Friday, April 22, 2016

Africa’s numerous languages are dying!

An article on the tragic demise of Africa's languages as we continue to speak foreign ones!  Here's an extract. Click the link at the end to go to the full article.

"Today, some languages have become more prominent than the others due to the population and spread of people speaking them. Arabic, English, French, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Manadarin (in no particular order) are the world’s most popular languages. But there are thousands of other languages spoken in some places that bring up interesting statistics.
According to Ethnologue, there are 2, 138 living languages spoken by Africa’s over 1 billion population. Nigeria leads in the number of languages spoken per country with 526 languages. However, the more prominent languages in Nigeria are Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and pidgin in addition to English which is the country’s official language. Some of the remaining over 500 languages are dying as more indigenous speakers move to urban areas and fail to teach their children their native tongue.  If the 526 languages were evenly spoken, Nigeria would have 342,205 speakers per language (assuming the country’s population is 180 million).
Nigeria is followed by Cameroon with 281 languages spoken among its 22.5 million people. If the languages were evenly spoken throughout the country, 80,194 people would speak each language.
The beauty of diversity of cultures and languages has fascinated the world for ages, but several languages are now going into extinction. As lessaccent rightly puts it; languages are not immortal. They need about 100,000 speakers at any given time to stay alive. But as long as people feel embarrassed for speaking a particular language, the number of speakers of such language will continue to reduce."

Africa's 2,138 languages are dying, but why should we care?

Talk about Babel and language comes to mind. The word which means confusion was actually a city founded by a warrior, Nimrod in ancient Babylonia, according to biblical, Sumerian and Assyrian records.

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