GWERU: Zimbabwe yesterday joined the rest of the world in celebrating the world mother language day with a top academic saying language has a huge bearing on national development.
Language forms the basis of national development as it clarifies the progress trajectory of the nation even to the most marginalised communities.
Midlands State University Language Institute Director Professor Wiseman Magwa says Africa and Zimbabwe in particular have lagged behind in terms of development due to failure to recognise and appreciate mother languages.
“Countries like Germany, France and China have managed to push their development agenda through us of language. Unfortunately, here in Africa this cannot too said to be true as people tend to shun their mother language.
“The tragedy we have is that colonialism is taking a toll on our mind-sets we need to debunk this colonial mildest for us to achieve development as a continent. Because with language we can communicate our development trajectory without any prejudice.”
Professor Magwa also applauded government efforts in transcribing essential documents into 16 officially recognised languages in the country.
“We have since transcribed the constitution into the 16 officially recognised languages. We have also transcribed the national development strategy one document into officially recognised mother languages and we are now waiting the printing of these documents of distribution.
“The second republic has since recognised the importance of languages as a toll for the decolonisation process. We need to embrace this thrust for us to achieve vision 2013 of an upper middle-income economy, he added”
The International Mother Language Day is observed on the 21st of February annually to promote awareness of linguistic and cultural diversity and multi-lingualism across the globe.