Tuks phasing out Afrikaans as medium of instruction

Nicodeamus

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You know what a shed-load of experimental data is out there? Not everybody needs to build equipment. Many people don't have to. Simulations are a thing you know?

Unless it really is that earth shattering most theorists shouldn't have any problem seeing or not whether their work is nonsense or not or establishing its range based on already available data.
Ok we are talking past each other. My GF does her work in applied mathematics for example. She works with existing data and is evaluating a theory. They do not consider this to ne theoretical research. It falls under applied.
 

Nicodeamus

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Let me make the distinction betwen theoretical, applied and experimental (sure it does get blury).
 

Knyro

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@Nicodeamus

I had a look at that that name of the French person you gave me. His research gate page is flooded with English papers. Much more than the ones in French.

Ok we are talking past each other. My GF does her work in applied mathematics for example. She works with existing data and is evaluating a theory. They do not consider this to ne theoretical research. It falls under applied.
And theorists refer to experimental data all the time and run simulations all the time while coming up with their models. They're not detatched from reality at all. That's how you end up producing crackpot nonsense.
 

access

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apparently afrikaans is still the 3rd most spoken language in the country. go figure.

it is also beneficial to learn in your mother tongue. if the current government had invested in our languages this would not have been a problem.

changing everything to english is not going to help all people understand everything better, they are struggling in english already, right now, currently. some leave school without being able to read or write in english properly ..lol

but! somehow this will magically fix things.

develop the languages.
 

Nicodeamus

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Experimental data is not always available, naturally you base your results on it as much as possible. I never said that it is a crackpot theory. That is a strawman.
I care about the usefulness of research and whether or not it can be applied on an engineering scale (which is the step after it works in a lab).
 

Knyro

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Experimental data is not always available, naturally you base your results on it as much as possible. I never said that it is a crackpot theory. That is a strawman.
I care about the usefulness of research and whether or not it can be applied on an engineering scale (which is the step after it works in a lab).
This is really what your entire argument boils down to. You only care about things that are useful to engineering. That has no bearing on why we shouldn't spend money on a particular area of research.
 

Nicodeamus

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This is really what your entire argument boils down to. You only care about things that are useful to engineering. That has no bearing on why we shouldn't spend money on a particular area of research.
Yes, I care about the usefulness of theories. I am a practical person at the end of the day.

I never said that it shouldn't be, but good luck justifying funding to a client.

I just want to point out that just because the published paper is in English, doesn't mean that the work is done in English.
What I am trying to point out to you is that research is in itself a complex system and the published paper is a small part of the work. Researchers don't just work to get published and not all their work is often done by them as we do collaborate in teams.

The purpose of research (as explained to me) is to answer questions and in the case of most laboratories questions that the industry cannot answer themselves.

Theoretical research in its abstract will be difficult to put to a test unless those theorists are involved with a serious lab.
 

Knyro

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Yes, I care about the usefulness of theories. I am a practical person at the end of the day.

I never said that it shouldn't be, but good luck justifying funding to a client.

I just want to point out that just because the published paper is in English, doesn't mean that the work is done in English.
What I am trying to point out to you is that research is in itself a complex system and the published paper is a small part of the work. Researchers don't just work to get published and not all their work is often done by them as we do collaborate in teams.

The purpose of research (as explained to me) is to answer questions and in the case of most laboratories questions that the industry cannot answer themselves.

Theoretical research in its abstract will be difficult to put to a test unless those theorists are involved with a serious lab.
I'd wager a big chunk or even most of the the work is done in English since most papers are published in English to begin with. You can get your PhD in [subject] in Afrikaans, and go on to do research. But you'll still spend a hell of a lot of your time reading English papers and citing English papers.

As you rightly say you'll be collaborating with a lot of people, who come from all over the world. 10 to 1 that'll be in English too.
 

Nicodeamus

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I'd wager a big chunk or even most of the the work is done in English since most papers are published in English to begin with. You can get your PhD in [subject] in Afrikaans, and go on to do research. But you'll still spend a hell of a lot of your time reading English papers and citing English papers.

As you rightly say you'll be collaborating with a lot of people, who come from all over the world. 10 to 1 that'll be in English too.
So that is where it gets complicated. The language on the building site is French, the communication is done in both language and obviously when working with the Yanks we speak in Queens. I also work with a few Germans (who in fairness speaks good English). The fact that I know 4 European languages does help me enormously. At the end of the day you want to be understood. I swap between 3 languages on a daily basis.

My biggest frustration has been that I have 2 computers one with a QWERTY and one with a AZERTY keyboards.
 

RonSwanson

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[Full article] Citizen - https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/education/2069369/tuks-phasing-out-afrikaans-as-medium-of-instruction/

The University of Pretoria is to phase out Afrikaans as the official medium of instruction at all its campuses and residences, reports Pretoria East Rekord.

The university will from now only use English as the primary language of communication and administration.

University spokesperson Rikus Delport said the policy was adopted in 2016 by the university’s council and Senate after “extensive consultation process and recommendations from all interested parties”.

“The change in policy is aimed at facilitating social cohesion, and the university will continue to embrace and encourage multilingualism to foster unity and provide equal opportunities to speakers of all South African languages,” he said.

The consultation process included a language work stream that was formed as part of the transformation lekgotla and the independent transformation panel that focused on submissions from external stakeholders.

Delport said the decision from the various interest groups was informed by the findings that the percentage of students who reported their home language to be Afrikaans had decreased from 85% to 30% between 1992 and 2015.

“In 2016, approximately 18% of students expressed a preference for Afrikaans as a medium of instruction.”
It's all about "putting the white man in his place". The thin end of the wedge for "decolonised" education.
 

Nicodeamus

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I actually wonder if there is really a will among Afrikaners to care about the language. It used to be a big part of their identity, but I reckon that that will died long before 94.

I am glad that I did my high school and first two years of varsity in Afrikaans while English was slowly being phased in. I am not sure that I would have understood the mathematics and science that I am currently doing if it wasn't for it.
 

access

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Yep. Put the white man in his place by advocating the use of another white man language, that'll teach him.
the old white afrikaans male is so popular right now. erma firkin gerd

I actually wonder if there is really a will among Afrikaners to care about the language. It used to be a big part of their identity, but I reckon that that will died long before 94.

I am glad that I did my high school and first two years of varsity in Afrikaans while English was slowly being phased in. I am not sure that I would have understood the mathematics and science that I am currently doing if it wasn't for it.
the language has been demonised a lot, you will meet many "self haters" if you strike the right conversation. especially abroad.

while overseas ive almost gotten into trouble at work for teasing people about it. i find it funny.



we have 11 official languages, they all need to be developed and integrated to accommodate its speakers.

published papers can be translated, as they have always been. everything does not need to be in english, it never has been.
 

Nicodeamus

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ok first of all, we dont have 11 distinct languages. Our indigenous languages can largely be put into two groups, a Sotho language and a Nguni language. (Venda is abit of an exception). I have never seen the will among black South Africans to really want to develop their languages, because it doesnt form such a strong part of their identity as Afrikaans did for the Afrikaners. The will is also slightly absent from coloureds that speak Afrikaans.

the language has been demonised a lot, you will meet many "self haters" if you strike the right conversation. especially abroad.
The language in the past was also used as a means to control thought and many whites became gatvol because of this. There was a big moral decline before 94. I am all for mother tongue education at a basic level, but there is a point where it just starts irritating people.

11 languages is simply impractical and it will always lead to 1 dominating one (which in our case is English).
 

access

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ok first of all, we dont have 11 distinct languages. Our indigenous languages can largely be put into two groups, a Sotho language and a Nguni language. (Venda is abit of an exception). I have never seen the will among black South Africans to really want to develop their languages, because it doesnt form such a strong part of their identity as Afrikaans did for the Afrikaners. The will is also slightly absent from coloureds that speak Afrikaans.



The language in the past was also used as a means to control thought and many whites became gatvol because of this. There was a big moral decline before 94. I am all for mother tongue education at a basic level, but there is a point where it just starts irritating people.

11 languages is simply impractical and it will always lead to 1 dominating one (which in our case is English).

so the xhosa or zulu language does not form a strong part of peoples identity? no sorry i dont buy that. i was not talking about language groups either, who reads and writes in germanic or slavic. how does that work, every word in a different language or rewrite everything in the language within the groups. what?

thought control? afrikaans? wtf? many atrocities commited by people speaking different languages, i doubt the language they spoke made them do it.


11 official languages has always been ridiculous to me too, but we have it.

there should be a choice to study in which ever language you want, if people are willing to make the material available to study in, as afrikaans speaking people have.
 

konfab

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Afrikaans is spoken by the majority of people in Pretoria.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretoria

Them doing this is a deliberate attempt of exclusion of their local community.

See, it is diversity and inclusion when they build bathrooms for the trans people who represent a tiny minority, and it is also diversity and inclusion when they exclude the language needs of their local town.
 
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newby_investor

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Afrikaans is spoken by the majority of people in Pretoria.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pretoria

Them doing this is a deliberate attempt of exclusion of their local community.

See, it is diversity and inclusion when they build bathrooms for the trans people who represent a tiny minority, and it is also diversity and inclusion when they exclude the language needs of their local town.
It's not just Pretorians who go to Tuks though, when I was there the local crowd was actually fewer than 50% (not sure of total of course, just in the classes I was in). Many were staying in hostels from all over - Jo'burg, Natal, further north.

So that is where it gets complicated. The language on the building site is French, the communication is done in both language and obviously when working with the Yanks we speak in Queens. I also work with a few Germans (who in fairness speaks good English). The fact that I know 4 European languages does help me enormously. At the end of the day you want to be understood. I swap between 3 languages on a daily basis.

My biggest frustration has been that I have 2 computers one with a QWERTY and one with a AZERTY keyboards.
I don't think @Knyro actually wants to debate or learn anything, he just seems to want to have the last word and be right.

For instance,
So you see theoretical research is intertwined with reality from the get-go. It's not some mathematical ass-pull by some guy on a whiteboard manipulating equations.
Einstein's general relativity was pure thought experiment. There was not a shred of data, it was years before it was even tested (deflection of starlight in a solar eclipse) and decades before any proper verification was possible.

Also, it's not just the theory vs applied thing. Even "applied" papers can be pretty useless. I see many papers published with a so-called novel filter or coupler or mixer or some other electromagnetic thing which has slightly different performance than anything else but ends up being not very useful. These tend to be published in low-grade journals just for the PhD student to graduate, but from the university's point of view it counts as a publication! (Obviously they are rarely cited.)
 
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