The strategic objectives of the Free State Language Service are:
- To establish an enabling framework for the implementation of a multilingual dispensation in the FSPG by the formulation of a language policy and implementation plan for the provincial government that is in line with national legislation;
- To render language facilitation services by providing translation, editing and language advice; interpreting; terminology development; and language planning, promotion and co-ordination services for the official languages of the province.
The unit is currently in the process of developing a language policy and implementation plan for the FSPG. Currently it provides translation, editing and language advice services to the Free State Provincial Government in Sesotho, English and Afrikaans. The unit also has a database of freelance translators for Sesotho, Afrikaans, English, IsiXhosa, Setswana and IsiZulu.
There is a firm commitment on the part of the Free State Provincial Government to establish an enabling framework for implementing a multilingual dispensation in the FSPG. To achieve its objectives, the present language unit needs to be transformed from a service-rendering unit to a service-management unit that will facilitate and exercise quality control over language-related services outsourced by FSPG departments. This requires that all departments should make funds available for outsourcing which has the potential of establishing a language industry in the province to contribute to job creation and elevate the status of our indigenous languages. A mindshift is needed to address the low status presently assigned to our African languages, the Khoi, San and Sign Languages, which calls for language development functions to be added to the unit’s responsibilities. To ensure effective communication between the government and the language communities in the province, interpreting as a means to achieve this objective should play a major role. In order to link and coordinate language activities between national, provincial and municipal levels and promote multilingualism across the province in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, a Provincial Language Forum administered by the Unit will be established. To make Batho Pele a reality in the province, the government should communicate with its clients in a variety of media and languages and the provincial language unit will play an important role in facilitating achievement of this directive of the Batho Pele Whitepaper.