South Africa provides a good example of a country with a diversity of languages spoken. In record, South Africa recognizes 11 official languages and other unofficial languages. This implies that the country has many indigenous languages which are spoken across the country. The most interesting thing about the languages is the uniqueness in process of speaking. For example, the Xhosa language which acts as the official language in South Africa apart from English and Afrikaans has a very unique way of words pronunciation. The words are pronounced beginning with a clicking sound. This is the uniqueness of the Xhosa language which also cuts across the other indigenous languages in South Africa. Each one of them has its own unique feature making them interesting to study.
I partly agree with move by the government to recognize the minority languages in the Constitution of South Africa. This is an indication that they are recognized and appreciated by the government. It is also important to recognize the move by the government to replacing the discriminative language policies within the schools that was put in place by the apartheid administration with a new policy of non-discriminative use of language. The government also promoted the access to proficiency of other languages by pupils apart from the English language which was being seen as a universal language among schools. This was a sign of appreciation of the native languages by the government something I really liked. Among the things I did not like about the government is the fact less is being done to ensure that the language policy is fully implemented by schools and other institution in South Africa. English is still being given priority and many feel comfortable when using it at the cost of the native languages. This is a culture that if not well taken care of, will kill the native languages slowly and with time they become extinct.
I am interested wit South Africa’s linguistic reality because of the challenges they have undergone through from the apartheid error to date. The country is still facing ethnic challenges which if not well researched and handled might have an adverse effect to the growth and preservation of the native languages. Native languages are essential because they promotes the country’s heritage and this gives it more reason to handle the issue of linguistic reality with a lot of care given the diverse nature of its language system.
Conducting this research was very important as my aim was to understand how South Africa has moved on from the old realities of apartheid and racial discrimination. It is important to note that after the apartheid period, the country had to put in place various strategies to ensure that its linguistic background does not become extinct. It had to ensure that the various ethnic groups are revived and given a chance to grow and develop. The research therefore, gave me an opportunity to assess the progress in terms of linguistic reality and the various strategies that have been put in place to promote and encourage the minority language groups within the country. What surprised me about the linguistic background of South Africa was the fact that some people still prefer using the Afrikaan language even with the presence of their own native language. English and Afrikaan language still commands a lot of popularity among the natives something should not be the case.