International audience can follow and quiz experts online

In honour of Language Day 2021, the Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument (ATM) presents an exciting free webinar during which various experts will highlight Afrikaans’s diverse roots and contemporary incarnations.

The conversation, led by media personality Heindrich Wyngaard, will take place on Saturday morning, 14 August 2021, and Michael Jonas, director of the ATM, Dr Hans du Plessis, Prof Elvis Saal, Dr Annelise de Vries and Ms Ria Olivier will deliver their interesting, thought-provoking inputs. The virtual guests will also be able to air their questions and opinions regarding the talking point ‘The roots of Afrikaans, then and now?’

Although Afrikaans has no specific birthdate or place, the founding of the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners on 14 August 1875 (in what is now the Taalmuseum in Paarl) is celebrated as Language Day because this event ultimately led to the recognition of Afrikaans as an official language.

Wyngaard is the presenter of the talk show KLOP! on kykNET & kie, the current affairs programme KNverslag on kykNET and the news discussion programme Kommentaar on RSG. He is also a contributing editor of Vryeweekblad.com and contributes to Voertaal.nu and Sport-Rapport. Du Plessis has already produced more than 180 publications, and debuted in 1978 as a creative author with the poetry collection Kleinwild. His academic publications include linguistics textbooks, and language and literature articles in national and international journals. Saal is an associate professor in the Department of Afrikaans and General Literary Studies at the University of South Africa. He teaches Afrikaans linguistics at undergraduate and postgraduate level, in particular sociolinguistics and document design. De Vries is a lecturer in Afrikaans at Akademia and her research focus is applied linguistics, which includes language planning and forensic linguistics. Her most recently published work is a chapter in the book Language and the Law in South Africa and beyond – Language and crime: Issues in forensic linguistics. Olivier, a linguist and language practitioner, was, as a member of the National Language Body for Afrikaans, involved in the establishment of the Afrikaans Language Council, a constitutional body for the promotion of the language rights of Afrikaans speakers.

The webinar takes place via Zoom; it commences at 09:30 for 10:00 (SAT) and will end after 12:00. It will also be recorded after which it will be available for free on the internet and social media. Interested parties must send an e-mail to Jeffrey Pietersen at bemarking2@taalmuseum.co.za by 13 August so that he can provide the webinar’s meeting ID and password. Contact him on 021 872 3441 if there is any problem.

For further information on these and other opportunities, (online) courses and Covid-19 protocols, call 021 863 0543/4809 or visit www.taalmonument.co.za. The website also offers virtual tours of the monument and museum, information in six languages ​​on the symbolism of the Taalmonument as well as many interesting articles on Afrikaans, multilingualism and the institution’s past, present and future. There are also many resources for school and research projects. Year permits are available at R120 for individuals or R220 per family (currently offered at a 20% discount), which includes access to all Full Moon Picnics. THE LANGUAGE MONUMENT AND LANGUAGE MUSEUM ARE OPEN TO VISITORS – CURRENTLY FREE ENTRY FOR CHILDREN UNDER 18.