EXCITING: The Kaaps language has a dictionary of its own

EXCITING: The Kaaps language has a dictionary of its own

Respect to all the artists, activists, academics and authors who continued to fight for the language's space in the country. 


Despite its origins stretching back to the 16th century, Kaaps has been massively underrepresented throughout South African history. But now this exciting new project by The Centre for Multilingualism and Diversities Research (CMDR) at the University of the Western Cape and Heal the Hood Project is such a huge and significant step in the right direction. 

For the first time ever, a Kaaps dictionary is being created, which will look to document the importance, and dynamism, of the language. 

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I caught up with UCT's Prof Adam Haupt to glean some insight, and was surprised to learn that the backbone of the project derives from work done through Hip-Hop musicians. 

Take a listen: 

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With that said, the The First Trilingual Dictionary of Kaaps shared in their press release that this dictionary project aims to transform prevailing negative attitudes and perceptions of Kaaps and its speakers. 

And they aim to do so by producing an educational resource that will support social and academic literacy practices in the education, religious, cultural, political and economic spheres of our democratic society. 

So many people will feel represented, seen and most importantly have their history and identity archived and celebrated in some way! 

If you look at this video you will see Afrikaaps, an Afro Futuristic hip hopera theatre production that traces the roots of the Afrikaans language back to the slaves and indigenous peoples of the Cape.

Watch this as they used theatre to break down the history of the language:

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The dictionary will be found in Kaaps, English and Afrikaans. 

And truly all thanks to the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS, Western Cape), and the Centre for Language, Race, and Ethnicity at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) who funded this amazing  project. 

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Main Image Courtesy: Pexels 

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