Date: 09 July 2015 Read: 3455
I refer to the letter published in the edition of 18 June 2015, referring to the use of the term 'muti' in our newspaper and the complaint that followed from Mr Godfrey Musoliwa.
Firstly, I do not see anything wrong in our newspaper using the word muti. Let us all admit that IsiZulu is South Africa's biggest language and that the language has regional influences not only in South Africa but in the whole of Southern Africa. IsiZulu words, together with Swahili, are also found in the English dictionary where English words do not exist.
As a Tsonga speaker, my language has been highly influence by IsiZulu for centuries. One cannot speak Tsonga without uttering a Zulu influence word and that is a reality. Even if there are no statistics available, one could assume that about 30% of Xitsonga spoken words have been influenced by IsiZulu.
IsiZulu is not the only language in the world that influences other languages. In Europe, for example, the Spanish and Portuguese languages have influenced English in number of ways, for example, negro is a Spanish and Portuguese word and it means black.
For centuries, the United States of America (where English is the main language), has used the word negro to refer to black people (later known as African-American). The word negrowas used for centuries in the English-speaking world and was incorporated into the English language.
In South Africa, there is no language group that can escape the influence of the Zulu language. In conclusion, let us take pride in our diversity and promote the 'rainbow nation' by promoting the use of all our languages as we celebrate 21 years of democracy. - Makhosini Makhubele