Constitutional Court rules Stellenbosch University change from Afrikaans to English

surface

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2006
Messages
9,294
“The 2014 policy created an exclusionary hurdle for specifically black students. The university showed that classes conducted in Afrikaans, with interpreting from Afrikaans into English, made black students not conversant in Afrikaans feel marginalised, excluded and stigmatised,” Justice Froneman said.
personal experience although nowhere close to what blacks faced here. When I migrated here many moons ago, I was one of the 2 non-afrikaans speakers (other one was local) in a team with afrikaans speakers. It was not a big team - just 8-10 of us and in a fairly close seating arrangement. Talk was mostly done in afrikaans (perfectly understandable if personal talk) within team members but 2 of us were mostly lost most of the time as even while in technical discussions, afrikaans language took preference, of course with mild scattering of english word.

I will put staunch afrikaans mindset as one of language speakers of india, telugu speakers. They are also known to converse mainly in telugu without bothering about others.

In my case, although there was attempt to marginalise, I think most of those people were narrow minded. Despite being adults, they didn't know how to be inclusive. It was closer to year 2000 though. These days, people are careful. ;)
 

rietrot

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
21,225
Weren't they always bilingual? Afrikaans and English, or were they just Afrikaans?
 

ponder

Honorary Master
Joined
Jan 22, 2005
Messages
83,927
That is half of the truth, because deep cognative understanding is always better facilitated in your home language.
Where you're right however is that there is an inflextion point in your education (somewhere at University level) where it no longer matters which language you're taught in provided that you understand the language.
I would hate to do maths in afrikaans. Had maths in afrikaans up to std 8, st9&10 in english. We had a mixed eng/afr maths class the last two years and none of the afr kids had an issue with the class presented in english, we also had a chinese dude in class that understood fookall afr. That said this was kzn were english is mostly used even by afr people, had it been a place like ventersdorp etc it would have been an issue. Reminds me we had a temp sci teacher from the other side of the boerewors gordyn and the guy really could not speak engrish very much deliciously, his surname was Gregory nogals.
 

Nicodeamus

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
8,235
Weren't they always bilingual? Afrikaans and English, or were they just Afrikaans?
The were originally Afrikaans only, but as time went on the included English.

There has been enormous amounts of research done on Bilingual education.
I read quite a big on the research on bilingual policies when I was at the University of Pretoria. The conclusions were generally along these lines:
  1. When the dominant language (English in this case) becomes more than 30% of the student body then the University is effectively in a transition phase and practically no longer bilingual. Afrikaans becomes a ceremonial language.
  2. Very often the University staff are in favour of English only education, but the students are not. A poll for example was done at the University of Strasbourg years ago, which teachers in French and German. The staff wanted English, but the students didn't.
 

losta

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
397
I will put staunch afrikaans mindset as one of language speakers of india, telugu speakers. They are also known to converse mainly in telugu without bothering about others.
Working for an (international) company in Germany around 2008, they "forced" me to converse in german.

In most european coutries I had to adapt. Just in Sweden and the Netherlands english happend to be okay-ish in the workplace (of course after working hours it was local lingo again with my collegues)
 

Nicodeamus

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
8,235
I would hate to do maths in afrikaans. Had maths in afrikaans up to std 8, st9&10 in english. We had a mixed eng/afr maths class the last two years and none of the afr kids had an issue with the class presented in english, we also had a chinese dude in class that understood fookall afr. That said this was kzn were english is mostly used even by afr people, had it been a place like ventersdorp etc it would have been an issue. Reminds me we had a temp sci teacher from the other side of the boerewors gordyn and the guy really could not speak engrish very much deliciously, his surname was Gregory nogals.
You're pointing to another phenomenon in this debate which is often mislooked and that is that we do not really have monolingual societies in South Africa.

Most Afrikaans people are competent in English from a very young age. I speak with a very strong Afrikaans accent, but compared to my European counterparts, I am uttering Shakespeare's words.

I personally would like to have a language policy that is based on the science of learning, and most multi-lingual educators will tell you that it is best to phase in both languages at the same time i.e. teach in both languages. I don't see the harm in that.
 

Ancalagon

Honorary Master
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Messages
17,046
I'm English myself.

But, I don't like this ruling. The Soweto riots of 1976 occurred precisely because students were being educated in a tongue that was not their mother tongue, and they had no choice in the matter.

Now Afrikaners face the same issue - they have no choice but to be educated in English, whether they like it or not. Its not their mother tongue, but hey who cares about Afrikaners these days. Everyone is equal but some are more equal than others.

Yes, English is spoken universally, and if you are a white Afrikaner and you want to get the eff out of Africa, it helps if you speak good English. But I disagree with it being forced upon Afrikaners.
 

Dave

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
51,092
Isn't the reality that countries that offer local lingo as medium prosper and that countries (with minority english speakers) that offer medium english are dirt poor?

Not sure how accurate your map is, I'm pretty sure virtually all of South America still has colonial tongue education.
 

surface

Executive Member
Joined
Oct 23, 2006
Messages
9,294
Working for an (international) company in Germany around 2008, they "forced" me to converse in german.

In most european coutries I had to adapt. Just in Sweden and the Netherlands english happend to be okay-ish in the workplace (of course after working hours it was local lingo again with my collegues)
No one "forced" me to converse in any language in SA, it was quite subtle in a way. No one would really dare to force in a official company setting - this is not pre-1994. My client assured me of a english speaking team here. If they had insisted that I learn a specific language before coming here, I would have weighed pros & cons of effort of learning the language.

In case of german - I would say yes as I studied it a bit few years ago. Swedish - not worth it for me.
 

rietrot

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
21,225
The were originally Afrikaans only, but as time went on the included English.

There has been enormous amounts of research done on Bilingual education.
I read quite a big on the research on bilingual policies when I was at the University of Pretoria. The conclusions were generally along these lines:
  1. When the dominant language (English in this case) becomes more than 30% of the student body then the University is effectively in a transition phase and practically no longer bilingual. Afrikaans becomes a ceremonial language.
  2. Very often the University staff are in favour of English only education, but the students are not. A poll for example was done at the University of Strasbourg years ago, which teachers in French and German. The staff wanted English, but the students didn't.
Those who pay should get what they want.
And the government should stay out of it.
 

Nicodeamus

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
8,235
I'm English myself.

But, I don't like this ruling. The Soweto riots of 1976 occurred precisely because students were being educated in a tongue that was not their mother tongue, and they had no choice in the matter.

Now Afrikaners face the same issue - they have no choice but to be educated in English, whether they like it or not. Its not their mother tongue, but hey who cares about Afrikaners these days. Everyone is equal but some are more equal than others.

Yes, English is spoken universally, and if you are a white Afrikaner and you want to get the eff out of Africa, it helps if you speak good English. But I disagree with it being forced upon Afrikaners.
I think if honestly polled then most Afrikaners are not opposed to learning in English, but if you force it on them then they can get very hardegat. It is also as if the ANC is totally naive. Afrikaner nationalism was sparked in the beginning of the last century precisely because language was forced down their children's throats.

I an show other examples of minorities around the world who end up mobilizing in terms of the language (the Kurds, Flemmish and Catalans come to mind).
 

Nicodeamus

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
8,235
Those who pay should get what they want.
And the government should stay out of it.
Bringing the balance is difficult. It comes practically impossible to enforce a 50/50 policy. It will always swing to the dominant language.
 

rietrot

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
21,225
Was gonna happen sooner or later. Now let them build their own Afrikaans university and leave them alone.
They are. Academia is already going for a few years plus the new one that the idiot minister had a fit about.

The thing is that the people leaving are those that pay for themselves.
 

rietrot

Honorary Master
Joined
Aug 26, 2016
Messages
21,225
Not sure how accurate your map is, I'm pretty sure virtually all of South America still has colonial tongue education.
They speak Spanish as their mother tongue/1st language.
 

losta

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
397
Not sure how accurate your map is, I'm pretty sure virtually all of South America still has colonial tongue education.
That was 500 years ago.

Nowadays the home languages are the languages used in school
 

Acid0

Expert Member
Joined
Feb 10, 2009
Messages
4,055
Was gonna happen sooner or later. Now let them build their own Afrikaans university and leave them alone.
Tried that, and all a sudden every politician is losing their minds as it is racist
 

Nicodeamus

Executive Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2006
Messages
8,235
They speak Spanish as their mother tongue/1st language.
That is a bit of a blanker statement to make. South Africa has tons of variants and dialects on Spanish and many of them are unintelligible from each other. The generally teach Spanish like we teach English in S.A.

You end up with a teacher that is himself not competent in the language that he is suppose to teach in. Then we wonder why the kids end up with little literacy or numeracy.
 

losta

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2013
Messages
397
Bringing the balance is difficult. It comes practically impossible to enforce a 50/50 policy. It will always swing to the dominant language.
That's exactly why we should have monolingual institutions. No language competition within the institutions.
Let students themselves pick the medium of preference

 

Polymathic

Honorary Master
Joined
Mar 22, 2010
Messages
18,203
I will have to look around for the statistic, but if I remember correctly then of the developed countries in the world, only Singapore teaches engineering in the non mother tongue. That is a much better statistic to look at. You're making an error of commission by lumping Venzuela with Germany for example. There are lot of other issues as to why countries don't prosper then just language.
Hey man I'm just going by evidence shown on that map and according to that the vast majority of the countries that are red are poor countries.
 
Top