Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info

Ask-A-Linguist Message Details

Subject: Bilingualism (the description of bilingualism)
Question: The principle of ethnic origin takes into account the home language
of the child. In countries where bilingual communities are closely
intermingled the policy may be to have the child do his schooling
in the language which he normally speaks at home. This is the
policy, for example, in many parts of South Africa.
From William F Mackey's article of ''the description of

My question is: what are some example of these South African
countries? Thanks in advance.

Reply: Mackey wrote that article in 1962, when South Africa was a VERY different place politically and organisationally. You will need to look up the history of South Africa to see the details, but it's very much in the news at the moment as a result of the death of Nelson Mandela, so that should be easy enough.

The terms 'South Africa' and 'Southern Africa' might be confusing you (and perhaps Mackey did not use them as they are used now: I can't remember). 'Southern Africa' is a geographical term and 'South Africa' is the name of a country. I do not know what the countries of Southern Africa were in 1962, but now they are: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland. (I hope I haven't missed any off!) Like all geographical terms there is some flexibility. For example, Mozambique might be seen as a Southern African country by some but 'East African' by others.

Reply From: Anthea Fraser Gupta      click here to access email
Date: 13-Dec-2013
Other Replies:
  1. Re: Bilingualism (the description of bilingualism)    Susan D Fischer     (09-Dec-2013)
  2. Re: Bilingualism (the description of bilingualism)    Geoffrey Richard Sampson     (10-Dec-2013)

Back to Most Recent Questions