FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
13 OCTOBER 2021, PRETORIA
PanSALB ANNOUNCES 2021 SA WORD OF THE YEAR SHORTLIST
The Pan South African Language Board (PanSALB), in association with media research company, Focal Points, hereby announce the following shortlisted words as candidates for SA Word of the Year 2021:
- Batlao hurda (slang for ‘they will hurt you’)
- Family Meeting
The SA Word of the Year is a word, term or expression preferred to reflect the passing year in language. To qualify for consideration, there must be evidence that the usage of the word or expression has increased significantly in the past 12 months across a broad range of media. The shortlisted words have, according to PanSALB captured the ethos, mood or preoccupations of 2021.
The winner will be announced on Friday, 15 October 2021, to coincide with the International Dictionary Day commemoration that PanSALB will be conducting virtually in conjunction with the National Lexicography Units under the theme ‘The Essential Role of Dictionaries in Language and Learning’ embracing the UNESCO Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022 – 2032).
“The pandemic has brought to the fore a number of words, expressions and terms that were not prevalent in our everyday language that have seen a significant rise in use over the past year or so. Through social media we are also witnessing the evolution of language and lexical borrowing of words from one language to another in what is referred to as translanguaging” said PanSALB CEO Mr Lance Schultz.
Other words/terms that were submitted and considered include:
- Constitutional Court
- Beke le beke (‘weekly’ or ‘week in week out’)
International Dictionary Day is celebrated on October 16 in remembrance of the first American lexicographer, Noah Webster who is considered to be the father of the American dictionary. PanSALB, through its National Lexicography Units, develops dictionaries in all official languages for sustainable language development and the furtherance of multilingualism in South Africa.