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ERIC Number: EJ855598
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 28
ISSN: ISSN-1466-4208
Language Policy and Practice in the Multilingual Southern African Development Community
Mooko, Theophilus
Current Issues in Language Planning, v10 n2 p166-180 May 2009
This study explores the language policy and practice of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an African regional economic organisation made up of 14 member states (Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe). The SADC operates a trilingual policy that recognises English, French and Portuguese as its official languages. The SADC language policy does not accommodate the use of African languages spoken in these countries. The choice of European languages is a reflection of the legacy of the colonial experience as the stated languages were adopted from the previous colonial rulers. Although the organisation has adopted a trilingual language policy, in practice English is the most dominant language in almost all the contexts that were examined in this study. The only area where the trilingual policy is fully implemented is with respect to documentation related to conferences and summit meetings. Other areas are dominated by the use of English, with the daily operations of the organisation being undertaken solely in English. It is also evident that as a result of the trilingual policy that has been adopted, the SADC has to contend with the challenge of translating documents into the three official languages. The organisation does not have enough funds to efficiently undertake this task, and the translation unit is also severely understaffed. All these factors make it difficult for the SADC to effectively use its translation unit to produce documents in the three official languages.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Africa