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Trilingual wine dictionary for rainbow nation

South Africa’s wine industry has launched a new online dictionary, with wine terms described for the first time in three languages: English, Afrikaans and Xhosa.

The online dictionary project, containing 3,500 wine terms, reflects the changing nature of South Africa’s wine industry, as black economic empowerment schemes actively encourage broader involvement in the trade.

Project leader Dr Michele van der Merwe of Stellenbosch University, said: “We live in a multilingual country where an increasing number of isiXhosa speakers in the Western Cape are becoming involved in the wine industry. There was previously no isiXhosa wine terminology. I hope that this dictionary fills the gap.”

Some wine terms from the new dictionary

The last dictionary produced for South Africa’s wine industry was published in 1973, at the height of the apartheid era.

The project has been financed by Winetech, which coordinates research and training in the country’s wine industry, and developed by SAWIS.

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