Pansalb releases first edition of the Nama language guide

Nama language
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The Pan South African Language Board (Pansalb) in the Northern Cape has unveiled the first edition of the of the Nama language spelling and orthography rules book. The board started the project of compiling the book as far back as 2016.

Pansalb says they hope the book will assist schools which are interested in using and teaching the language.

Nama speaker and activist, Willem Damara is excited.

“It is now for the first time the Nama speaking people can say this is our own product, we can now learn to read and write our own language, it is now developed and we can take ownership. So, with this spelling rules and orthography we are on the road to officialising our language.”

The Provincial Manager at Pansalb, Boichoko Moremi, says it took them at least six years to put the book together and this is part of their attempt to educate the country about the Khoi and San people.

“The Nama in Namibia and the Nama in South Africa is not the same, even informed by the research that we have conducted as Pansalb. Now in terms of the South African situation and context we had to develop spelling and orthography rules that are purely South African that would suit the South African environment that will ensure that when we assist with the teaching of the language. We don’t mix Nama and Haixom or Nama and Damara but it must be purely Nama.”