Meet your community: Mmaserame H. David

Mmaserame H. David is a Setswana Language Champion for the Setswana living dictionary, a top contributor, and works as an editor at BOCODOL.

Hello Mmaserame. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us. where in your daily life do you encounter the Setswana language?

In my daily life I encounter Setswana through conversations with my family, Radio and televisiontalking with family friends and colleagues, newspapers; especially  the Botswana Daily News and other related media.

What attracted you to the Setswana living dictionary?

I was attracted to the Setswana Living Dictionary by the fact that I am passionate about Setswana. In Botswana it is the language which is mostly mutually intelligible being spoken by about more than 80% of the adult population. I also got the opportunity to training and teaching Setswana at Senior Secondary Schools and Colleges of Education. Being a member of language and cultural associations like Tomela ya Puo and African Academy of Languages (ACALAN, AU) which both strive to promote and preserve Setswana motivated me even more. In the past I also co-authored a few Setswana books for use in schools.

Do you have a favourite Setswana saying or idiom? What is it and what does it mean?

Regarding my favourite Setswana saying/idiom and its meaning; I can only say that they are countless because I seldom use plain language. I mostly use Setswana proverbs, idioms and other stylistic devices fluently without evening taking note, some examples being:

1.“Letlhaku le leŝa le agelwa mo go le legologolo,” a Setswana proverb

meaning, new things/ideas can make use of old ones.

2.“Go ipaya nkidiane,” a Setswana idiom meaning; to pretend not to hear.

Why is it important to digitalise the Setswana language?

It is crucial to digitalise Setswana because in my observation I feel the language is facing extinction and needs to be preserved for posterity to avoid that. At the moment the digital media is the most effective mode for doing just that. Language keeps changing and growing with time, also technology, science and other disciplines keep growing and developing. So Setswana like other dynamic languages will also grow when new terms are discovered and  added in the online dictionary to develop and enrich the language even further.

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