South Africa is a multilingual country in which the Constitution and the people celebrate the richness and diversity of languages. In the School of Languages, we offer a range of traditional language courses in which you study the form, function and meaning of each language, together with the literature produced in each of these languages. If reading has always been your passion, then the School of Languages will be the next step on your journey through the wonderful world of books.
Alongside these traditional courses, we offer specialisations that prepare you for a wide range of modern career opportunities in languages and language-related fields – from language technology, editing and translation to spoken language interpreting. With us you can study to become a translator, interpreter or editor, or prepare for a career as a language teacher, writer, journalist or language technologist.
Research, Innovation and Centres
Centre for Text Technology (CTexT)
The Centre for Text Technology (CTexT) is a research and development centre at the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University. CTexT conducts research on human language technology and develops language technology products for the South African languages.
Understanding and Processing Language in Complex Settings (UPSET)
Understanding and Processing Language in Complex Settings (UPSET), is a research focus area that investigates how humans use language in the complex, multilingual setting of South Africa. UPSET supports a number of staff members in the School of Languages with regard to the pursuit of their research interests in three subprogrammes, viz. Descriptive Linguistics, Applied Language Studies and Language Practice. UPSET further provides support for the master’s-degree and doctoral studies that are supervised by supervisors/promoters affiliated with the research entity.
Unit for Languages and Literature in the SA Context
The language diversity of South Africa provides a rich backdrop to the research focus of this unit, which comprises four main areas of expertise: literature, descriptive linguistics, applied linguistics, and language technology. The research unit is primarily involved in supporting postgraduate studies at MA and PhD level, but also supports staff members in the School of Languages with their research projects.
The purpose of the NWU Writing Centre is to facilitate the improvement of student academic writing. The Writing Centre provides free consultations on all stages of the academic writing process. Services cover one-on-one consultations (face-to-face and online), group sessions, and subject-specific projects. A professional consultant can guide students on the following topics:
- Clarification: understanding assignments
- Invention: brainstorming, coming up with ideas, discovering a focus
- Organisation: ordering ideas, building an argument
- Revision: reconsidering main arguments and ideas
- Source integration: in-text referencing and bibliography
ATKV School for Creative Writing
The ATKV School for Creative Writing offers a variety of short writing courses to anyone wanting to take up creative writing or aiming to improve their creative writing skills.
Centre for Translation Studies (CTrans)
CTrans offers professional and reliable language services to staff and students of the NWU and to private and corporate clients. These services include editing, translation, audiovisual subtitling and transcriptions. CTrans can help solve your language-related problems expeditiously and adroitly. Not sure what those mean? Do not worry, we can help.
Centre for Academic Literacy and Professional Language Practice (CAPLP)
The CAPLP is responsible for various short courses and workshops in languages and language-related issues, and for strategic projects in the School of Languages. More information to follow shortly (watch this space!).