From Desiré Truter

African languages - why are we still reading in English?

A participant of the 2015 Amaphiko Academy in Langa asked Academy lecturer, Gina Mhlope, why we aren’t seeing books published in African languages. She answered: " Publishing houses say that books in African languages do not sell. But there’s a word that starts with m… it’s MARKETING! They should market it!"

Do you see the importance of publishing in native languages? Do you think there should be a shift from publishing African stories solely in English? Why are we in this situation? Let’s discuss!

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I agree with Renato, it’s very interesting but tough to answer! In one hand, I can understand that publications in English can easily cross borders and reach more people. But in the other hand, I believe the language is one of the most important cultural assets of a community. How about multilingual publications/publishers?

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That is a very interesting question, though very tough to answer. I definitely understand that books in African languages might not sell as much as books written in English. But there is definitely a market and a targeted group where books in African languages would be a huge success. I think what needs to be done is to start the idea, to implement it.

I agree with Renato, it’s very interesting but tough to answer! In one hand, I can understand that publications in English can easily cross borders and reach more people. But in the other hand, I believe the language is one of the most important cultural assets of a community. How about multilingual publications/publishers?

Thank you for your answers! Definitely a topic that is worth discussing further.

Bothata ke gore ga ke bua puo yame gape ke araba ka puo yame gagoope otla utlwang. Mme ge re tla bua sekgoa.

i just wonder what language is the word Africa is…?

We just had a story on that topic: Read here

Tha i is the reason why we have only 5% of children being read to in South Africa and you can guess who those children are and 14 % of adult who are active readers This is the problem from early childhood development to foundation and to high schools children The are not enough stories and books being published in African languages and this is the reason we have literacy crisis in South Africa that children are not given the right foundation which is their mother toungue language most of the print rich material is available in a monolingual language.That is why we as Sinovuyo Township and Villages Reads we promote multilingualism and continue to create alternative and inclusive spaces for children to learn like reading clubs and book club we have already seen the difference through the spaces we are working in and the power of African Languages shaping children life