FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
16 NOVEMBER 2023, PRETORIA
PanSALB Hosts Conference on Multilingualism in Observation of International Day of Tolerance
The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB) has initiated a two-day conference on multilingualism at the Birchwood Hotel in Boksburg, Johannesburg. The conference is being held to commemorate the International Day of Tolerance as declared by UNESCO. The theme of the conference, ‘Tolerance is respect, acceptance, and appreciation of the rich diversity of our world’s cultures, forms of expression, and ways of being human’, aims to facilitate discourse and explore the effective implementation of language policies and practices for the furtherance of multilingualism in South Africa.
The conference endeavours to evaluate the extent to which multilingualism has been implemented by both the public sectors since the advent of democracy. The desired outcome of the conference is to pave the way forward towards the advancement of multilingualism in the country and demand the National Action by national government that contribute towards the Global Action Plan for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032).
The conference is set to host a panel of experts from various fields including Translation & Interpreting, Language in Education, Status Planning, Lexicography and Terminology Development, Linguistic Human Rights, Forensic Linguistics, and Human Language Technologies. The sub-themes covered by these experts will generate recommendations for the advancement of multilingualism in South Africa not only in mother tongue-based multilingual education but also in multilingualism in general.
The officialisation of South African Sign Language (SASL) is also expected to be discussed during the conference. The CEO of PanSALB, Mr Lance Schultz, has emphasized the need to scrutinize 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 sustainable multilingual society. He added that the country’s progress towards constitutional democracy calls for introspection and consideration of whether the promise made in the founding provisions of the Constitution, which guarantees that all our languages must enjoy parity of esteem and must be treated equitable, has been achieved.
Released on behalf of PanSALB: Ntombentle Huluhulu
Head: Marketing and Communication
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