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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

Print version ISSN 0256-9574

Abstract

MADZIMBAMUTO, Farai D. Developing anatomical terms in an african language. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2012, vol.102, n.3, pp. 132-135. ISSN 0256-9574.

Clinical and technical information imparted in most African The ChiShona language is used to explore the ability of an languages involves inexact terminology and code switching, so it African language to develop new terminology, to name the vertebral lacks the explanatory power characterised by the English language. skeleton and describe it scientifically. It uses word compounding to African languages are absent in the tertiary science education demonstrate terminology development. ChiShona has similarities environment and forums where African scientists could present with several hundred other Bantu languages in East, Central and scientific material in the medium of African languages. This limits Southern Africa. Advancing this language can promote similar the development of African languages in the scientific domain. developments in others, making them more explanatory for the lay There has recently been a trend in several African languages to public and health professionals. develop and intellectualise them, especially in the field of medical sciences. The ChiShona language is used to explore the ability of an African language to develop new terminology, to name the vertebral skeleton and describe it scientifically. It uses word compounding to demonstrate terminology development. ChiShona has similarities with several hundred other Bantu languages in East, Central and Southern Africa. Advancing this language can promote similar developments in others, making them more explanatory for the lay public and health professionals.

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