Author: Mmasibidi Setaka (SADiLaR Sesotho researcher) - English blog to follow
Matsatsing a sa tswa feta, Moporesidente wa Afrika Borwa, Monghadi Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, o tlotlile Ngaka Maphalla ka kgau ya Order of Ikhamanga (ya kgauta) e le sesupo sa mosebetsi o tswileng matsoho le o kgabane oo a o entseng ntshetsopeleng le polokong ya Sesotho. Tlotlo ena ya kgau ya Order of Ikhamanga ke tlolo ya maemo a hodimodimo, e ikgethileng e fuwang badudi ba Afrika Borwa ba bontshang bokgoni le boqhetseke bo boholo mafapheng a bonono, setso, dingolwa, mmino, boqolotsi le dipapading, ba itelletseng naha ya bona. Ngaka Maphalla o fuwe kgau ena ka baka la mosebetsi wa hae o kgabane dingolweng tsa Sesotho, mmoho le tema e kgolo eo a e kgathileng setjhabeng sa Basotho. Efela, nnete ke hore tlotlo ena e mo tshwanetse.
Le tla hopola hore ka selemo sa 2019, SADiLaR e ile ya tlotla Ngaka Maphalla ka mosebetsi o kgabane oo a o entseng, mme re ile ra tlallwa ke thabo ha re fumana ditaba tsa hore Moporesidente wa naha o bona ho tshwanelehile hore a tlotle kwakwariri ena ya Sesotho.
Ngaka Maphalla o ngotse dipadi, dithothokiso, diterama, dipalekgutshwe, le tse ding, mme a fumana dikgau tse ngata tse pakang talente le bokgoni ba hae. Tse ding tsa dibuka tseo a di ngotseng di balwa dikolong, mme tse ding tsa dibuka tseo a di ngotseng tse ileng tsa tuma ka sefutho ke Tshiu Tseo, Tshepo le metswalle, Tefo, Kabelwamanong, Nna ke mang? Botsang lebitla, le tse ding tse ngata.
Jwaloka SADiLaR, re lebohisa Ngaka Maphalla ka kgau ena. Leha Modimo a ile a mo hopola, mesebetsi ya hae e ya bonahana, e ya ipuella, ebile e kgethehile.
The President of the Republic of South Africa honors Dr Maphalla
In the past few days, The President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, honored Dr Maphalla with the (golden) Order of Ikhamanga as an evidence of the wonderful and excellent work that he did in the advancement and maintenance of Sesotho. This golden honor of Order of Ikhamanga is the highest, special honor, that is given to South African residents for manifesting capabilities and exceptional excellence in the fields of art, tradition, literature, music, journalism and sports, who have dedicated themselves to their country. Dr Maphalla was given this honor because of his excellent work in Sesotho literature, as well as the profound role he played among the Basotho nation. He definitely deserved this honor.
You will recall that in 2019, SADiLaR honored Dr Maphalla for the excellent work he has done, and we were delighted when we received the news that the President of the country deemed it appropriate to honor this Sesotho giant.
Dr Maphalla wrote plays, poems, dramas, short stories, and others and received many honors which showcase his talent and capabilities. Some of the books he wrote are read at schools, and some of them that quickly gained popularity include Tshiu Tseo, Tshepo le Metswalle, Tefo, Kabelwamanong, Nna ke Mang?Botsang Lebitla, and many more.
Like SADiLaR, we congratulate Dr Maphalla for this honor. Although God recalled him, but his works are evident, they cannot be denied and are unique.
IsiNdebele and Sesotho are two of the eleven South African official languages. They are distinct and belong to different language clusters within the Niger Congo consortium of languages. IsiNdebele is one of the four Nguni languages: Siswati, isiZulu and isiXhosa. While, Sesotho forms part of the three Sotho languages: Sepedi and Setswana. IsiNdebele and Sesotho are not only from two different ethnic groups but they are also orthographically different. IsiNdebele as a Nguni language is conjunctively written, meaning that the language joins morphemes to form phrases or sentences like in the following example: ‘I love you’ is written as one word ‘ngiyakuthanda’. “These languages are basically agglutinating in nature since prefixes and suffixes are used extensively in word formation” (Taljard and Bosch 2006:429). While in Sesotho the same phrase is written as ‘ke a o rata’ which is disjunctively written. Taljard and Bosch (2006:429) share more about these aspects in their article titled, ‘A Comparison of Approaches to Word Class Tagging: Disjunctively vs. Conjunctively Written Bantu Languages’.
“Both these languages belong to a larger grouping of languages, i.e. the Sotho and Nguni language groups respectively. Languages belonging to the same language group are closely related and to a large extent mutually intelligible.” (Taljard and Bosch 2006:429)
Mmasibidi Setaka is the proud Sesotho researcher at SADiLaR. She is passionate about her research into the digital sphere of this language as well as research area of lexicography.
As a researcher at SADiLaR, Ms Setaka is always working on a variety of different projects, but she is currently focusing her research on picture dictionaries. She also has a few projects that she is planning to work on in the future which includes writing articles about the different aspects of picture dictionaries, checking different methodologies and working out strategies to collect her research results, without making physical contact with the children whom the dictionaries are aimed for.
Since one of the main focuses of SADiLaR is to do research into languages within the context of Digital Humanities, this is also a big part of Ms Setaka’s research. When it comes to Digital Humanities, she states the following: “Digital Humanities brings different fields together thereby making collaboration for African scholars possible.”
My name is Mme Mmasibidi Setaka, I am a Sesotho Researcher at the South African Centre for Digital Language Resources which is a national centre supported by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI). SADiLaR has an enabling function, with a focus on all official languages of South Africa, supporting research and development in the domains of language technologies and language-related studies in the humanities and social sciences. The Centre supports the creation, management and distribution of digital language resources and software which are freely available for research purposes.