Monday, November 24, 2008

New Setswana Orthography book published!

"Mokwalo o o lolameng wa Setswana" is the title of the new Setswana Orthography book. It was written by a team of the following Setswana linguists: Andy Chebanne, Thapelo J. Otlogetswe, Pearl Seloma, Annah Molosiwa, Baitsi Moatlhodi, Naledi Kgolo and Mmaserame David.

The last Setswana Orthography text was produced in 1981 which was in serious need of revision. Unlike the 1981 text, the 2008 text is written in Setswana. Work on the book was sponsored by OSISA and Tomela ya Puo Organisations. The book will be distributed for free to different media houses, Curriculum, publishers and other departments that work closely with the Setswana language. For further information about this publication please send me an email:

Thursday, May 29, 2008


If you speak Setswana, you know "solegela molemo" means "benefit". So you would say for instance Go tla kwano go tlaa go solegela molemo [Your coming here will benefit you.]. However I wonder if anyone out there has ever thought about the word solegela. I have never seen this word used on its own without molemo. What does the word solegela mean? Has anyone seen it used without molemo in any context? I have ran an experiment with a couple of million Setswana tokens to determine the collocates of solegela. This is a sample of what I got:

1. Sabata e diretswe go solegela batho molemo.
2. Dithuto tsa bone di diretswe go solegela molemo bana.
3. ... a tshwanetse go kopanngwa go solegela molemo itsholelo.
4. Ditlhotlhomiso tsa go nna jalo di ka solegela baithuti molemo.
5. Metsi a tshwanetse go dirisiwa go solegela rona molemo.

The evidence, even in its paucity, suggests that solegela is used with molemo. Perhaps those who know much about the etymology of solegela might help us with its unique meaning which appears to have been lost to the current Setswana usage.