sangoma, inyanga, shongololo, tsotsi etc in the SA English Dictionary) So if your theory of familiarity holds, then SA English has the right to use it's own names for Zulu etc (but international English - like Oprah - does not). I reckon "Zulu" is a pretty well-known name internationally though - it's even the word for the letter Z in that funny alphabet (the one with alpha, bravo, foxtrot etc... what's it called?). In Zulu, English is known as isiNgisi, not English ;) Joziboy 28 June 2006, 17:25 (UTC)

Dude, you don't use "shongololo" as often as eg "stupid" (which is Latin via French). Don't try to convince me that SAE has been greatly influence by SA Kintu languages. Open any random page in your ODSAE and look at the etymologies. "IsiNgisi": the grammar requires the class prefix (nothing in English requires it to not accept the prefixes); the phonetics don't allow the "ngl" sequence so the "l" is dropped; the "s" I guess would be the only "mistake"; the phonetics do not allow closed syllables. There are no linguistic constraints which require English to use "Zulu". Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 19:07, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, but calling it "Zulu" isn't offensive to a Zulu-speaker (as far as I know?) so why try and change it? And I wasn't arguing that English is derived from Kintu languages - that's obviously rubbish. It's not even from the same family of languages - merely that it's been influenced by them. Joziboy 28 June 2006, 19:23 (UTC)

"Influenced"? Lending a handful of words is not "influencing". It is insulting; imagine someone stubbornly insisting on calling you by a name you do not call yourself, even though they know exactly what your correct name is. I think you might have misunderstood my reference to Oprah. Apparently DNA tests prove that she is "a Zulu"! Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 20:38, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

But that's exactly what languages do! That's why the comparison with French and German was given - in English they're not called francais and deutsch, even when we know that that is the "correct" name. Just as, in other languages, "English" will have a different form (anglais, engels, isiNgisi). Especially in the case of isiXhosa, that sound doesn't even exist in English which is why another version was adopted that agrees with the "linguistic constraints" (although, personally, I find it offensive when South Africans pronounce it Khosa, because we know better - but you can't expect other English-speakers to have a clue). You're right, nothing prevents English from using isiZulu, but amaZulu contradicts English plural rules.
Haha, yeah I'd heard that about Oprah. Funny how "Zulu genes" made it to 17th Century West Africa :) Joziboy 28 June 2006, 21:32 (UTC)

I'm disappointed in you; it's not "that sound", it's an aspirated lateral click! Unlike most languages, English is not limited to a certain orthography which faithfully reflects the pronunciation. Personally, I'm a bit unbalanced: I'd prefer an English speaker to pronounce "isiXhosa" properly but I don't really care about arty-farty pronunciations of French imports (I'm disappointed with Top Billing for this and other reasons, but that's off-topic). Most South Africans have more opportunities to hear "isiXhosa" pronounced properly than "cordon bleu" (my name is "Tebello"-"expectation", not "Thibelo"-"prevention", and my surname/praise-name is not "Thenjane" I don't know where that pronunciation comes from). The ODSAE doesn't respect the plural rules either, but you know what my preference is, and am I the only one who thinks "Zulus" is as insulting as "blacks"? Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 17:16, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Yeah, you see that's another reason I personally prefer to use 'Zulu' than 'isiZulu' etc - it just sounds affected to me, like pronouncing croissant the French way. There is a perfectly accepted English word for the Zulu language (and Sesotho, Xhosa (although, as I said, with a click... sorry, aspirated lateral click!)) so why use the Zulu word for Zulu? I don't expect people to call English "English" in other languages - if we all used each others names for everything we'd end up speaking their language rather than our own :) Hmm, I never thought "Zulus" sounded derogatory - but then I usually just use the adjective form of everything, since nouns sound aggressive (Jewish people rather than Jews, Zulu people rather than Zulus etc). Who knows? Guess time will tell which becomes the accepted term. Joziboy 19:19, 29 June 2006 (UTC) 29 June 2006, 19:19 (UTC

It's not changing the pronunciation it's changing the name. Ask yourself: is "Zulu" really "standard"? I don't think either term is used often enough in English to be able to decide that one is "standard", and with what is happening in South Africa (eg the ODSAE)... So how about, when talking about South African languages, we follow the (emerging) South African trend? Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 20:09, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

Of course, I'm only saying this since the "trend" matches my own beliefs, so... Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 20:12, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

I would just like to add my voice to the camp that thinks it is insane to use Zulu names (and the other non-English names) in an English encyclopedia. Should read articles use the "emerging trend" of non-native English pronunciation? (ala SABC journalists) Come on, many of these names do not even follow the rules of English morphology, like capitalisation. Angiqondi le ndawo yokocabanga. We honestly don't need to follow the clueless people who's only objective is polital correctness to make up for their conscience or something. Let's write English in the English encyclopedia, shall we? --19:28, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
I've been fighting this over at Talk:Sesotho language#Someone_please_help_me.. So, I'm importing a lot of what I'm saying here.
I definately agree that importing native terms on the English Wikipedia without a well established precident is bad. However, there is the possibility that it could catch on in English. English has a tendency to take terms from other languages at will. So, it's not uncommon that a word like isiZulu would be assimilated into English. From what I've learned, terms like isiZulu and isiXhosa have caught on in South-African English. However, they have not caught on in the rest of world. I am perfectly accepting to the fact that maybe, one day, it will. However, Zulu is still as perfectly valid South-African English as isiZulu is. Since Zulu is the term recognised in the greater, English-speaking world, it makes much more sense to utilise the terms Zulu or Xhosa instead of isiZulu and such.
I have asked, begged and pleaded for why converting these terms would be a bad idea (which I am perfectly willing to commit the time to do). I've even gotten a third opinion at WP:3O. I still haven't heard an answer. - D. Wo. 08:44, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Taejo! You're back! Broken isiXhosa and all (you swapt the last 2 words around). Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 19:52, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Okay, so I guess you're not Taejo, but editing without logging in to avoid responsibility is a very naughty thing to do... Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 13:11, 26 July 2006 (UTC)

If another opinion is needed, I think that in the English Wikipedia the article name should be Zulu. Wizzy 08:48, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

"Which I am perfectly willing to commit the time to do" - and I'm perfectly willing to revert you. I'll formulate a response and give it later today, and I don't want to hear any more talk of "I can make these changes at any time". In the meantime you can help improve the representation of African languages on Wikipedia by voting for bug 6695 on Bugzila (and you'll finally get to find out why I say there's no such thing as "seTswana"). Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 11:29, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Click here. Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 11:36, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

Zyxoas, I think you are being unnecessarily inflammatory on this issue. Dwo has been very polite, and I think he is correct. Wizzy 11:53, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

"Unnecessarily inflammatory", "polite"!? Perhaps that's the primary problem here - we're thinking on different wavelengths. Now, I promised everyone that I would respond today, but I won't let the fact that I was shopping the whole day, and on our way back the rear-left wheel of the "car" I was in suddenly decided to take a trajectory orthogonal to that of the car and one of the other occupants exhausted my airtime trying to get help, and I was unable to recharge later due to Vodacom's recharge service being down and I woke up 1 hour ago when I finally received SMS confirmation of my top-up. So it's only now, when I'm exhausted, that I'm able to access the internet with Opera Mini, but this, like caMelCase, is apparently not as important as the issue at hand.
Dwo's most pivotal point is what he perceives to be standard International English writing of these words. (continuing, please wait...)

Let's take "Tshivenda" as an example. NEWS FLASH: "Venda" is not an accepted International English term (ghasp!). Just like Palangi, Kgotla, and Lobolo it's use is largely isolated to a very small English-speaking community. The fact that some British historian might have used the term once in some book does not mean it is now standard English (serious!). Should I really be telling you people this!? He claims that Sesotho language is written in English and he doesn't really need to understand the subject to fix the content. Really!? Perhaps he could try making all those articles on theoretical Mathematics more accessible and to the point? How about fixing all those articles on music production that sound like they were written by over-enthusiastic talent-less amateurs. I can't think of specific examples right now but I can easily provide them on request. (continuing...)

It's generally accepted in most sane societies and structures (the U.S. government being an exception) that it's generally the people who have more knowledge of what they're talking about who should have a bigger say in how things should work. Here we have a non-South African who couldn't even get why "seTswana" was wrong trying very desperately to have his POV reflected in an article on a topic about which he knows nothing. I am the current Wikipedia expert on this topic and yet the burden of proof is on me!? So I'm sure you'll understand why I'm getting very annoyed by him and I wish he'd just go away? How about getting involved in a non-technical fight like over at Talk:Homophobia? Talk:Black people always has a "debate" on, and is full of people who don't know what they're talking about. Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 22:36, 28 July 2006 (UTC) - unless if you're User:Dwo.

Venda is not an accepted International English term - what is the proper term? I am a South African resident for 6 years - I have never heard it called anything else by English friends. I have also never heard English or Afrikaans speakers call the language or people anything other than Zulu. Wizzy 07:20, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Perhaps it interesting to note that my friends who speak Venda as native language call it "Venda" when speaking English. Just as my Sotho friends call their language Sotho when speaking English and my Zulu friends call their own language Zulu when speaking English. I have also only heard people talk about "Venda", and I'm here a few decades longer then Wikiwizzy.

How many of these English and Afrikaans friends of yours say "Mafikeng" instead "Mafeking"? How many of then know how to pronounce "Mpumalanga" properly? And "Xhosa" /"isiXhosa", how many pronounce that properly? Do they also pronounce Judge Nhlapo's name as "Nshapho" (if they care about the News - I don't)? This is not an English trend, it's a disturbing culture of people practically choosing to be ignorant about their own country. "I've never heard anyone saying that" is not a reason. I've never heard anyone using a lot of the English words I use often: biquadratic, Hilbert transform, fast Fourier transform, finite impulse response, DSP... Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 08:42, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and poor User:Joziboy has almost never heard anyone speaking isiZulu to him yet he's still learning the language. How about you? Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 08:50, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

Regarding Xhosa - yes that is the name of the language in English. This is not about pronounciation, it is about spelling. I don't know people from Mafeking. "I've never heard anyone saying that" is not a reason. Yes it is - this is the English wikipedia. The French call it Anglais - I don't make fun of them or tell them they are wrong. That is their name for the language. Wizzy 09:40, 31 July 2006 (UTC)
Zyxoas, regarding your complaint about pronunciation, one has to wonder if you feel the same about native speakers of Bantu languages that get pronunciations of English / Afrikaans things "wrong". We all know how these people have less differentiation between their vowels when they speak English than a native English speaker has. English simply has more vowel sounds. Rendition of word accent is also often different from that of a native English speaker. For me it is most natural that people will render foreign words in their native sound system. That is why people often have a noticable accent when they speak languages that are unrelated to their own, or that they have learnt later in their lives. Do you pronounce all Afrikaans words perfectly? The "mp" sound of Mpumalanga never occurs at the start of a word in English, and that will explain why people don't pronounce it as the Zulus would, for example. The "hl" sound of Nhlapo does not exist in English either, so they will also struggle to pronounce that. Same with the clicks. The Bantu languages simply has more consonant sounds. If you complain about Mafikeng, one has to wonder if you also complain about the Xhosas calling Cape Town "iKapa". Now that I mention it, why do we even call it Cape Town in English?

But there's no such thing as "Mafeking"... And I'm not making fun of anyone, I'm correcting you. Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 14:17, 31 July 2006 (UTC)

I still don't know anyone from there. However, I have attempted to keep the discussion on-topic - article names for language/people/culture in South Africa on the English wikipedia. Are we settled on Zulu language, Xhosa language, Venda language ? Wizzy 07:53, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Okay, that's fine, for now; the article names are okay, even if I think they're incorrect. When will these people stop trying to mess around with Sesotho language!? When will these mortals learn!? Buahaha! Although, someone has went as far as WP:WQA looking for that fabled third opinion, so this might not be over. Buahahahahaaaa! Mortal!
For the record, I don't know anyone from Mafikeng either. Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 08:29, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Actually, third opinion is at WP:3O which someone already placed and to which someone else responed. WP:WQA is not looking for a third opinion but looking for someone to tell you that you crossed the lines of common decency. - D. Wo. 18:18, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
Indeed, it seems Sesotho is a slightly different case, as 'Sotho language' can refer to more than one dialect? We should perhaps explain that on the talk page ? Wizzy 09:30, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
As I mention above, my Sotho friends call it Sotho when they speak English. If they refer to the Sotho family they call it the Sotho languages or something like that. It isn't really a problem. I think for an encyclopedia one can be pedantic and call it Southern Sotho where ambiguity is possible.

Personally, I'd prefer Sesotho languages. They are spoken by people who identify themselves as descendents of the ancient Basotho who lived in Zambia. It's just unfortunate that Moshoeshoe's kingdom adopted this name as it confuses many people. They're not dialects, but Northern Sesotho is actually not a language but a group of languages and dialects (they're simply called Northern Sesotho because they're not Setswana or Southern Sesotho; they vary wildly being influenced from all sides by Setswana, Sesotho, Xitsonga, and Tshivenda by varying degrees). Perhaps it would help if I tried to explain this completely on Talk:Sotho languages and Talk:Sesotho language. Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 11:14, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Please do. Or - write it up in article space somewhere (Sotho languages ?) and refer other talk pages there ? Wizzy 11:39, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Without references!? I could write something rather longish and dump it somewhere for your guys to fix? I can do that a lot quicker than what I've been "planning" for Sesotho language. Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 13:13, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

@Dwo: No, I crossed the lines of your perculiarly framed ego. Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 19:24, 1 August 2006 (UTC)

Here you go: WP:EQ. - D. Wo. 19:24, 1 August 2006 (UTC)
@165:
Well, I speak Sesotho, and I call it thus in English. However, The Constitution of the Country uses "Sesotho" and "Tshivenda" -- that's my primary point.
Yes, I do think that all South Africans should at least try to pronounce words from languages spoken by South Africans properly. Yes, people will most probably pronounce words from a non-native language with an accent (I don't pronounce English "r" properly, and I put of the vowels at slightly the wrong position, sometimes). I don't pronounce Afrikaans properly, primarily since I don't know the language very well; however, unlike isiZulu, it's not understood by half the people of South Africa, as well as significant numbers of people in other Southern African countries al the way up to Malawi. I don't speak Tshivenda and Xitsonga, but I still know when and how to pronounce "x", "dz", "zh", and "dzh" properly, and even the Tshivenda "l" -- it's not the most difficult thing on Earth to learn, and I don't speak isiXhosa very well, but I've taught myself to pronounce the 18 or so click consonants reasonably well...
What should really make us worry is that in a country where most of the people understand/speak various Kintu/Bantu languages, there seems to be determined effort by (I believe) many English speakers to treat the languages as a curiousity, and not a part of their everyday lives. This is not Kenya etc, and we're not a colony. It's not an extension of Europe -- it is Africa, and in Africa people use and respect African languages. Not that I'm saying that you do do this yourself, rather that your opinions on this languages issue may have, without you being aware of it, been influenced by people who do think like this.
See, the 2 "th" sounds in English do not exist in Sesotho, but I learnt to pronounce them (although not perfectly, I realised recently that I was incorrectly putting my tongue behind my teeth instead of between them, it's probably from watching too many Bollywood movies... :p). I made the effort. In a country where almost everyone understands isiZulu, I think that people who speak other languages should make the effort too, it's not like they're so stupid that they can only understand one language in a coutry with 11 official languages, right? (right? ;).
Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 10:23, 2 October 2006 (UTC)

..........

If anyone is still interested, the discussion continues in an altered form on Talk:Sesotho_language. It seems that the rough sort of consensus established here is maintained on the other Talk page. NguniTraveller 00:24, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

..........

I'm somewhat late to the party, but I want to register my agreement with Dwo and Wizzy (the other opinions and their holders I lost track of). Thus, I, too think that it is problably best, on the English Wikipedia, as a general rule, to use the names of Bantu languages without their noun class prefixes, e.g. Zulu, Xhosa, Sotho. The reason is quite simple: the Manual of Style stipulates that we should use the most common English terms on the English Wikipedia. Therefore, we have Germany instead of Deutschland; we have Dutch language rather than Nederlands language; we have Yoruba language and not Yorùbá language; we have Berber languages and not Tamazight languages; and we have Swahili language rather than Kiswahili language. I see no reason at all to deviate from that practice.
As noted elsewhere, there are some exceptions: Lingala for example is located at Lingala language, even though the li- could be analysed as a class 7 prefix. This is simply because it is most generally known as Lingala (in fact, I have never seen anyone use 'Ngala'). Remember that Wikipedia, as a reference work, should be descriptive, not prescriptive. The deciding criterion has to be how the language is most commonly known in English. — mark 13:45, 11 December 2006 (UTC)

...............

I'll weigh in late on this one also. There are a few threads that seem to go through this:

  • English names are made up/not historical/etc - they exist, dictionaries list them, missionaies used them, etc. I think this is rather a silly argument though and support those who say this is an English Wikipedia and we should use English names. Will the page on Afrikaans language in the Xhosa wikipedia use isiBhulu or will it be written as Afrikaners write it?
  • The contitutions uses prefixes - yes it does. For different reasons to what is being debated here. THe constitutions is about including all South Africans and I believe the English is the reference language. Thus it makes sense in a section empowering languages to truly empower them by using names in their mother-tongue spelling. A quick glance at the translations of te constitution will show that only Afrikaans and Ndebele respect this position. All other translations have the list of languages translated into the target language, i.e. not in the mother-tongue spelling.
  • Mother tongue speakers don't use these names and other pronounciation issues - this is an English wikipedia, enough said above about German vs Deutsch and Nederlands vs Dutch. Imagine if we actually wrote Japanese in its mother-tongue spelling, noone would be able to find the article.

I think it important to distinguish two things, empowering language and creating a useful Englush reference. I work at Translate.org.za when we create lists of languages we will use the mother-tongue name if we can. So for instance a user trying to find the Sotho Mozilla Firefox language pack will see Sesotho. We do this to avoid confusion for the user of the language. But when we create articles that will be translated we are less prescriptive but we almost always use mother-tongue renditions because we are about empowering languages of South Africa. So after saying all that we are less concerned that in this encyclopedia things are not perfect, but then lets be honest using mother-tongue names in an English encyclodia is not really correct according to the style guides, etc. And this is one place where I think language activism might not be appropriate. I would suggest a possible compromise. Lets put the names in English with the mother-tongue in brackets. E.g. Xhosa (isiXhosa), Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa Leboa). Dwayne Bailey 41.241.155.70 09:27, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Sepedi vs Sesotho sa Leboa[edit]

Should the name be "Sepedi", "Northern Sotho", or "Sesotho sa Leboa"?


Currently, the template matches the Constitution, but it's a fairly well known fact that the inclusion of "Sepedi" in the final Constitution was a huge blunder (the draft more correctly says "Northern Sotho"). IIRC the Pan South African Language Board uses "Northern Sotho" instead. Yet the SABC broadcasts news in "Sepedi", not "Sesotho sa Leboa"!


Should we, as Wikipedia, correct the Government's somewhat acknowledged error or should we stay true to the Constitution?


Indeed, a while ago I believe I read something about some body wanting to go to court to have the Constitution changed to correct this mistake, so it might still change in future.


Any thoughts? Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 11:16, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

After talking to the previous president of the Sesotho sa Leboa National Language Board (NLB) he confirms that the constitution is wrong. We don't need to go into the details of how this happened. But suffice to say that the previous language board for Northern Sotho, abolished in 1995 to make way for boards created by PanSALB (the body created through the constitutions to protect language rights), had an adhoc comittee on the naming of the language that voted in the majority to keep the name as Sesotho sa Leboa. The reason why Sepedi is incorrect linguistically is that it is one of abotu 30-40 dialects within the meta language known as Northern Sotho. Thus any calling the language Sepedi essentially all people who are not Bapedi are excluded. The interim constition in fact had Sesotho sa Leboa which simply changed in the final constitution to Sepedi. On a whim it seems as their is no linguistic logic behind this change. It must be noted that both PanSALB and the Northern Sotho National Language Board both refer to the language as Sesotho sa Leboa. I would recommend that it be changed accordingly. A constitutional ammendment will come but my guess is that this will take a very very long time. In the mean time lets try include all Nothern Sotho speakers not just hte Bapedi when we talk of their language. I wouldn't weigh in on the side of the SABC or in fact Arts and Culture as they are simply slaves to the constitutional rendering. I'd weigh in on the side of the people tasked with promoting, developing and protecting the language, i.e. the NLB and PanSALB. Dwayne Bailey 41.241.155.70 09:36, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Good points. I think I shall be changing it shortly. Also, what do you think of the article link to the isiNdebele in this template. What is it about, exactly? O_o Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 10:54, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Southern Ndebele is a Sotho-Tswana language? That's news to me, its an Nguni language. I guess they lost me from there on. -The preceding unsigned comment was added by 41.242.218.21 (talk) 07:34, 12 March 2007 (UTC).


The official language is an Nguni language very similar to isiZulu. There may indeed be a Tekela Nguni language and even a Sesotho language with similar names but that's not what the article should be about. I'm thinking that it might be better if I just went in there and deleted all contradictory content. Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 09:44, 12 March 2007 (UTC)

The spelling of Venda: Tshivenda or Tshivenḓa[edit]

What is the correct spelling of Venda in the mother-tongue? Is it Tshivenda or Tshivenḓa? Translators I speak to seem to support Tshivenḓa, but since they and PanSALB don't seem to be able to type any of ḓṱḽṋṅ they are tehmselves not consistent. Anyone have ideas and a pointer to something definitive or helpful? Dwayne Baile 41.241.155.70 13:33, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

The one with the weird d is the correct one. The sound is dental (where the sound in English "that" is a dental fricative, that weird Tshivenda d is a dental plosive). Obviously the n is dental too, due to nasal homogeneity (however it's spelt). Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 14:44, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
Added the ḓ - if you want to be PC you have to be fully PC, not this slapstick I can't type a d with circumflex below rubbish (like in the constitution) :) Dwayne 41.242.220.232 12:40, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Mr. Bailey. I told you you would go crazy! BUAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAA..... *cough*

Zyxoas (talk to me - I'll listen) 13:19, 19 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes we use d's and l's with circumflexe's underneath, if you cant live with it then dont bother learning the language, we are already a minority and we are fine as we are so keep away