Readersforum's Blog

March 18, 2013

South African creates new Zulu terms

Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi has developed 480 new Zulu words to explain science and technology terms, and to promote mother tongue education to assist young minds

Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi has developed 480 new Zulu words to explain science and technology terms, and to promote mother tongue education to assist young minds

By Wilma den Hartigh

A South African electrical engineer turned author has developed 480 new Zulu words to explain contemporary science and technology.

Phiwayinkosi Mbuyazi has combined his love for languages, science and technology to provide children with new Zulu words through which to explore the modern world, encourage a generation of inquiring minds and preserve his mother tongue.

Through his work, he wants to keep the Zulu language current by expanding its vocabulary, promoting mother tongue education, and encouraging people to read indigenous language books.

“I wanted to write in Zulu about subjects no one else was writing about,” he says. “I knew that in technical fields there is nothing written in indigenous languages.”

He wants to change perceptions about indigenous languages, and with the new words give people tools to understand and discuss contemporary science and technology in their home language.

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