English is the combination of many languages, and it’s why you will find some French words, Greek words, Latin words, West Germanic words and more in the language. So it’s a combination of loanwords .
In the early centuries since the first written of English alphabets and words, we have had many additions and new written of the English language . Also many new formed words over the years and centuries have been added to the complexity of the lingual .
These former words and dialects are refer to as old English, which if we happen to read it today, only few words will make sense to us. That also tells that the language is more artificial and man-made.
The Old English later developed into middle English, then to the one we widely speak now which is called Modern English. All these changes and developments of the English language scale through decades and centuries till date.
In our society today especially from the part of the world where i come from fluency in English Language is quite an achievement,and those that ain’t too fluent are look down upon.
Over the years some prepositions have been used, replaced and rearrange to fit the trend and to suit every new decade and century.
There are at least two to three versions of English language in terms of spelling difference. From British where everyone believes the English language came from, to American English and Latin which is part of the old English. But we must not forget that the British people used to speak French(Norman French) and it’s actually their lingual for some long period of time.
In my country Nigeria, it’s getting worse every day, because parents will rather scold their offsprings to speak fluent English than their own mother language, which is quite unfortunate.
Growing up in the 90s we would be punished for speaking our mother language in the classrooms because it’s not acceptable in schools,thus made it to be tagged ” vanacular language ” by then and i think it’s still the practice till date . But this vanacular is the original language because it’s origin is absolute and indigenous.
We have parents and guardians that pay high fees just for their children/wards to speak the British accent kinda English, and neglecting their original mother language.
Nowadays we have the ” I too know ” (over sabi folks) that will be quick to correct your English grammar or scold you in a slyly and mean way when you make errors in your pronunciations of some English words, but these set of folks knows little or nothing about the originality of their own language, which is pretty shameful.
We now show off our fluency in artificial language which I call the colonial language that changes with time, over the real indigenous language that can’t change even in centuries to come.
We have graduates that can speak fluent English, but can’t put the fluency into action in practicality. And the shameful part is, they can’t speak their own language fluently not to talk of writing it properly.
No matter how fluent you are in English, you will never been seen as an English person, especially in the eyes of the white folks.
Language says a lot about a race, and it defines an individual.
We’ve got countries that don’t speak English but are doing very well with their indigenous language. South Korea, China, Japan to name a few. These countries were once colonized like ours, but they never adopt the colonial language or culture as theirs.
They stick to their language , they teach Science and Technology with their language, they teach Mathematics with their own language including other subjects. Also surprisingly they also teach English with their language.
And it’s why they overstand things better, because if anything is taught to you with your own indigenous language you will quickly overstand it better.
But here in this part of the world we teach almost everything in English, and sometimes we mix Yoruba teaching with English instead of the other way round.
If we lost our language, we have lost our identity, and if we lost our identity then we become people with no or lost identity.
Our country is blessed with lovely languages and we’ve cropped out three major ones ” Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa “, why can’t we adopt one as our official language? Why can’t we adopt the three as our official languages?
Other African nations are waking up and embracing their indigenous language. Azania (South Africa) recognise more than one indigenous language as their official lingual , they speak Zulu, Xhosa and more. Ethiopia has long been speaking Swahili as their official language, Kenya is not left out, Uganda and many more.
Even though these countries are still under the curse of the anglophone and francophone lingual, still they upheld their indigenous languages and speak it anywhere and everywhere, why can’t we Nigerians, that always seems to brag as the giant of Africa, emulate this feat.
Brazil most recently adopted Yoruba language as one of their official national language, Cuba and Haiti has long been adopting this indigenous language(Yoruba), and so it is in the Caribbeans. But here in Nigeria we are stuck with the colonial syndrome.
When you travel to foreign lands, you can actually easily tell someone is a Nigerian by their way of trying to force foreign accents and when you approach them with the mother tongue, they reply in English to show off, which is so embarrassing.
We must not let go of our originality, we must not let other artificial culture topple our culture, because ours is the best.
We must teach our offsprings and the coming generations our own language first.
Let them know how to read and write perfectly our own language, then it will be totally easy for them to learn and overstand other lingual .
There is so much that knowing our language can do to us and the coming generations . Let’s set the pace, so that we can set the standard right for the coming generations . Let’s speak our own language loud and clear and let the whole world hear the eloquence and the beauty of our mother tongue.
Written by ~ Shọlá Ọlá.