Newsletter 5 – December 2000

(aka Vol. 5, No. 1)

Compiler: M. Alberts




In this newsletter you, will find the following:

·         News of the 5th International Afrilex Conference that took place from 3 to 5 July 2000 in Stellenbosch.

·         Information regarding an Inaugural Address by one of the Afrilex members.

·         News of other events and conferences regarding lexicography and machine translation, namely:

o       The 1st International Conference on African Languages

o       DSNA

o       EURALEX 2000

o       Symposium on Teaching and Learning in the Mother Tongue

o       Lexica

·         News from one of the NLUs.

·         Dr. Helena Liebenberg supplies information on the new Language Bureau, called the Taalsekretariaat, that was recently established in Stellenbosch.

·         The etymology is given of English idioms that originated in the 1500s due to strange habits.

·         Dr. Mariëtta Alberts describes her visit to Het Bildt in Friesland where a Friesian dialect, Bildts, is spoken.

·         You will also find news regarding various terminology-related features, both internationally and nationally, namely:

o       IITF, INFOTERM, TermNet

o       1st Terminology Summer Academy 2000

o       13th European Symposium on Language for Special Purposes


o       A new course in Terminology

o       A new Technical Dictionary

o       An article on Plain Legal Language

o       Revision of Technical Dictionaries

o       New Terminology Projects

— Ed.





The Executive and Board of AFRILEX would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone who attended the 5th International Conference of the African Association for Lexicography (AFRILEX) that was held from 3 to 5 July 2000 at the University of Stellenbosch. The conference venue was: Ou Hoofgebou (Old Main Building), corner of Victoria and Rhyneveld Street, University of Stellenbosch. The conference theme was ‘Dictionaries for Special Purposes’ and therefore terminology-orientated. The first day of the conference consisted of a workshop focussing on terminology aspects and on dictionaries treating languages for special purposes. The second and third days hosted the traditional conference programme. Although special focus was given to terminological matters, a variety of other lexicographical topics also received attention.

The organiser of the Conference, Prof. Rufus Gouws, invited Prof. Sven Tarp from Aarhus in Denmark as the international keynote speaker. Prof. Tarp is a renowned scholar on terminology and terminography. Ms. Kathy Kavanagh, Director of the Dictionary Unit of South African English (DSAE), was the national keynote speaker.

The Annual General Meeting took place at 14:00 on Tuesday 4th July 2000.

Registered participants and other guests attended the traditional PHAROS Conference Dinner on the Tuesday evening.


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The welcoming address of the Chairperson at the opening of the 5th International Conference...

"It has been my privilege to chair the association as from July 1999. I have the advantage of serving an association which is beginning to show signs of a well-established undertaking. I wish to extend my sincere gratitude to the members of the Board and Executive Board who carried Afrilex though the first 5 years in order to find its feet as an established organisation.

So, although we are thankful for the progress and stability in our association, one should keep in mind that without continued effort even an "established" association can deteriorate and even be discontinued. I have often joked about Afrilex in the past, saying that Afrilex is like the ad of a famous car "obviously in a different class". That Afrilex is indeed in a class of its own is true since the goodwill and enthusiasm we encounter in the day to day running of the association is heart-warming. However, one of the real reasons for Afrilex not being just another association lies in the great task and responsibility we have in South Africa in getting dictionary units for African languages off the ground. A process which was initiated and currently being performed by the Pan South African Language Board and to which Afrilex renders assistance on different levels such as the planning of the lexicographic process, training, etc.

I wish to reiterate that the aim of Afrilex as stipulated in the constitution is the promotion and co-ordination of the research, study and teaching of lexicography by means of:

(1) The publication of a journal and other appropriate literature;

(2) The organisation of regular conferences and seminars to provide an opportunity for an exchange of ideas and for mutual stimulus to researchers and practitioners in the field of lexicography.

Enjoy the conference!"


And his goodbye ...

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have come to the end of the 5th International Conference of Afrilex. The general feeling that I have picked up inside and outside the lecture halls is that Afrilex is on the right track in terms of our mission and goals. There is so much that has to be done in the fields of theory and practice in SA lexicography. I wish to extend a sincere word of thanks to each and every one who contributed in some way to the success of this conference. We have, however, to single out firstly the name of Gerhard van Wyk and then also Rufus Gouws for excellent conference organisation. I now call upon Rufus to come forward to receive Afrilex's highest decoration for perseverance and perfect conference organisation by a local conference organiser.

I wish you a safe journey home whether it is back to Hong Kong, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Namibia, Swaziland, Lesotho or wherever.

Let me conclude by saying:

There is no -lex like Afrilex! "

— Danie Prinsloo, Chairperson: AFRILEX





The Executive and members of Afrilex would like to take the opportunity to congratulate the Chairperson of Afrilex, Prof. Danie Prinsloo, with his inaugural address (as the new Head of the Department of African Languages) on 23 November 2000 in the Senate Room, University of Pretoria.

True to form, Prof. Prinsloo kept the audience captivated with a very interesting paper on the past, present and future of lexicography work in the African languages.





1st International Conference on African Languages

Ge ba dumediša ba re jambo!

Ge o le mo lebopong la Letsha la Victoria, o rokametše lebatong la bohlano la hotele ya Sunset, mo profenseng ya Nyanza, mo toropong ya Kisumu, ka bodikela bja naga ya Kenya, o kgona go bogela botse bja tlhago ya Afrika.

Ka la 10-12 Mei 2000 ka fase, lebatong la hotele ye go kgotlampana konferense ya go bitšwa "The 1st International Conference on African Languages" yeo hlogopoledišano ya yona e lego: Tlhabologo ya maleme a Babaso a mo Afrika mererong ya Thuto le Theknolotši mo ngwagakgolong wa masomepeditee.

Dipotšišo di robegela malemeng ka dikarabo tše di lebanego le boitsebišo, tlhathollo le bofetoledi bja maleme, bongwadi, mongwalo, pukuntšu, bogatiši, merero ya tekanetšo ya dipolelo le ya thuto - Afrika e bonegelwa ke seetša.

Batho ba Kenya ke batho ba khutšo, leago le kamogelo. Ga ba fete motho fela ntle le "jambo!"

— Dr. M.J. Mojalefa




Dictionary Society of North America (DSNA)

The Dictionary Society of North America is again offering the Laurence Urdang DSNA Award for the support of lexicographical research. Funded by member Laurence Urdang, the Award will support one or more lexicographic projects during 2001 with awards between $500 and $2,500.

Applicants must be current members of the DSNA. The budget may include costs of travel, tuition, materials, subsistence, and related expenses.

The proposal should include:

1)     the project name;

2)   the applicant's name and address;

3)   a statement of the immediate goals and expected long-range results of the project;

4)   a description of the methodology or procedures to be used;

5)   a summary budget of total expenses for the project;

6)   an identification of other sources of support available for the project; and

7)   a one-page biographical résumé for the applicant.

It should total no more than three pages single-spaced, including the one-page résumé.

The proposal should be sent with a self-addressed, stamped postcard for acknowledgement to Joan H. Hall, Dictionary of American Regional English, 6125 Helen White Hall, 600 N. Park Street, Madison, WI 53706 or e-mailed to:

It must be received by December 31, 2000. Awards will be made and full payments sent early in 2001. The Society requests that it be sent copies of any publications arising from the Award.

— Joan H. Hall, President: Dictionary Society of North America





Members of Afrilex attended the 9th International Euralex Congress in Stuttgart, and contributed to an interesting academic programme and discussions offered by Euralex 2000.

·         Willem Botha, "We all stand together, don't we? – African Renaissance through dictionaries"

·         Willy Martin & Rufus Gouws, "A new dictionary model for closely related languages: The Dutch-Afrikaans dictionary project as a case-in-point"

·         Piet Swanepoel, "Providing lexicographic support for SL vocabulary acquisition: What kind, under what conditions, for whom, and why"

·         Maurice de Schryver from the University of Gent in Belgium & Danie Prinsloo, "Dictionary-Making Process with 'Simultaneous Feedback' from the Target Users to the Compilers" (financial assistance from the Division for Social Sciences and Humanities is acknowledged for the latter). Maurice de Schryver spends so much time with lexicographic research in South Africa he might as well become a SA citizen.




Symposium on Teaching and Learning in the Mother Tongue

The symposium on teaching and learning in the mother tongue was postponed due to inadequate submission of abstracts on the main argument, i.e. the implications of teaching Shona and Ndebele languages and literature through the medium of English. The symposium has been postponed to 6 April 2001.

Abstracts and other inquiries can be sent to:

The Coordinator

T. Matshakayile-Ndlovo

Teaching in Indigenous Language Committee

Department of African Languages and Literature

PO Box MP167

Mt Pleasant


Fax: (263) (4) 333407


Tel: (263) (4) 303211 ext. 1201





The machine translation software program Lexica that was developed by the University of Pretoria in collaboration with the firm Epi-Use is now further being developed and distributed under the auspices of the Language Facilitation Programme of the University of the Free State. Lexica is a very powerful machine translation software program especially designed to accommodate the South African languages.

Anyone interested in obtaining more information on this software product can contact Dr. Theo du Plessis or his colleagues at the following e-mail addresses:

Landela Nyangintsimbi:


Boetie Hattingh:






Projeke ya pukuntšu ya Sepedi e thomile mengwaga ye e ka bago ye lesome ya go feta Yunibesiting ya Pretoria. E gagabile bjalo ka lebelo la leobu ka baka la tlhokego ya thekgo ya mašeleng go fihla ka ngwaga wa 1999 ge mmušo o phatlalatša molao wa PANSALB wa go thekga diprojeke tša mohuta wo ka mašeleng.

Go tloga ngwageng wa 1999 projeke ye e hweditše lefelo le lefsa Yunibesithing ya Leboa. Go kgethilwe boto ya taola ya maloko a lesometee. Maloko a ke banna le basadi ba go šoma ka mafolofolo. Ba thomile ka go thala leanotshepedišo la projeke go akaretša le kakanyo ya mašeleng a go thekga projeke.

Mo lebakeng le projeke ga e na bašomedi ba moswarelaruri. E sa le e tloga e thekgilwe ke baithaopi ba lebakanyana fela. Projeke ye e gatetše pele kudu ka ge e šetše e kgobokeditše mantšu a go feta dimilione tše nne go ka thoma go ngwala pukuntšu.

Kholofelo ke gore mo lebakeng la dikgwedi tše pedi tše di tlago re tla be re thwetše bašomi ba moswarelaruri go thoma go ngwala pukuntšu. Re sa dira boipiletšo go badiriši ba polelo ya Sepedi go kgatha tema projekeng ye ka go re romela mantšu le maele go nolofatša tshepedišo ya projeke.


— Kwena Mashamaite


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Die Taalsekretariaat met Mnr. André van der Walt as uitvoerende hoof en Dr. Helena Liebenberg as projek- en inligtingskoördineerder, het as missie die bevordering van Afrikaans as toereikende kommunikasiemiddel van sowel moedertaal- as niemoedertaalsprekers, asook samewerking tussen die taal en inheemse en/of minderheidstale binne en buite Suid-Afrika.

Die volgende is van die belangrikste doelstellings van die Taalsekretariaat:

·         Die inskerping van taaltrots by alle Afrikaans-sprekers;

·         Die identifisering van bepaalde onderwerpe vir projekte en navorsing;

·         Die ontwerp van 'n databasis volgens bepaalde kriteria en die instandhouding van 'n Internet-tuisblad.

Sodoende word 'n verwysingsraamwerk geskep waaruit daar by navraag inligting aangaande Afrikaans-verwante sake aan individue, organisasies en verenigings verstrek kan word.

·         Die beskerming van die Afrikaanse taalregte soos gewaarborg deur die grondwet van Suid-Afrika.

Deur die ad hoc-inkorporering van kundige persone en instansies in 'n navorsingshoedanigheid, word brandpunte in die stryd vir Afrikaans wetenskaplik ondersoek.

·         Die voorsiening van middele om Afrikaans as alternatiewe taalmedium te verwerf.

Afrikaans word dus op grondvlak by al die taalgebruikers bevorder, nie net as eerste taal nie, maar ook as tweede en soms derde taal. (Daar word reeds finansiële bystand verleen aan Die lilwimi-sentrum (UWK) vir die aanbieding van twee taalbemagtigings-kursusse en 'n skryfprojek.)

Die Taalsekretariaat is verbind tot samewerking met alle individue, organisasies en instansies ter bevordering van Afrikaans, asook van inheemse en minderheidstale.

— Dr. Helena Liebenberg


[Situated in Stellenbosch, the recently established Taalsekretariaat is ideally suited to provide an excellent service to the Afrikaans-speaking community as well as to the speakers of the indigenous languages of South Africa. The following are some of its main objectives:

·         To establish pride in the speakers of Afrikaans for their home language

·         To identify language projects and to initiate research programmes

·         To design a database according to particular criteria

·         To design and maintain an Internet web site

·         To protect the language rights of speakers of Afrikaans and other indigenous languages

·         To assist in teaching Afrikaans as an alternative language.]





Life was strange in the 1500s. Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and were still smelling pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the bad odour. Baths equalled a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater".

Houses had thatched roofs. Thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the pets (dogs, cats and other small animals), mice, rats, bugs lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs".

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. So, they found if they made beds with big posts and hung a sheet over the top, it addressed that problem. Hence those beautiful big four-poster beds with canopies. I wonder if this is where we got the saying, "Good night and don't let the bed bugs bite...".

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor". The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet. So they spread thresh on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on they kept adding more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed at the entry way, hence a "thresh hold".

They cooked in the kitchen in a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They mostly ate vegetables and didn't get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been in there for a month. Hence the rhyme, "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old".

Sometimes they could obtain pork and would feel really special when that happened. When company came over, they would bring out some bacon and hang it to show it off. It was a sign of wealth and that a man "could really bring home the bacon". They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat".

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food. This happened most often with tomatoes, so they stopped eating tomatoes for 400 years. Most people didn't have pewter plates, but had trenchers - a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms got into the wood. After eating off wormy trenchers, they would get "trench mouth".

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the "upper crust".

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a "wake".

England is old and small, and they started running out of places to bury people. So, they would dig up coffins and would take their bones to a house and re-use the grave. In reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on their wrist and lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night to listen for the bell. Hence on the "graveyard shift" they would know that someone was "saved by the bell" or he was a "dead ringer".





Ek en my man Sarel Alberts was bevoorreg am tydens ons afgelope besoek aan België, Noord-Holland en Friesland met verskillende variasies van die Nederlandse taal te doene te kry. In België was dit Vlaams en in Nederland het die meeste mense met ons die Algemeen Beskaaf (Nederlands) gepraat, maar daar was verskillende uitsprake as gevolg van die baie dialekte. In Friesland het ons weer te make gekry met Fries en Bildts. Dit was baie moeilik om Fries te verstaan, maar die Bildts klink amper soos Afrikaans. Die rede hiervoor is waarskynlik omdat dit in 'n mate 'n soortgelyke ontstaansgeskiedenis het as Afrikaans.

Bildts is 'n dialek wat in die sewentiende eeu in die westelike gedeelte van Friesland ontstaan het. Die Friese bevolking het in daardie stadium oor die algemeen uit boere bestaan. Hulle wou graag 'n gedeelte van die Noordsee inpolder, maar hulle het nie die kennis gehad wat nodig was om land van die see te herwin en droog te lę nie. Die nodige kennis is verkry deur mense vanuit Rotterdam, Zeeland en Amsterdam te versoek am hulle met die inpoldering van die gebied te gaan help. Met die inpoldering van die gebied het 'n dialek ontstaan wat bestaan het uit sewentiende eeuse Nederlands en Fries. Die Rotterdamse, Amsterdamse en Zeelandse dialekte van Nederlands het weer 'n invloed uitgeoefen op die uitspraak van die woorde.

Die gebied waar die taal ontstaan het, staan bekend as Het Bildt. Die mense wat Bildts gebruik, is baie trots op hul taal. Die taal het behoue gebly vanweë die taaltrots en ook omdat die gebied in 'n mate taamlik geďsoleer was.

Ons was bevoorreg om die Algemene Jaarvergadering (AJV) van die Stichting Ons Bildt in Het Bildt by te woon, as die gaste van 'n familielid, Dr. Thijs Balt, wat een van die lede van die Stichting is. Dit was 'n baie interessante aand. Ons kon die Bildtse taal makliker volg as Nederlands. Verder het ons interessante mense ontmoet, sommiges was selfs verlangs familie van my en dan was daar ook mense wat reeds in Suid-Afrika gereis het en baie beďndruk is met ons land.

Diplomas is tydens die AJV aan mense uitgedeel wat kursusse deurloop het om hul kennis van die Bildtse taal te verbreed en te verbeter. Dit het ook tydens die vergadering geblyk dat die sprekers nie baie tevrede was met die Bildtse Woordeboek nie. Die Bildtse Woordeboek is deur linguiste verbonde aan die Universiteit van Groningen saamgestel. Een van die probleme is dan juis dat die moedertaalsprekers nie by die saamstel van hierdie woordeboek betrek is nie. Bildts word in Friesland gepraat en nie in Groningen nie (een van die ander provinsies van Nederland).

Ek het die aanwesiges vanuit 'n Afrikaanse perspektief raad gegee oor hoe om die woordeboek te hersien. Hierdie raad is met ope arms ontvang en hulle het my ook versoek om dit op skrif te stel. Dit is reeds gedoen en na Friesland gepos.

Ek beskou hierdie as 'n unieke geleentheid waar verworwe kennis vanuit een taal se perspektief insigte en hulp aan 'n ander taal kon verleen. Dit was vir my 'n voorreg om in die posisie te wees waar ek nie net as taalkenner nie, maar ook as woordeboekmaker vir hulle hopelik sinvolle raad kon gee. Ek wil graag hierdie nuwe verbintenis vertroetel en sal waarskynlik met die Stichting Ons Bildt in verbinding kan bly, omdat ons alreeds pesoonlike skakeling het, en die korrespondensie ook sal voortgaan.

— Mariëtta Alberts-Balt


[Mariëtta Alberts and her husband Sarel visited friends and family in Belgium and the Netherlands. Communication was easy since Afrikaans, Dutch, Flemish and Friesian (to a lesser extent) are mutually understandable. They attended an Annual General Meeting of a group of people who speak a Friesian dialect called Bildts. The speakers of this dialect are not satisfied with the dictionary that was compiled by scholars of the University of Groningen without any participation from the speakers of the dialect. Mariëtta gave the mother-tongue speakers some perspectives and practical ideas regarding the revision of the dictionary. These ideas were welcomed and she was requested to continue her input regarding the revision of the Bildts dictionary by means of correspondence. She has already given this input.]




What the mind of man can conceive and believe, the mind of man can achieve — Napoleon Hill

A kind word is like a spring day — Russian proverb






The Internationales Institüt for Terminologieforschung (IITF) is an international institute for terminology research. Various terminology institutions are affiliated with IITF. The Terminology Division of the National Language Service is also a member of IITF. The new president of the IITF is Prof. Christer Laurén of the Department of Scandinavian Languages, University of Vaasa, Finland and a contact e-mail address is:

Information regarding IITF publications on Terminology Science and Research can be obtained from Bertha Toft (

Information on publications in the IITF Series can be obtained from Margaret Rogers (

Dr. Gerhard Budin can supply information regarding Summer Schools, Training and Projects (




The 1st Terminology Summer Academy 2000 took place from 7-12 August 2000 in Vienna, Austria. Several Afrilex members attended this summer school.

Since this is an annual event interested persons can obtain more information from and Dr. Gerhard Budin, University of Vienna, Tel.: 43-1-4277 47623. His e-mail address:




The 13th European Symposium on Language for Special Purposes, "Porta Scientiae" will be held from 20-24 August 2001, in Vaasa, Finland.

Preliminary registration requires information on the title of the presentation as well as a copy of the abstract. One can also participate in various colloquia.

Notification of acceptance would be on 31 December 2000

Final registration for speakers and participants: 31 March 2001

Preliminary registrations (name, academic title, affiliation, postal address, e-mail address, preliminary title of paper to be presented) can be sent to the following e-mail address:





The Terminology Division, National Language Service, assists with international projects such as the multilingual project of the European Union as well as one for the International Organization for Unification of Terminological Neologisms (IOUTN) that manages a World Bank of International Terms (WBIT).

The terminology work of different member organisations affiliated with the IOUTN and the International Federation of Terminology Banks (IFTB) accumulates in the World Bank of International Terms (WBIT) compiled by the IOUTN.

The IOUTN has been affiliated to the United Nations as a non-governmental organisation since 1987. The IOUTN affiliates philologists, linguists, terminologists and specialists in various fields of science and technology who are interested in problems of transnationalisation and dissemination of specialised terminology.

The main task of the IOUTN is to encourage the borrowing of specialised terminology from the language of its creators (origin; source language (SL)) and to stimulate consciousness in all countries that this action is in every nation's interest. The IOUTN publishes glossaries and vocabularies to facilitate the work of terminologists, translators, interpreters, writers and workers in various domains. It aims to transfer all the latest specialised terminology to less developed and developing countries. The WBIT within IOUTN engages in accumulating and storing international terminology and specialised neologisms using the materials supplied by more than 200 members from 40 countries all over the world. Incidentally, it is the first term bank in the world to hold a catalogue of multilingual international terms.

Prof. Zygmunt Stoberski is the President of the IOUTN, the IFTB and the WBIT. He can be contacted at the following address:


Poland 02-677 WARSAW





A slanderer kills three: himself, his listener and the person who was slandered — Jewish proverb




Try Reading This Tongue-Twister!

Mr. See and Mr. Soar were old friends. See owned a saw and Soar owned a seesaw. Now See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw before Soar saw See, which made Soar sore. Had Soar seen See's saw before See saw Soar's seesaw, then See's saw would not have sawed Soar's seesaw. But See saw Soar and Soar's seesaw before Soar saw See's saw, so See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw. It was a shame to let See see Soar so sore just because See's saw sawed Soar's seesaw.




If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow — Chinese proverb




New Course in Terminology

An interesting development regarding terminology is the decision by the School for Languages, University of Pretoria, to introduce a terminology course for Honours students as from 2000.

This is a proper terminology course that deals with the theory, principles and practice of terminology and terminography.

It is the first terminology course to be presented as such at a South African tertiary institution. In the past Terminology was taught as a module of either Translation studies or Lexicography courses.

Dr. Mariëtta Alberts, who has since 1992 been teaching Lexicography at the Department of African Languages, University of Pretoria, is the presenter of the Terminology course.




New Technical Dictionary

Johan Dorfling het in Februarie 2000 die derde uitgawe van die Brugwoordelys bekendgestel. Dié uitgawe is heelwat uitgebrei, aanvanklike leemtes is aangevul en foute is reggestel.

Die oogmerk met hierdie termlys is om die groot leemte aan 'n eenvormige en volledige Afrikaanse woordeskat vir brugspelers aan te vul. Eintlik bestaan daar wel 'n goeie Afrikaanse woordeskat, maar betreklik min brugspelers is op die hoogte daarvan omdat dit nie ęrens versamel is of maklik nageslaan kan word nie.

Daar is 'n toenemende belangstelling onder Afrikaanssprekendes in brug. Veral tuisspelers en kantoorspelers het die afgelope aantal jare talryker geword en aldus het die behoefte aan 'n saamgestelde termlys al hoe sterker geword.

In die soeke na 'n meer volledige en bruikbare woordeskat is daar onder meer by Vlaams, Nederlands en Duits kers opgesteek om Afrikaans sodoende te verryk en die Germaanse inslag van Afrikaans te behou. Versigtigheid is egter aan die dag gelę om woorde wat met die taaleie bots, nie op te neem nie.

Die eerste paar bladsye bevat 'n termlys met Engelse terme met die Afrikaanse vertaalekwivalente daarby en in die opvolggedeelte is die Afrikaanse terme en uitdrukkings verklaar.

Navrae kan gerig word aan: Johan Dorfling, Tel.: 012 804 2843


[The third revised edition of a terminology list containing English and Afrikaans bridge terms was recently published. The first part of this term list contains the English terms, with Afrikaans equivalents, and the second part consists of definitions of the Afrikaans terms.]




Article on Plain Legal Language Published Abroad

An article on legal terminology by Dr. Mariëtta Alberts titled Plain Language in a Multilingual Society was recently published in Neoterm – World Specialized Terminology, No. 35/36. Warszawa, 1999: 66-92. Neoterm is the journal of the International Federation of Terminology Banks (IFTB) and of the International Organization for the Unification of Terminological Neologisms (IOUTN), affiliated with the United Nations, NGO, DPI.




Let us be thankful for the fools. But for them the rest of us could not succeed — Mark Twain

Proverbs are the wisdom of nations — Polish proverb

Proverbs are the wisdom of the streets — German proverb

Seek direction from one who's already there — Old Zulu saying

Age gives good advice when it is no longer able to give bad example — American proverb

A child's life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark — Chinese proverb




Revision of Technical Dictionaries


The present terminology list was published in 1967. In 1999 the Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns (South African Academy for Science and Art) decided to revise the Art Terms / Kunsterme. The revised edition will be a comprehensive dictionary. All terms will be defined and it is planned to supply the term equivalents in the eleven official languages. The art and cultures of the various language groups will be incorporated. Information on this dictionary can be obtained from the chairperson, Prof. Alex Duffey, University of Pretoria.


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The South African Board For Personnel Practice (SABPP) has decided to review the terminology list. The SABPP has decided to compile an explanatory dictionary but has not yet decided on the language combinations.

The present terminology list was published in 1992 and proved to be a very worthwhile product. There was, however, such an outburst of new terminology in the personnel and related fields that the present terminology list does not contain all the relevant terms.

Anyone interested in this project can obtain more information from Mrs. Huma van Rensburg, Registrar of the SABPP,




New Terminology Projects


The National Language Service (NLS) was requested by the National Department of Education to document existing terminology, and to facilitate the development of terminology for new concepts needed to introduce African languages as medium of instruction in Grade 5 by 2002 for the learning areas Mathematical Literacy, Mathematics and Mathematical Sciences, Natural Sciences and Technology.

This should be done in cooperation with the Department of Education and PANSALB, and their structures should be utilised to enlist the support and assistance of teachers at classroom level.

The main objective of the project will be to capture terms already in use and to standardise or officialise these terms in each of the learning areas. If there are new concepts, proposals should be obtained from teachers in the learning areas and these should be discussed as widely as possible with the relevant collaborators and stakeholders and then these terms should be standardised or officialised.





At the start of 2000 work began on the compilation of a multimedia encyclopaedic subject-field dictionary. The dictionary will contain terms from African music cultures (source languages) with explanations of the terms in English. The terms will be described to give the meanings as well as the cultural circumstances in which they are used.

The main aim of this dictionary is the preservation and documentation of marginalised musical cultures. The project also aims to develop software by means of which students can study the music of their own cultures. This would also stimulate interest in local music cultures amongst the target group, namely high school learners and undergraduate students and music lovers.

This project is a first of its kind in Southern Africa as it is done on computer, utilising sound examples, video clips and coloured illustrations. The idea is to disseminate the product by means of CD-ROM or on the Internet.

The first phase deals with Xhosa musical terms. The next phases will deal with musical terms from other musical cultures in South Africa.

Although work on the project only commenced at the beginning of this year, the completion of the first phase (Xhosa terms) is planned for the end of 2001.

The compilers are Dr. Maria Smit and Ms. Leonore Bredekamp. Experts within the different fields of African musics are acting as consultants on the contents.

Persons interested in this project can contact the compilers at

The Department of Music

University of Stellenbosch

Private Bag Xl, MATIELAND, 7602


Dr. Smit: (021) 808 2364

Ms. Bredekamp: (021) 808 2176

— The members of Afrilex wish you well with this interesting project!




Tomorrow, tomorrow, not today, all the lazy people say — German proverb

A heavy burden does not kill on the day it is carried — Kenyan proverb

There is no death, only a change of worlds — Native American proverb





The task of the editor of the newsletter is to coordinate and distribute a newsletter. It is impossible to write a newsletter without news. You are therefore cordially requested to supply the editor with relevant lexicographical or terminographical information you would like to see distributed to members of AFRILEX. With your help, we can publish this newsletter at regular intervals. We would appreciate your ideas or comments on the frequency and contents of the newsletter. Let us make it a team effort! You can provide news in any of the official South African languages. Please supply an abstract in English to assist our readers without a knowledge of Afrikaans and the indigenous African languages to retrieve the relevant information. You can e-mail, telephone, fax or post information to Mariëtta Alberts at:

Tel.: (+27 12) 337-8105

Fax: (+27 12) 347-6197


National Language Service

Private Bag X894



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