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Program Information

Program Name: BA in Language Technology
Program Homepage:
Institution: North-West University
Address: Private Bag X6001
City: Potchefstroom
Zip/Postal Code: 2531
State/Province: North West
Country: South Africa
Application Deadline: 30-November
Contact Person: Gerhard Van Huyssteen, Dr

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Phone: +27 (0)18 299 1488
Fax: +27 (0)18 299 1562
Linguistic Subfield(s): Computational Linguistics
Text/Corpus Linguistics
Program Size: Small (1-10 students)
Program Description: The great challenge posed by the industry is to combine the diverse fields of linguistics and computer sciences. The PU for CHE has responded to this growing demand for language technology expertise within the South African context by offering the specialised qualification, BA Language Technology. During your studies you will become familiar with:
- practical applications of language technology
- modern techniques and methods of natural language processing
- the latest database techniques and technologies
- the latest programming languages.

There is a strong concentration of expertise for this qualification at the PU for CHE, and is linked to an established research programme Language and Technology. Where additional expertise is required, this is drawn from our extensive national and international research network. For more information on the research programme, visit the web site of the Research Focus Area: Languages and Literature in the South African Context at

To provide for the needs of this qualification, a modern language technology laboratory is at your disposal. It is unique in South Africa and compares very favourably with international standards. Consequently, you can be sure of receiving the proper, hands-on training here.

Job opportunities

Upon completion of the programme you will be able to pursue a career as language technologist. In association with other parties, e.g. engineers, computer scientists, linguists, etc. you will be able to develop language technology applications for diverse areas such as the banking-, telecommunication-, and Internet industries, as well as for publishing houses.

Internationally acknowledged

Our strategic alliances in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and South Africa offer you international job opportunities for your internship with the possibility of a permanent appointment. Various bursaries are available, as well as under- and postgraduate study opportunities in the Netherlands.

Requirements of admission
- Full matriculation exemption
- A P-count of 14; and
- In the matriculation examination in Mathematics a mark of at least 50% on higher grade level or 60% on standard grade level

Alternatively, in the matriculation examination in Mathematics a mark of at least 50% on standard grade level and a mark of at least 50% in one of the following subjects: Computer Sciences, Accountancy or Physics and Chemistry.

Most important subjects

There are four important groups of subjects in this programme::
- Language technology: Speech Technology, Text Technology, Natural Language Processing, Corpus Linguistics, a project and a four month internship at a South African or international firm.
- Computer Sciences: Programming in Java, Databases, System Analysis, Artificial Intelligence, et cetera.
- Statistics and Mathematics
- Languages: certain modules of Afrikaans and English, as well as a choice between Tswana, Zulu, German or French.

Mode of presentation and length of the programme

The programme is offered full-time over four years.

Admission to postgraduate study

After you have obtained your degree, you can continue with a masters' and doctoral studies in General Linguistics.
Available Financial Aid: Various bursaries are available.

Both undergraduate and postgraduate study opportunities in the Netherlands.
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