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FROM CONCEPT TO UNDERSTANDING: A NEW APPROACH TO TERMINOGRAPHY IN THE SADF.

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Author(s): J.H. Picard

Journal: Scientia Militaria : South African Journal of Military Studies
ISSN 2224-0020

Volume: 21;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: SELECTING A LANGUAGE | CHANGE IN APPROACH | INTEGRATING THE APPROACH | African language | European language | monolingual dictionaries

ABSTRACT
(An address delivered at the Eighth Military Language Congress)1.1 On the African continent approximations of the number of languages used vary between 800 and several thousand. Many of these languages are largely not even written and as far as lexicography is concerned, latest approximations indicate that there is less than one dictionary per African language while a European language such as English has more than 6000 dictionaries. The interaction of languages was largely unidirectional in colonial times and the few dictionaries that are available are Euro-centric, i.e. compiled by European missionaries and teachers with the European language as source language and the African language concerned as target language, for instance the English-Tswana Dictionary. The problem then arising is that the format and approach adopted is chiefly that of the European and not enough cognisance is taken of the culture and environment of the African languages concerned. Consequently, socio-linguistic aspects are given very little consideration and this makes language contact rather sterile and unproductive.

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