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English and the african identity

English and the african identity



English is affecting the africanity of Africans.Their numerous languages are disappearing while English is becoming the national language of many African countries.

English is affecting the africanity of Africans.Their numerous languages are disappearing while English is becoming the national language of many African countries.



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    English and the african identity English and the african identity Presentation Transcript

    • English and the African IdentityGlobalization or a lost identity? Mr Baraka Abdellah University of Mascara Algeria dailynews02@yahoo.fr
    • English is the mother tongue of about half a billion people on the planet .375 million second language speakers750 million foreign language speakers
    • Official language in at least 75 countriesMost books, reports and communications are often published in English.
    • WHY?
    • British colonialism is certainly a major cause.
    • English is the language of the United States.The country that brought this debatable term of globalization or Americanisation.
    • Africa makes no exception to the rule.However the situation is quite complicated.
    • English as an officiallanguage in 21 countries.
    • French as an officiallanguage in 22 African countries.
    • Portuguese as an officiallanguage in 05 countries.
    • 48 African countries out of 57 adopted foreign languages as official languages.
    • Yet,
    • Out of 6703 world languages, 2582 languages and 1382 dialects are found in Africa.
    • 105 million people in Nigeria speak 410 languages.30 million people in Democratic Republic of Congo use 206 languages
    • Ethiopia has 97 languages for a population of 45 million,In Cameroon 185 languages are used by 8 million inhabitants.
    • 58 languages for 3 million inhabitants in Benin,31 languages for two million in Congo Brazzaville.
    • 120 languages for 28 million inhabitants in Tanzania.12 languages in Mali for a population of 9 million.
    • The European colonisation and the American progress may explain this linguistic phenomenon.
    • However, the Africans’ attitudes towards their languages is another factor to be considered.
    • A common assumption is that people’s mother tongue is essentially people’s ethno cultural identity.
    • The modernisation and globalisation at the expense of languages and identities.
    • New social conceptions and beliefs : a child expressing himself in French or English, speaks his native language!
    • Children not allowed to learn their native language.Yet, parents regularly use it with other people
    • African child, deliberately deprived of his true native language, culture and identity, will constitute, tomorrow, a completely lost Africa.
    • Many parents in Africa use only French or English with their children .
    • The English was proclaimed language of the babies.
    • The parents often use their native language, but when they address their children they shift spontaneously to English.
    • To justify, African parents pretend :
    • The African children are already born being English-speaking.
    • Some parents do not share both the same native language.
    • Children will always end up speaking their native language.
    • English will enable children to communicate with the external world.
    • Without English the child will face many troubles at school.
    • Most parents’ arguments are wrong.
    • The child will never acquire a language without being exposed to it.
    • Sooner or later the child will learn the foreign languages at school.
    • Communicating with a child in his native language would a not prevent the parents to use English in parallel.
    • The majority of the parents have a very bad English.The child will have all the troubles of the world to learn the correct school English.
    • Why do people in Africa refuse the Africanity of their children?Is it what we refer to as the parental neo-colonialism.
    • Africans fear the darkness of their past .They wish to reach that light of modernisation, but surely at the expense of many social and national entities.
    • To kill a language is to kill an identity.This is what we may refer to“The linguistic extermination”
    • The disappearance of a language is not sudden. The first indicator / people start not to use their native language or they give it up for another one.
    • Language disappearing or extermination: 4 stages
    • Social elite / completely bilingual The mass / unilingual The urban population / gradually bilingual The rural population / unilingual The urban areas/towards a growing bilingualism The rural areas / welcoming bilingualismThe whole society shifts heavily towards unilingualism
    • Linguistically speaking, the language disappears by transformation.
    • The phonetic system of the dominated language melts slowly in the dominant language. Its sentences will reflect those of the other language. Its vocabulary is gradually absorbed
    • However,the language is not a biological organism .
    • It is a social reality
    • The history witnessed that a language can be weak because of strong language.
    • Thus, in the eighth century, English has almost disappeared in favor of the Norse Vikings.
    • They had only a few battles to fight for complete elimination of the Anglo-Saxons.
    • English remained weak until the seventeenth century and many experts, at the time, had even predicted its imminent death.
    • So, it’s obvious that the assimilation process, a prelude to the death of a language, may be stopped evolving.
    • The non-use of the mother tongue will provoke a loss of both linguistic ability and cultural identity.
    • The loss of the African cultural identity is the result of a power that works in favor of a dominant language
    • History shows us that only people who have a cultural weight based on strong and stable institutions, a network of schools and writing traditions, manage to survive, even after being conquered by arms.
    • Asante sana na kwaheri
    • Thankyou very mush and good-bye