Thursday, 22 November 2012

African language development slow | The New Age Online

The slow development of African languages in higher education institutions is a cause for concern, Higher Education Minister Blade Nzimande said on Thursday. "It stands to reason that we cannot effectively preserve and promote the cultures and histories of our people if we do not pay special attention to the development of their languages," he said in Stellenbosch. "In other words, the best route to preserve peoples' cultures is to start with their languages." Nzimande said the development of African languages was tied to social justice, which was an indispensable element of nation-building. Developing languages needed a concerted effort. Nzimande said while English had developed as an international language, many advanced countries used their own languages as languages of teaching, learning and scholarship.

"The barrier is when languages are not developed as languages of scholarship." Nzimande had set up a ministerial advisory panel to examine the development of indigenous African languages in higher education.
It would focus on obstacles to installing effective language policies and practices at institutions of higher education and training. The panel would submit its report in June next year, Nzimande said.- Sapa

Sunday, 23 September 2012

AAAS - AAAS News Release - "SCIENCE: Genomic Study Highlights Early Split of Modern Humans"

A new study of human genetic variation in sub-Saharan Africa, where modern Homo sapiens are believed to have originated, helps to reveal the region’s rich genetic history. According to Carina Schlebusch from Uppsala University in Sweden and colleagues from around the world, the click-speaking Khoe-San people, whose genetic divergence from other African groups is considered to be one of the earliest in modern human history, broke off from other populations approximately 100,000 years ago.

This is an Emergency - please help save Cgunta!

We're trying to save Cgunta's life after he put himself in the way of a fire to save an Australian tourist's life from a bushfire. He has severe burns over 70% of his body, and 3 of his family members who also fought heroically to save this woman's life have died from their burns. We are working tirelessly to raise the N$750,000/ £56,243/ €70,084/ $91,316 USD needed to transport him to specialist treatment in South Africa and ensure the best care possible. 

Tsumkwe Bushmen Die Saving Tourist

In an act of true heroism, several San bushmen 3 months ago saved a female tourists life when they took her out on a walking trial north of Tsumkwe. During their walk, the wind changed its direction, and brought with it a ranging veld-fire. Without thinking twice, the 5 bushmen formed a protective circle around their guest, and two of the brave men literally gave their lives to save hers, as they sadly succumbed to their injuries.

Sunday, 5 August 2012

All the World is Singing (Naro Bushmen Worship Music)

All The World Is Singing 

All te4h World is Singing data DVD

This 3.36GB data DVD contains videos, photos, songs and other media and is intended for use in your computer.  The contents of this DVD are not duplicated on the CD-ROM accompanying the book All the World is Singing.
Sample of Contents: Supplementary media for over half the stories in the book. Plus completely new examples of Christian music...
Angola – Nkumbi songs
Botswana – songs from the Naro and G/ui San (“Bushmen”) peoples
Burkina Faso – “Sing to the Lord a New Song” (movie)
Cameroon – Mofu movie & songs, Ngiemboon (movie)
Central African Republic – Aka “Pygmy” (music, other movies)
Democratic Republic of Congo/Zaire – music from Mono people
Ghana – songs & movie from various groups
Senegal – Wolof songs
Sierra Leone – “Jonah” story songs in Themne

Bibliographies & Resources on Global Worship (30 files)
Celtic Christian Music (over 20 song samples)
The Dancing Church – movies from Ghana, Malawi, Papua New Guinea
Japanese Gospel Choir (movie + 2 stories)
Materials for Applied ethnomusicology
Northern Ireland (3 songs + article)
“Voices from the Nations” (Maori, Hawaii, Tanzania)

…and more!

The Kalahari Basin area: a 'Sprachbund' on the verge of extinction

The Kalahari Basin area project (KBA) is a group of linguists and social and molecular anthropologists working together on questions regarding the population history of non-Bantu-speaking peoples in southern Africa, otherwise known as 'Khoisan'. Although Khoisan is regarded by some as a single language family, the KBA will investigate the hypothesis that the various language families in this area share traits due to extensive contact. The languages and culture of the people in the Kalahari Basin are rapidly dying out, thus the project additionally aims to conduct as much linguistic and anthropological documentation as possible before it is too late. The KBA project is made up of six project teams of scientists based at six different institutions and is funded by the European Science Foundation and various other country-specific funding bodies.

The estimated number of speakers of the Botswana languages

The estimated number of speakers of the Botswana languages (after Batibo et al. 2003)

Language Estimated/number of speakers/Percentage of speakers
1 Setswana 1,335,000 78.6%
2 Ikalanga 150,000 8.83%
3 Shekgalagarhi(including Shengologa) 48,000 2.82%
4 Thimbukushu 30,000 1.76%
5 Shiyeyi 18,000 1.06%
6 Nambya (Najwa) 15,000 0.88%
7 Sebirwa 12,500 0.73%
8 Zezuru (Shona) 12,000 0.70%
9 Otjiherero 11,500 0.67%
10 *Naro 10,000 0.59%
11 Sindebele 9,000 0.53%
12 Afrikaans 7,500 0.44%
13 Chikuhane (Sesubiya) 7,000 0.41%
14 Setswapong 6,000 0.35%
15 *Shua 6,000 0.035%
16 *!Xo@o) 5,000 0.29%
17 *Tshwa 5,000 0.29%
18 *Khwedam 4,500 0.27%
19 *Juñ’hoan 4,500 0.27%
20 Silozi (Serotsi) 3,000 0.02%
21 Sekgoa (English) 3,000 0.002%
22 *Kua 2,500 0.015%
23 *úKx’auÑ’ein 2,500 0.015%
24 Rugciriku (Rumanyo) 2,300 0.14%
25 *ÑGana 1,300 0.008%
26 *Nama (Khoekhoegowab) 1,000 0.006%
27 *ñGwi 1,000 0.006%
28 *úHua 200 0.001%
Total 1,703,300 99.53%
The Naro language has benefited from a vigorous project, known as Naro Language Project (NLP) which was started in the 1980s by the Reformed Church in D’kar village, western Botswana. The primary aims of the Project were to describe the language system, to promote literacy among the speakers and to translate the Bible into Naro. The activities of the Project were boosted in 1991 with the arrival of a Dutch linguist and missionary, Mr Hessel Visser and his wife, Coby Visser. The couple started to work tirelessly on the Naro language with the main aim of documenting it for community use and missionary activities.