Indigenizing Telecommunication Products and Services: The Case of the Econet Company in Lesotho
This paper seeks to explore Sesotho-named products and services of the Econet Lesotho Telecommunication Company (ELTC). Lesotho has two official languages, namely Sesotho and English. The former is the mother tongue and national language of the majority of the population, while the latter is a second official language. As a second official language, English serves as the language of business, education, and law. However, there seems to emerge a new trend in the marketing industry in Lesotho in as far as language use is concerned. Some companies have resorted to naming their products in Sesotho. Using interviews and company brochures, I collected data as in Sesotho-named products of the ELTC to explore the motivation and implication for their naming in Sesotho. The names are then analyzed for their morphological status. I argue that in naming the products in Sesotho, the company does not only convince customers to buy the products, but it also makes them like and own the products. It is also not just a marketing strategy but is an effort to indigenize the products and a contribution to the development of the Sesotho language.