16 November 2022, PRETORIA


The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) will, today 16-17 November 2022, be conducting a Multilingualism Conference being held at the Emperor’s Palace in Kempton Park, Johannesburg. The discussions at the conference will centre around the effective implementation of language prescripts and language practices for the furtherance of multilingualism in the country. The objective of the conference is to evaluate the extent to which multilingualism has been implemented by both the public and private sector, since the advent of democracy. That is, where are we now? Then, come up with recommendations of where we should go from here? Other details will be contained in the resolutions taken at the conference serving to advise on the way forward towards the advancement of multilingualism in the country to contribute towards the Global Action Plan for International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032).

“South Africa needs to interrogate its policies and strategies to mitigate the risk caused by the over reliance on language practices that do not support the ideals espoused in the Constitution for a multilingual society” said PanSALB Chief Executive Officer, Mr Lance Schultz. “For us, it is to chart a clear path ahead and contribute meaningfully towards our constitutional democracy and the next decade, we as a country, must introspect and consider if we indeed have delivered on the promise made in the founding provisions of our Constitution that guarantees that all our languages shall enjoy parity of esteem” he added.

Participating at the event will be experts in the fields of Translation & Interpreting, Language in Education, Status Planning, Lexicography & Terminology Development, Linguistic Human Rights, Forensic Linguistics and Human Language Technologies, which will also serve as sub-themes in generating recommendations for the advancement of multilingualism in South Africa. The conference will reflect on progress that has been made, not only in mother tongue-based multilingual education, but also in multilingualism in general, with growing understanding of its importance, and more commitment to its development in public life.