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Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe

On-line version ISSN 2224-7912
Print version ISSN 0041-4751

Tydskr. geesteswet. vol.48 n.3 Pretoria  2008

 

Die rol van taal by sakeondernemings in Suid-Afrika met spesifieke verwysing na die Vrystaat en die Noord-Kaap

 

The role of language regarding the world of business in South Africa: A study in the Free State and the Northern Cape Province

 

 

A G JenkinsonI; M de BeerII; Gino AlbertsIII

IDepartement Afrikaans en Nederlands, Duits en Frans, Universiteit van die Vrystaat meiring.HUM@ufs.ac.za
IIDepartement Afrikaans en Nederlands, Duits en Frans, Universiteit van die Vrystaat. SmithMS.HUM@ufs.ac.za
IIIDepartement Afrikaans en Nederlands, Duits en Frans, Universiteit van die Vrystaat gino.alberts@netsimaholo.gov.za

 

 


OPSOMMING

Die oogmerk met hierdie artikel is om die resultate van 'n ondersoek na die taalbehoeftes en voorkeure van kliënte/verbruikers in die besigheidsomgewing van die Vrystaat en die Noord-Kaap sistematies en empiries weer te gee binne die konteks van 'n veranderende veeltalige en multikulturele Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing. Die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewingsisteem beleef die afgelope twee dekades intense sosiale veranderings, wat taalnormverskuiwings meebring (Roux 2001:1). Dit kom vir die doeleindes van hierdie studie daarop neer dat veranderinge in die besigheidsisteme en kliënte se taalbehoeftes en -voorkeure in die Vrystaat en die Noord-Kaap moontlik mag plaasvind as gevolg van die dinamiese omgewing waarin hulle hulself bevind en die feit dat daar tans elf amptelike tale is. Anders as wat Burger in 2001 bevind het, huldig die Afrikaanssprekers in die Vrystaat en die Noord-Kaap gedurende 2005-2006 nie dieselfde intense sentiment jeens Afrikaans nie. Hierdie ondersoek wys ook uit dat Engelssprekers minder geneë is om in 'n ander taal bedien te word as Afrikaanssprekers.
Die koopkrag in die Vrystaat en die Noord-Kaap is tans grootliks in die hande van jong Afrikaanssprekers wat al meer geneig is om in Engels bedien, ingelig en vermaak te wil word alhoewel Afrikaans nog steeds 'n beduidende rol as voorkeurtaal in die besigheidswêreld speel.
Afrikaanssprekers verteenwoordig egter nog steeds die grootste huistaalgroep (42,5%), alhoewel hulle nie die grootste etniese groep is nie, met die Sothosprekers in die tweede plek (26,9%). Afrikaanssprekers geniet in 'n geringe mate die grootste verteenwoordiging in die hoogste inkomstekategorie, en inkomste is redelik eweredig versprei in al die taal- en inkomstegroeperings. Bogenoemde inligting het tot bevindings gelei maar het ook vrae laat ontstaan wat antwoorde soek binne 'n nasionale opset.

Trefwoorde: Multilingualisme; sakeondernemings; taalbehoeftes; kliënte; empiriese ondersoek; Vrystaat; Noord-Kaap


ABSTRACT

The purpose of this article is to report on a research project regarding the language needs and the language of preference in the business world in the Free State and the Northern Cape. The research was done in a systematic and empirical way within the context of a rapidly changing and complex South African environment. Data for these two provinces, whose population represents 7,1% of the total household expenditure in South Africa as reported by Duvenhage (2000), were analysed collectively. These two provinces are characterised by their large Afrikaans speaking population.
Previous findings of language audits were kept in mind as well as the ongoing heated debates regarding language issues in South Africa. A literature survey was undertaken as a background to this study. Previous studies showed that Afrikaans speaking communities represent the strongest buying power in South Africa and that they are inclined to "open their pockets" to businesses that speak their language. This empirical study, however, brings new findings and tendencies to the fore that have practical implications regarding the world of business in the regions mentioned and it poses related questions that need to be investigated. Some of the findings were that Tswana speakers became more inclined to being served in Afrikaans than a few years earlier. Afrikaans speakers on the other hand seem to feel more comfortable being served in English when they visit restaurants or when they make use of airlines than a few years ago.
Although English dominates the business world, respondents showed that they prefer to be entertained in their home language when educated by means of the radio and television and when making use of taxis for transport purposes. The study showed that respondents who visited businesses where the questionnaires were distributed, were mainly black and coloured women between eighteen and forty years of age. Although Afrikaans represents the biggest home language group in the areas because of the large number of coloured people in the Northern Cape and the fact that some Sotho speakers use Afrikaans as their home language, English proved to have a slight advantage over Afrikaans in being the language of preference in the business environment in the Free State and the Northern Cape. Literature studies show that there is a great shift in income in South Africa with regard to the different language groups and that black communities currently represent almost 50% of income while their earnings in 1960 were a mere 23,3% (Van Wyk 2005). This shift may have an effect on language preferences in the business world.
The global context of development in world languages should also be kept in mind when questions are posed regarding the language audit in the Free State and the Northern Cape. Afrikaans speaking respondents represented the largest group in the income bracket above R7 501. Even though it is a fact that language has become politicized in the South African environment during the past decades and that it still causes a ripple effect on the South African system, ideological matters are not discussed, but are kept in mind regarding the interpretation of data within the context of an increasingly complex dynamic society.

Key concepts: Multilingualism; businesses; language needs; customers; empirical study; Free State; Northern Cape


 

Full text available only in PDF format.

 

 

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Alfred George Jenkinson is medeprofessor in die département Afrikaans en Nederlands, Duits en Frans aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat. Sy spesialiteitsrigtings is morfologie en sintaksis. Hy doen ook teksversorging vir die geakkrediteerde tydskrif Acta Academica waarvan hy 'n redaksielid is. Verskeie artikels, bydraes in boeke en resensies van hom het binne die vakgebied van Afrikaans verskyn.

Alfred George Jenkinson is associate professor in die department of Afrikaans and Dutch, German and French at the University of the Free State. His areas of specialisation are morphology and syntax. He also does text editing for Acta Academica, an accredited journal of which he is a publication committee member. He has published several articles, book contributions and book reviews within the subject field of Afrikaans

Matilda Sophia de Beer is senior lektor aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat. Gedurende 'n akademiese loopbaan van 23 jaar was sy ook verbonde aan die Universiteit van Vista en was sy gasheerdosent in Praag en Pole waar sy Afrikaans onderrig het. Sy onderneem verskeie studiereise na die Ooste, Afrika, Amerika en Europa met betrekking tot die vakgebiede Afrikaans, Nederlands asook Toerisme, wat etlike referate in die buiteland oor toerisme insluit. Sy neem deel aan internasionale navorsingsprogramme met Ghana en Southern University in Louisiana. Verskeie artikels, bydraes in boeke en resensies van haar het binne die vakgebied Afrikaans verskyn.

Matilda Sophia de Beer is a senior lecturer at the University of the Free State. During her academic career of 23 years she also taught at Vista University and was invited to teach Afrikaans in Prague and Poland. She engaged in several study tours to the East, Africa, Europe and the United States regarding the subject Afrikaans, Dutch and Tourism. During these visits she presented various papers on tourism development in South Africa. She engages in international research projects with Ghana and Southern University in Louisiana. She has published several articles, book contributions and book reviews within the subject field of Afrikaans.

Gino Alberts is die woordvoerder van die Metsimaholo munisipaliteit van Sasolburg. Hy was vir twee jaar werksaam by OFM nadat hy die grootste deel van sy loopbaan Afrikaans onderrig het by Kaelong Sekondêre Skool in Bloemfontein. Hy begin sy studies aan die Universiteit van Vista en verwerf sy Magister Artium in Afrikaans aan die Universiteit van die Vrystaat in 2007.

Gino Alberts is the spokesperson of the Metsimaholo municipality of Sasolburg. He was in the service of OFM for two years after teaching Afrikaans for several years at Kaelong Secondary School in Bloemfontein. He started his tertiary education at Vista University and obtained the degree of Magister Artium in Afrikaans at the Free State University in 2007.

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