Annual International Mother Language Day

International Mother Language Day 2021

The Office for International Affairs recently celebrated International Mother Tongue Day. This year, we invited all faculties to submit the names of people who would be willing to contribute video clips to educate us about their mother tongue. The videos submitted were from diverse academic staff members and postdoctoral fellows currently based in different parts of the world. Extensive research has created this edutainment video, featuring famous language quotes, indigenous languages across the African continent, and business languages used across the African continent. Some of the indigenous languages on the African continent are fading away, caused by colonial influence.

Fun facts:

From 1994 to 2013, South Africa was in the Guinness Book of World Records for most official languages. These are Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Sepedi, Sesotho, Swati, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.

Since the adoption of the 2013 Constitution, Zimbabwe now holds this title, with 16 official languages, namely Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, Sign Language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa. Zimbabwe therefore now holds the Guinness World Record for the country with the largest number of official languages. 

Albeit the main languages in Zimbabwe are English, Shona and Ndebele, the minor languages are Chewa, Chibarwe, Kalanga, Koisan, Kunda, Lozi, Manyika, Nambya, Ndau, Nsenga, Tsonga-Shangani, Sotho, Tjwao, Tonga, Tswa, Tswana, Venda, and Xhosa.

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