Indigenous languages key for conveying information

Issued by
North West, Sep 2, 2015

The reading of newspapers or any other form of literature will be interpreted better and be more understandable when conveyed in your native language. This statement was made by Professor Abiodun Salawu during his inaugural lecture on 20 August: "Language, Culture, Media and Development: A Nexus of Harmony". Prof Salawu is a Professor of journalism, communication and media studies at the NWU Mafikeng Campus in the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences.

The inaugural lecture was based on a presentation of his research in and around indigenous language media and development communication. Prof Salawu asserts that the sources he used in his research confirm the language in which a development message is disseminated is a very important aspect of the message treatment. It is suggested that the indigenous language of any community is best suited for the purpose of conveying any message whatsoever to the said community.

He further asserts, through various research and data collected, that people would understand information better in their indigenous language than in a foreign language, no matter the length of time the foreign language has been with them.

"Language is the repository of culture. For indigenous languages and our communities to survive and grow, the media, especially the printed media, must be encouraged to use them. Printed media aid literacy; therefore, by reporting in these languages, our people can be effectively informed for development purposes," Prof Salawu concluded.