Get to know our community: Dr Victor Mojela
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About Dr Victor Mojela
Dr. Victor Mojela is a speaker of the Northern Sotho Seroka dialect. He is Editor-in Chief and Executive Director at the Sesotho sa Leboa Dictionary Unit, at the University of Limpopo, and also president of Afrilex, the African Association for Lexicography.
Besides compiling dictionaries, Dr Mojela is also supervises MA and PhD students in the Universities of Pretoria & Limpopo, and is an Examiner for MA & PhD candidates for the Universities of Venda, Pretoria and UJ.
Dr Victor Mojela is also one of the Northern Sotho Oxford Living Dictionary Language Champions, lending us his expertise to help make the Oxford Global Languages initiative a success.
We’ve asked him his perspectives on the Oxford Global Languages initiative:
The importance of OGL for Northern Sotho
Firstly, the inclusion of the Northern Sotho Language to be amongst the 100 selected languages from all over the globe means a lot for this language.
The OGL programme is not only going to elevate this language to a status it could never have acquired for several centuries to come, but will also elevate the speakers of the language to be recognised internationally as the speakers of a prestige living language which can be used in all spheres of life, especially as an academic language.
What does the initiative mean for Northern Sotho?
By mere integrating and linking together the language contents across the world, the Northern Sotho Language will be counted with international languages.
The program will make it possible for the international researchers and institutions all over the world to access available data for the Northern Sotho Language.
Whether one is in Europe, Asia, America or in Australia, Northern Sotho will always be readily available.
Also, the OGL initiative will help with the elimination of dialectal purism. One of the most striking and unique advantages for the Northern Sotho language is the fact that OGL will not only be limited to the standard language, but will also consider the various dialects of the languages.
This is presently the biggest problem the Northern Sotho language is facing today, i.e. that of dialectal divisions with some dialects trying to dominate and to own the language at the expense of others, especially the dialects which were never converted to written forms by the Missionaries – who are original authors of all our indigenous languages.
Those speakers whose dialects dominate the standard language do not want to have other dialects included in the standard language because these are regarded as inferior, sub-standard languages, even though they are spoken by the majority of the Northern Sotho people
As a result, the speakers of the so-called ‘prestige’ dialects sometimes would need interpreters to understand what the speakers of the side-lined dialects say.
As such, by bringing all these dialects on board, the OGL will be elevating the language as a whole, as a totality, and not a section of the Northern Sotho language.
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