– by Nkosingiphile Ntshangase
UKZN Extended Learning had the pleasure of hosting delegates from the UKZN College of Health Sciences for our ‘Basic isiZulu’ short course on the 30th of March 2021. This course covers simple isiZulu grammar to enable delegates to construct simple sentences and hold conversations with their students and colleagues. Improving your practical knowledge and understanding of the language helps develop a useful vocabulary for the work environment. KwaZulu-Natal is a predominantly isiZulu speaking province where the language is spoken by over three-quarters (77.8%) of the population. Therefore, this course provides delegates with an opportunity to apply what they have learned in situations that are relevant to them. The Basic isiZulu short course covers the linguistic aspect of isiZulu and gives a background of certain aspects of the culture and heritage, which helps understand the behaviours better.
Delegates will learn how to use isiZulu in environments that are specifically applicable to the situations they come across in everyday life. The programme aims to assist delegates in achieving an appropriate proficiency level in the language, which can serve as a foundation for further, more fluent and informed interactions.
There are many benefits to learning more than one language as it assists with being more interconnected with those around you. Proficiency in at least one language other than your own is an important skill that allows you to engage with the world in a more meaningful way. We instinctively make associations to what we are most familiar with when learning a new language and culture. The most real connection to other cultures is language. Being able to communicate in another language opens and cultivates respect for the people associated with that language’s practices and history. Our desire to communicate with others is one of the most intriguing aspects of the human experience. In both personal and professional lives, bilinguals can engage and relate with a wider variety of people.