Zulu language hits national newsstands for the first time

Posted by Audrey Dubois-Boutet on Nov 11, 2010 Nov 11, 2010

Zulu languageZulu language [zoo-loo]
-noun

1. A language of South Africa, spoken as a first language by approximately 10 million. It became one of the country’s 11 official languages in 1994.

This little-known—but widely spoken—language has been receiving a large amount of publicity lately.

On the newsstands
First, it was announced that South Africa's "Sunday Times" newspaper would print its weekly issue in Zulu starting Nov. 7, making it the first national newspaper to print in the language. Zulu speakers make up almost a quarter of the South African population. According to an Associated Press article in the Seattle Times, the newspaper expects a circulation of 10,000, with future growth!

Google Voice Search
Google also reinforced the fact that Zulu is an underrepresented language. The search engine giant introduced the addition of Zulu, Afrikaans and South African-accented English to Google Voice Search.

Voice Search allows a mobile phone user to make an inquiry in Google without a keyboard. Simply by speaking your request into the search engine, the app translates your voice into writing. In its blog, Google explains the reason for adding Zulu to the language line-up.

Promising future
According to Google, Zulu is widely spoken but it's not yet widely available in written form nor common in commercial arenas. How will that change in the future? Well, from what we’ve seen these past couple of weeks, things are looking up!

What are your thoughts? Do you know of any other underrepresented languages?

Topics: Language