A two-day workshop was hosted by the Central University of Technology’s unit, Unit for Innovation in Learning (ILT) in collaboration with the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences in their mission to develop lexicons where 1 242 Biomedical Technology terminologies were translated into Sesotho. 

The two-day workshop happened from the 30th till the 31st of July 2018, and  they are looking at developing indigenous languages and intellectually them in all disciplines especially in the field of engineering, technology and science. The Unit for Innovation in Learning, last year focused on civil engineering and translated terminologies to Sesotho, in total an amount of 200-600 terminologies. 

Dean of Health and Environmental Sciences, Prof. Samson Mashele, said that the project is about rethinking the way things are done which is a quest for relevance. “We are not only doing this because of the laws of the country, but we also need to be proud of our languages. We are in Africa so Europe cannot be in the centre of the universe in an African university. It is very important that we star to rethink the way we do things and embrace our heritage. If you look at other institutions like Harvard, you will see that they portray their own heritage, unlike African countries where we tend to portray the heritage of the Europeans instead of ours. This initiative is a step towards addressing transformation issues in our country and also encourages us to be proud of our own heritage.” 

Mr Kgosi Motlhawana who is Chief Language Practitioner-terminology in the Department of Arts and Culture Language Practitioners made mention of strategies in how to define and come up with Sesotho equivalence for different kinds of terminology fields and disciplines. Some strategies that he uses when translating is the semantic transfer; compounding; adaptation; and borrowing from English as well. He said, “Terminology is a very serous discipline, the most important strategy is to take it easy, have fun, and then you will enjoy terminology development.”

For more on this initiative, visit http://www.cut.ac.za/academic/language-gurus-translate-science-terminologies-sesotho/ to know more.