Multilingualismin the South African Workplace
South Africa is a democratic state that has many ethnical groups that is made of a diversity of different race groups, religions and ethnicities. Language has a special place in a people’s culture. Within South Africa, we have eleven official languages namely; Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu. Most South Africans can speak more than one language. Having eleven official languages are especially beneficial to such a diverse country. In the world German, English, Mandarin, Hindi and French are the most prominent business languages used in industry worldwide. In South Africa, a common language in business is English. It is also an official business language used within business circles around the world. Most of the universities in South Africa teach students in English. However, universities are now becoming more ethnic to a region and having a second language being introduced as an elective. For example at the University of Kwa Zulu-Natal that is situated geographically in the province of KwaZulu-Natal,there are predominantly Zulu speaking people. The university offers all its lectures in English but an elective that non-Zulu speaking students have to take is Zulu. Thisvery good language policythat assists students in business, medicine, engineering and humanities in understanding and communicating in the local language in the province. Culture and language has raised many contentious issues in the workplace within South African.This is a qualitative paper that will explore the following themes:
- Multilingualism within the workplace
- Psycholinguistics and Multilingual Cognition in Human Creativity
- Developing intercultural communication to improve workplace dynamics
Keywords - Apartheid, English,Multilingualism, South African languages, Workplace.