Newsletter 2 Ė December 1996

Compiler: M. Alberts



&Registration of the name 'AFRILEX'

Notice was given in the Government Gazette of 11 October 1996 (No. 17482) of the registration of the name and special name of the African Association for Lexicography, as published under the Government Notice No. 1312 of 16 August 1996.


&NLU Bill

The national lexicography units Bill was certified as correct by the State Legal Advisers, was translated into Afrikaans and now serves before the Portfolio Committee: Arts, Culture and Language, Science and Technology.


&Newspaper clipping: NLUs

Patrick Bulger, the parliamentary correspondent of the Star commented on the national lexicography units Bill under the title: Lexicographers wilt under rainbow's radiance.


The correspondent mentioned that the Bill was introduced by the Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. According to Bulger, Minister Mtshali declared that "It is the democratic right of every citizen to be empowered in any language of his or her choice in order to make a meaningful contribution to sociopolitical activities ... This Bill is a constructive contribution to reconciliation and nation building in South Africa ..."


Patrick Bulger continues to say: "In other words, this bill is going to accommodate the building of lexicographs (dictionaries) [sic] of the 11 official languages, namely Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and isiZulu, to quote our constitution."


"This of course is a monumental exercise and will keep teams of language fundis scratching their heads well into the next century and, who knows, beyond. The lexicographers may have a much bigger job on their already busy hands than they realise."


"Indeed, if there is still time, the legislators may want to consider interrupting their holidays to bang through a constitutional amendment to change a subsection of the language clause that could make lexicography in this country an impossible and deeply unrewarding enterprise."



The first Annual Language Conference by TSHIWA was held on 2 November 1996 at the University of Venda. The theme of the conference was: Challenges facing the development of African Languages in South Africa today: Overcoming obstacles and hindrances.


The highly successful conference was organised by Mr. EN Phaswana. The first keynote address was by Prof. G Nkondo, Principal of UNIVEN. Ms. B Mabandla, Deputy Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, could unfortunately not attend the conference but her keynote address was read by Mr. Phakamani Mthembu of the National Terminology Services (NTS).


A variety of subjects were dealt with at the conference, inter alia the development of Tshivenda orthography; recognition and position of African languages in South Africa; professionalising African languages: career possibilities; language and economic development; teaching African languages as foreign languages; etc.


Dr. MariŽtta Alberts was invited to read a paper. She discussed various aspects relating to the establishment of a national lexicography unit for Tshivenda. She explained aspects such as financing, business plans J, etc. There was great enthusiasm for such a unit amongst the delegates. The Principal of UNIVEN made it clear that the University would like to host the national lexicography unit for Tshivenda.


The Bel Canto Chorale entertained the delegates with beautiful songs. Merit Certificates were handed to the various speakers.


Anyone interested in more information can contact Dr. Alberts at: Tel.: (012) 314-6167; Fax: (012) 325-4943.



Four Afrilex members plan a visit to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya, from 12 to 19 January 1997.


Prof. Rufus Gouws, Chairperson of Afrilex, Dr. MariŽtta Alberts, Secretary-Treasurer, Prof. Danie Prinsloo, Organiser, and Mr. Phakamani Mthembu from the NTS will be visiting the Kiswahili Research and Dictionary Centre and other dictionary projects situated at various universities in Tanzania and Kenya. In Dar es Salaam they will be hosted by one of our Afrilex members, Dr. Albina Chuwa, and by Dr. John G. Kiango who are both employees of the Kiswahili Research and Dictionary Centre.


Mr. Ron Moe, coordinator of dictionary projects in East Africa, Dr. Eunice Nyomasyo of the Kenyatta University and Prof. Mohammed and Mr. John Munyua of the Moi University in Nairobi will also be visited.



The Tweetalige Lys Geologiese en Verwante Terme was published in 1953. Within ten years of the launching of the list, an urgent need for its revision and supplementation was identified.


As early as 1963 the initiative for the revision of the list was taken by the Geological Survey (now the Council for Geoscience). As the task of revising the list continued, the sheer multitude of new terms to be included led to the decision that a new and comprehensive English-Afrikaans translating dictionary for Geology should be compiled.


After suggestions and comments from universities and other collaborators were collected and consolidated, the terms were divided into the different subfields. The terms were discussed and finalised per subfield by specialist sub-committees comprising experts from the Geological Survey and terminologists from the National Terminology Services (NTS), now part of the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology.


Terms from the following 37 geological subdisciplines and related fields of study are included in this Dictionary:

Biostratigraphy, Cartography, Chronostratigraphic names, Coal Geology, Crystal Chemistry, Crystallography, Drilling, Mineral Deposits, Mineral names, Mineralogy, Mineral Processing, Mining, Oceanography, Petroleum Geology, Earth (mainly terms related to the strata of the earth) Economic Geology, Engineering Geology, Geochemistry, Geohydrology, Geochronology, Geophysics, Geo-morphology, Glaciology, Lunar terms, Meteorites, Petrology, Photogrammetry, Plate Tectonics, Rock names, Sedimentology, Spelaeology, Stratigraphy, Structural Geology, Structural Petrology, Surveying, Volcanology, Weathering.


The Dictionary of Geology was printed in May of this year and was launched at a function at the SA Akademie Building, Arcadia, Pretoria on 28 August 1996.


The publishing of this dictionary embodies the realisation of a long-cherished ambition to produce an extensive and well-revised body of geological terms. The English-Afrikaans section of the dictionary contains nearly 23,340 headwords and the Afrikaans-English section includes about 24,120 headwords. A special annexure contains 4,053 mineral names in English, for which Afrikaans equivalents are provided. The main sections and the annexure of mineral names comprise 795 pages. The front matter of the dictionary consists of nearly 100 pages. In the Introduction certain terminological patterns regarding geological terms are discussed.


The geological terminology is characterised by interesting loanwords such as:

boundinage, stamukha and tsunami


and transliterations such as:

paroksisme = paroxysm

tanatosenose = thanatocenosis


and terms unique to Afrikaans such as:

katoogkleurspeling = chattoyancy

abbastruktuur = piggyback style

koggelblok = snook


To enhance the usefulness of the dictionary, context indications abound to explain or contextualise concepts. In addition to the dictionary format, the terms are also available in electronic format on the National Termbank that is maintained by the NTS. The electronic format contains enriched data such as definitions, explanations, suggestions, comments from specialists, the word origin for, inter alia, mineral names, rock names and chronostratigraphic names. This enriched data can be fruitfully utilised by terminologists to facilitate them in the process of coining equivalents for any other target language.


Technical dictionaries, such as this one, which are based on the expertise of subject specialists and terminologists and which underwent various consecutive phases towards completion are indispensable working tools. They offer a sound foundation of valuable terminological data and they also provide relevant subject-related information.


The Dictionary of Geology can be obtained from the Council for Geoscience, 280 Pretoria Street, Silverton, Pretoria, Tel.: (012) 841-1017 or ordered by mail from the Council for Geoscience (Geological Survey), Private Bag X112, 0001 Pretoria. The cost per unit is R100, VAT excluded.



Die Taalkommissie het pas sy tweede sitting van 1996 afgehandel. Benewens die gewone werksaamhede is daar veral aandag gegee aan die finalisering van bydraes tot die konsepteks van die nuwe Afrikaanse Woordelys en SpelreŽls (AWS). Ons hoop om hierdie proses op die eerste sitting van 1997 af te handel, sodat daar so gou moontlik begin kan word met die afronding van 'n publikasieteks.


Die uitgangspunt is om so min moontlik aan bestaande reŽls te torring, maar om die geldige kritiek wat daar op die huidige AWS uitgespreek is Ė beslis ook die kritiek van gebruikers soos terminoloŽ, leksikograwe en taalpraktisyns Ė in die nuwe uitgawe te verreken. 'n Interessante nuwigheid sal waarskynlik die aanbieding van die spelreŽls wees. Ons probeer die reŽls so eenvoudig te formuleer dat senior hoŽrskoolleerlinge dit sal kan toepas. ReŽlgroepe (hoofstukke wat oor bepaalde onderwerpe handel) gaan heel moontlik alfabeties aangebied word, met volledige kruisverwysings na verwante reŽls. Die Taalkommissie wil ook graag 'n moderne, aantreklike en toeganklike bladuitleg gebruik. Hiervoor word kers opgesteek by soortgelyke publikasies van ander tale, bv die Duitse Duden. Ons gee ook heelwat aandag aan voorbeeldmateriaal: dit moet die reŽls behoorlik illustreer, verteenwoordigend wees van sowel spreker- en gebruikergroepe as breŽ gebruiksterreine, en nie probleme probeer omseil of ontduik nie.


Daar lÍ nog baie werk voor, maar ons hoop om iewers in 1998 'n AWS te publiseer wat ag geslaan het op gebruikers se kommentaar, wat werklik gebruikersvriendeliker sal wees en wat vir alle gebruikers verstaanbaar en toeganklik sal wees Ė kortom 'n nuttige en bruikbare gids en naslaanbron. Mog ons daarin slaag!


Tom McLachlan, Taalkommissielid



Die Taalkommissie het by sy vergadering in September 1996 in beginsel aanvaar dat afleidings van eiename wat bv op ‑isme, ‑iaans, ‑ies en andere eindig, met hoof- of kleinletters geskryf kan word. Voorbeelde van hierdie afleidings is:

Anglisisme of anglisisme

Christen of christen

Mefistofelies of mefistofelies

Nestoriaans of nestoriaans

Freudiaans of freudiaans

Jakobyn of jakobyn

Lutheraan of lutheraan

Marxisme of marxisme


Hierdie vryheid van keuse raak nie afleidings van plekname nie, bv Pretorianer, Europese, Kakemiet en dergelike word deurgaans met 'n hoofletter geskryf.


Hiermee probeer die Taalkommissie om die onsekerheid oor diť skryfwyse uit die weg te ruim. Daar word tans ook in die huidige AWS 'n groot mate van vryheid gelaat, maar in sekere gevalle moet 'n besluit geneem word op grond van "gevoel dat die band met die oorspronklike naam nog heg is".


Die Taalkommissie ontvang graag u kommentaar op hierdie voorstel. U kan u kommentaar aan Dr Anton Prinsloo stuur by Radio Sonder Grense, SAUK, 2006 Auklandpark, e-pos:



According to our records some of our members have not yet paid their Afrilex subscription of R 50,00 for 1996.


If you have not yet received a GREEN MEMBERSHIP CARD with the AFRILEX LOGO and your name on it, it means that you have not yet paid your subscription fees for 1996!


If the matter has slipped your mind, please let us have your payment before 31 January 1997, since we will unfortunately have to remove the names of non-paying 'members' after that date.


The practical implications of this will be that you will no longer receive newsletters or other information brochures. You already did not receive a FREE copy of Lexikos Ė the official mouthpiece of the Association.


We believe that everyone involved in Afrilex will want to continue to be associated with the exciting developments awaiting Afrilex over the next few years.



Do you know any of the Tate family in our Association?


There is old man Dic Tate who wants to run everything, while uncle Ro Tate tries to change everything. Their sister Agi Tate stirs up plenty of trouble, with the help of her husband Irri Tate. Whenever new ideas are suggested Hesi Tate and his wife Vege Tate want to wait until next year. Then there is Imi Tate who wants our Association to be like all others. Devas Tate provides the voice of doom, while Poten Tate wants to be a big shot.


But not all members of the Tate family are bad. Facili Tate (his mother was Italian) is quite helpful in matters of the Association, and a happy member is his sister Felici Tate. Cousins Cogi Tate and Medi Tate always think things over and lend a helpful and steady hand.


And of course there is the black sheep of the family, Ampu Tate, who has completely cut himself off from the Association.



Please remember that subscription fees of R 50,00 are due for 1997. Payments can be made to the Treasurer: Afrilex, P.O. Box 846, 0153 Wingate Park.




Please contact Prof. Danie Prinsloo at (012) 420-2320 or e-mail:


&Murphy's Laws

               There is never enough time to do it right the first time, but there is always enough time to do it over!!!

               Don't be irreplaceable, if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

               To err is human, to forgive is not company policy.

               The last person that quit or was fired will be the one held responsible for everything that goes wrong Ė until the next person quits or is fired.



Sinifisela izilokotho ezinhle kulesikhathi sentokozo.


Beste wense vir die feesgety.


Mahlatse le mahlogonolo mo matsatsing a maikhutso.


Best wishes for the festive season.


Iminqweno emihle ngelixesha lokuphumla.


Keleletso matlhogonolo mo matsatsing a boikhutso.


Ditakaletso tsa mahlohonolo matsatsing a phomolo.


Hi mi navelela ku wisa lokunene hi nkarhi wa Khisimusi.


Tilokotfo letinhle ngesikhatsi sekuphumula.


Ri ni tamela mashudu maduvhani a u awela.


Sinifisela itjhudu ngamalanga ka-Kresimesi.




WE NEED AN EDITOR FOR THE NEWSLETTER. Please contact MariŽtta Alberts if you are interested in this job!!!

Tel.: (012) 314-6167 (W)

Fax:(012) 325-4943




Submitted by Another vintage model


               Everything hurts Ė what doesn't hurt, doesn't work.

               The gleam in your eyes is the sun hitting your bifocals.

               You feel like the morning after Ė but you haven't been anywhere.

               Your children begin to look middle-aged.

               You join the health club and don't go.

               You know all the answers but no one asks the questions.

               You look forward to a dull evening.

               You need glasses to find your glasses.

               You turn out the light for economy instead of romance.

               Your knees buckle and your belt won't.

               Your house is too big but your medicine chest isn't.



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