As people across the world celebrated International Mother Language Day on Thursday, 21 February 2019, staff and students at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) also took pride in sharing praises and identities of their indigenous home languages. About 6 200 indigenous languages are celebrated on this Mother Language Day.
This year’s world celebrations were anchored on the theme “Indigenous languages as a factor in development, peace and reconciliation”. UJ School of Languages (Afrikaans, African Languages, French, and Greek departments – including the UJ Confucius Institute) participated in various events, showcasing their languages and cultures.
The audience repeated phrases in the various languages, adding to the day festivities. The University’s choir (UNIJOH Chorale SWC), the Arts and Culture artists, and a praise poet also lent a festive atmosphere to the event, instilling a sense of pride and devotion to the African ‘self’.
This event was hosted by UJ’s School of Languages in the Faculty of Humanities, in collaboration with the Transformation Unit.
On Twitter, students at UJ and members of the public following the University’s handle shared expressions in their mother languages, translating the phrase “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much” in their languages Below are some of the users’ translations: