Language and vitality.

I have been having these ideas and thoughts for awhile but being the lazy-(insert a suffix of choice) I am, those ideas blew away to more worthy candidates.


Yesterday evening my niece got me on that plane again making me wonder if I should not really consider documenting my thoughts. Here is what ensued:

Niece: Dad! They said I should bring (can’t remember what exactly again)

Dad: How many people!!!

Me(aproko): She is right you know. She basically translated her idea verbatim from Yoruba to the English language.

Dad: quiet and reflecting…

You see, I usually do this-(butt in on conversations depending on my mood at the moment) and He must be used to it by now.

Long after the child was asleep; my brain was doing a quiet one on the issue. Seriously, who says the English Language cannot absorb ideas rendered from foreign thought easily without being termed “incorrect”.

There are several things wrong with the thought, acceptance and use of the English Language by Black-skinned people, as the ultimate language of choice/acceptance/ knowledge, using Nigeria as a major point of interest and the Yoruba people especially as a focal point.

I see everywhere that Parents take great pride in paying (even if through the nose) for their wards to be as fluent/good as possible in the use of English Language while leaving the child to stumble as much as possible in its indigenous Language. Some of us even take pride in the fact that a child cannot speak your local dialect/local language. I bleed each time I notice this and am pained at our level of complacence and false sense of “belonging “as a folk. We would love to be accepted as civilized and a-cultured in our display of our various degrees of affluence in the English Language. Bullshit!

I wonder where the pride derives from; a sense of being intellectually/culturally inferior to the English speaking folks or years of being subjugated in various degrees to the intellectual superiority/prominence of the English speaking people? I am yet to conclusively arrive at an answer but I am continually in pains to see that something as basic yet vital to any living being as Language is considered un-important by “the black skinned people.” The irony is that it is not considered absolutely un-important…it is just that local languages are absolutely un-important to the education of a child. I believe if we considered Language absolutely un-important, we would not prefer to elevate one to the detriment of another.

Or maybe we consider the English Language as superior because it is the language of commerce and the Black skinned People have nothing commercially valuable to enforce the English speaking people to learn our indigenous demoted dialects/languages.

…So many forks and bends to this subject, I wished I could explore it all here.

Anyways, I have decided to do my best by ensuring my Niece continues to render her thoughts as originally as they occur to her even if “the English Language takes a beating” in the process. Her original thought of “They said” is very correct because the Yoruba Language recognizes respect and she was simply trying to accord respect to the elder that sent her on an errand as opposed to “She/he said.”


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