Africa Languages

A New Language for Divided Cameroon:

From the BBC:

Teachers in Cameroon are concerned that the new language frananglais – a mixture of French, English and Creole – is affecting the way students speak and write the country’s two official languages. With more than 250 indigenous languages and both French and English as official languages, choosing the right vocabulary to convey a message can be tricky.

In the face of this huge variety, youths across the country are bending linguistic rules, the main objective being to communicate easily with each other.

“Tu as sleep hier?” means “Did you sleep well last night?”, while “Tout le monde hate me, wey I no know” is “Everybody hates me, I don’t know why.”

This is actually quite a common occurence; in Abidjan, French is mixed with a local language called Dioula, to produce a dialect called Nouchi. Linguists call this sort of thing ‘codeswitching’ and while it might seem random, there are some fairly strict rules about what can and cannot be done. However, in the Arthur family, where we live in and out of Francophone contexts, mixing our langues is just normal speech. N’est-ce pas?

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