• ISSN: 2155-7993
  • Journal of Modern Education Review

A Reflection on the Umbundu Corpus Planning for the Angola Education
System: Towards the Harmonization of the Catholic and the Protestant

Botelho Isalino Jimbi
(Universidade do Minho/Universidade Katyavala Bwila, Brazil)

Abstract: Umbundu, a local language of Angola, is orthographically coded in two main versions: the catholic version and the protestant one (Diarra, 2003, p. 342). Meanwhile, the government wants to “impose” it in the education system without a careful, consensual a priori orthographic agreement resulting from specialist contribution. One question is “what social, historical and linguistic factors have contributed to the emergency of the two orthographic systems?”, and “how to harmonize and normalize these orthographic systems, towards implementation into the education system?” This article attempts to: (a) revisit the motivations and factors that made decision-makers embark on languages planning for education in Angola; (b) describe some of the attempts made by the Angolan government towards the integration of African languages into education, so far; (c) demonstrate with a few examples how the two written versions of Umbundu may constitute a serious pedagogical problem for both teachers and learners; and (d) suggest a thorough study of orthography-related publications which can help understand what advised approaches to take in solving the current problem. A revision of the available literature and an analysis of the protestant and the catholic bibles were the methods considered to produce this article, as they constitute the bases for the Umbundu orthographies in use today.
Keywords: Umbundu, local languages, language planning, orthography

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