FW de Klerk receives Special Edition of New Oxford Afrikaanse Skoolwoordeboek
FW de Klerk Receives Special Edition of New Oxford Afrikaanse Skoolwoordeboek
Plattekloof, Cape Town_On Monday, 17 September, former president FW de Klerk received a special edition of Oxford University Press’s new Afrikaanse Skoolwoordeboek. The handover was done by Lieze Kotze, managing director of Oxford University Press Southern Africa. The ceremony took place at the FW de Klerk Foundation’s offices, prior to the dictionary’s official launch on Friday, 21 September. The dictionary is the first Afrikaans school dictionary developed in 40 years and Oxford University Press’s first monolingual Afrikaans school dictionary.
De Klerk welcomed members of the Oxford University Press team and remarked how impressed he was that the company had acknowledged the importance of multilingualism and multiculturalism. “We are a multilingual country with 11 official languages, fully recognised by our Constitution. Oxford University Press - which is well known for being closely related to the English language - has identified a vacuum, a need for an Afrikaans declaratory dictionary which can help young learners...”.
De Klerk said that he didn’t believe enough was being done in South Africa to advance the other nine indigenous languages, including Xhosa, Zulu, Venda and Tswana. “It is my sincere hope that the other indigenous languages will in due course receive attention from Oxford University Press. The Constitution demands that government - and in a sense of all of us - recognise our multicultural society and strengthen the languages which have not yet been fully developed into academic languages.” He added that more should be done by the government, universities and educationists.
De Klerk also highlighted the role of the FW de Klerk Foundation, headed by executive director Dave Steward: “[H]e has an endless energy and faith to promote the need for multilingualism throughout South Africa and to ensure that our Constitutional provisions in that regard are upheld.”
Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation
Published in: FW de Klerk Foundation