Understanding Language Services

Terminology Development

Language Services is responsible for the development of terminology, as it forms an integral part of language development. Terminology development facilitates
knowledge acquisition and transfer. Language Services performs the following functions:

  • Collection of terms that do not have equivalents in the target language(s).
  • Management of terms.
  • Coordination of terms.
  • Formation of Provincial Database.
Translation, Interpreting and Editing

The Provincial Language Services provides a translation and editing service to the provincial government departments, municipalities and statutory bodies in the official languages in the province, making it possible for the provincial government to communicate with, practically the whole of the population in their own language.

The Provincial Language Services also provides interpreting services in meetings, seminars, misconduct hearings, etc.

Literature Development

The Provincial Language Services has as one of its many goals, the promotion of writing, reading and appreciation of literary work, especially with regard to the previously marginalised languages.

Language Services promotes the culture of reading and writing literature books in KwaZulu-Natal. This is done through the following projects:

  • Literature Writing Competitions To encourage literacy work.
  • Writing Workshops and writing competitions, for the whole community in the Province especially communities in the most deprived wards; and Correctional Centres.
  • We also support reading and writing clubs and encourage the use of indigenous languages which in turn promotes multilingualism.
Policy Development

The Provincial Language Services formulates language policies in the Province. It ensures that each provincial government department and municipal authority develops its own language policy, which is in line with the Provincial Language Policy.

The Directorate is also responsible for the implementation of the language policies by providing legitimacy and authority for the use of languages of the Province.

Geographical Naming

A secretarial service is provided to the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Geographical Names Committee (KZNPGNC) and Geographical Names District Committees (GNDC) to facilitate the process of geographical naming in the province.

The KZNPGNC is an advisory body, the establishment of which was provided for by an Act of Parliament (Act 118 of 1998). It is there to advise and consult with the South African Geographical Names Council (SAGNC) to ensure the transformation and standardization of geographical names in KwaZulu-Natal for official purposes. The Committee also investigates and makes proposals to the SAGNC on geographical name changes.

The process of standardization is as follows:

  • The KZNPGNC receives applications and ensures that proper consultation has taken place;
  • The committee sends its recommendations to the MEC for Arts and Culture for comments;
  • The MEC sends his/her recommendations to the SAGNC;
  • The SAGNC after discussing the MEC’s recommendations then forwards them to the National Minister for Arts and Culture;
  • The National Minister of Arts and Culture takes the final decision on the name. He/she may either approve or reject the name.
  • Once approved, the name is published in the government gazette and subsequently in the media.