Thank You/Dumisani Ndubane

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Dumisani Ndubane

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My wife and I have a friendly competition. You see, my wife speaks Zulu, I speak Xitsonga, and our children are going to have a tough time choosing which language to use.

As you can imagine, each of us hopes our children will choose our own language. But I have a secret weapon: Wikipedia.

I believe a language should be able to break the cyber barrier. If it's not on the internet, it's a dying language. By contributing to Xitsonga Wikipedia, I help keep my language alive.

In the 1900s, a Swiss missionary began cataloging the culture and artifacts of the Xitsonga-speaking people. His two-volume book is now in the public domain. I am translating this text into Xitsonga, supplemented with my own knowledge.

Every language is part of the human feeling. All the languages that have ever been in the world, they define us as humans. When a language dies, it takes something with it.

Whether my children choose my language or my wife’s language, the important thing is that they have the choice. And as long as we keep our languages alive through Wikipedia, they will.

— Dumisani Ndubane

Dumisani Ndubane is from South Africa, where he lives in Tembisa, a neighborhood on the east end of Johannesburg. Along with his articles on Xitsonga culture, Dumisani also helped build Electrical Engineering pages on Wikiversity– a study aid as he earned his degree. He is now employed as an electrical engineer.

Video Attribution: The Impact of Wikipedia - Dumisani Ndubane by Victor Grigas, under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported, from Wikimedia Commons.

Image Attribution: Dumisani Ndubane by Karen Sayre, under CC-BY-SA 3.0 Unported, from Wikimedia Commons.

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