• Jo-Marie Claaasen Redakteur / Editor


Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in i/lis - "Times change, and we adapt ourselves to I are changed along with them." Whether classicists interpret the first person plural as medial or passive depends on the degree to which, in every age, they rise to the occasion. South African multilingualism is now statutorily acknowledged. It is further to be protected by the institution of a Pan South African Language Board. The recognition of eleven official languages is welcomed by all who value Language in the abstract as the most important cultural product of any society. By giving official status to the home languages of the greater part of South African society, the powers that be have not introduced a new Babel. They have given value to and affirmed the importance of each citizen's "language of the heart". Multilingualism is a fact of life in a large part of the world. This has been so since the days of Ennius, whose tria corda gave recognition to Latin, Greek and his native Oscan. In India today, in any given area, citizens are used to filling in official forms in one language, perhaps going to school in another, using a third language in the shops, and perhaps praying in a fourth. With the passing of colonialism the days have also passed in which members of a particular Hernnvolk could hector subservient underlings in the conqueror's own particular monolanguage, in the fond hope that loudness of tone would ensure understanding. Now it is more a case of "unusquisque lingua sua" - each in his own tongue.
Editorial / Redaksioneel