A functional terminological analysis of a “Multilingual parliamentary/ Political terminology list” of the Department of Arts and Culture
Majozi, Joyce Jabulile
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South Africa’s National Language Policy Framework was formulated in 2003. The framework was designed to create an enabling environment for the development of instruments and initiatives intended to promote multilingualism in the country. Following the formulation of the National Language Policy Framework, National Parliament, in collaboration with the Western Cape and the Eastern Cape Legislatures, commissioned a project of developing a Terminology List of terminology that is used in these settings. This Terminology List was taken over and expanded in 2005. According to the Terminology List’s preface, “stakeholders embarked on the enlarged terminology project in order to ensure that multilingualism was possible in this field. The Multilingual Parliamentary/Political Terminology List will promote multilingualism in Parliament and elsewhere, and will facilitate effective communication between parliamentarians, politicians, national and provincial language offices, provincial legislatures and Hansard offices” (DAC (2005: iii-iv). With perhaps one exception (Rondganger, 2012) focusing on the English-Afrikaans language pair, there are no known studies evaluating the Multilingual Parliamentary/Political Terminology List. As a result, it is not known to what extent envisaged target users (e.g. language practitioners) in National and Provincial Legislatures are even aware of its existence. It is also not known to what extent the terminology resource is able to support target users in the typical usage situations envisaged in the preface. More generally, there has also been no determination of how the Multilingual Parliamentary/Political Terminology List has contributed to language development, specifically, making possible the use of the nine indigenous African languages for parliamentary-related discourse. As a consequence of the above dearth of knowledge around the Multilingual Parliamentary/Political Terminology List, there also is no empirical database upon which suggestions can be made for improving it; that is, responding to the call in the preface for suggestions: “the compilers acknowledge that it might be useful to expand the collection, and any suggestions in this regard will be welcomed” (DAC (2005: iv). This research draws on the sociology of dictionary use (Kühn 1989, Flinz 2010) and on a knowledge-attitude-practice (KAP) approach to terminology evaluation (Antia 2000, Antia & Clas 2003; Rubin 1977, Kummer 1983) to analyse the Multilingual Parliamentary Terminology List.