During the week of 1-5 June 2020, SADiLaR collaborated with The Carpentries again and hosted another online workshop. The daily sessions during this week started at 09:00 until 13:00 and a detailed schedule was followed to make sure that those who attended the workshop received all the knowledge and skills that the workshop promised to deliver.
The workshop aimed to develop and teach the fundamental data skills needed to conduct research, which included data organisation with spreadsheets and OpenRefine as well as data analyses and visualiation with R. The target audience for the workshop was mainly researchers and postgraduate students who have little to no prior computational experience, and its lessons were domain-specific, building on learners' existing knowledge to enable them to quickly apply skills learned to their research. Participants were encouraged to help one another and to apply what they have learned to their research problems.
Ms. Nomsa Skosana is the isiNdebele researcher at SADiLaR. She finds the research fields of terminology development and lexicography very interesting, but specializes in translation (most of her research papers are based on translation).
She submitted a paper for Euralex 2021 with an abstract accepted for poster presentation (which was postponed due to COVID-19) and is finishing up a paper for ALASA 2020. During the period of national lockdown Ms. Skosana also started on a new paper, based on Autshumato Machine Translation.
Muzi Matfunjwa is the SADiLaR researcher, specialising in the language of Siswati. Other areas of research that interests Mr Matfunjwa includes Digital Humanities, Linguistics and Sociolinguistics. Covid-19 did not come in the way of Mr Matfunjwa and his research and he is currently working on a few different projects.
“I am writing an article on the translation of collocations in the South African Constitution from English into isiZulu, Siswati and isiNdebele. I am also writing an article on the use of ParaConc to extract terminology for quadrilingual dictionary creation.”
Muzi does not focus primarily on the present, but looks for prospective future future projects to work on as well. For the next couple of months, he will finish his articles and submit them for publication.
When it comes to Digital Humanities, Mr Matfunjwa believes that it can provide advanced and contemporary research methods in African studies especially in African Languages, hence promoting research and providing resources for African languages.
Language is not fixed, it is continuously changing and adapting to reflect the needs of its users. Today’s youth do not speak the same language as their parents. They develop their own unique slang and use it to communicate amongst themselves. Generation by generation, the vocabulary changes, pronunciation evolves and new terms are coined.
Within the past year a new language trend has emerged. South African male teenagers originating from the suburban areas came up with this very informal variety of language. They started using specific terms that are rather unusual and a bit confusing to the older generation. According to Pedersen (2007:3), new slang is invented to replace old slang aiding the youth of today to be able to be shocking or amusing people by speaking a certain way.