Oxford’s new Zulu-English dictionary is the first update in four decades for one of South Africa’s most widely spoken languages, the university publisher said Thursday.
Megan Hall, the publishing manager of Oxford in South Africa, said the dictionaries started reaching stores this week.
“As far as we are aware, there has not been an updated Zulu-English dictionary in the last four decades,” she said.
Manie Groenewald, the head of the African language studies department at the University of Johannesburg, said his students are now using a dictionary published in 1969 and another from the 1930s. Although they have been republished, they have not been updated, he said.
That has left users with a dictionary whose vocabulary predates the dramatic political and social transformation in South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994.
Hall said new terms added to the Zulu-English dictionary also includes “reality television” — or in Zulu, “izinhlelo zomabonakude eziliqiniso.”
Groenewald said the university already has ordered a new Oxford for the department and probably would be assigning it to students taking Zulu starting next year.
Zulu is one of South Africa’s 11 official languages, a main language in the coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal and one of the most commonly spoken in the commercial capital of Johannesburg alongside English and Afrikaans.
Source: The Associated Press.