Is The Use Of Colonial Era And Foreign Languages In Official Local Communications A Form Of Modern Day Colonization?

I was listening to a really interesting interview earlier on one of the local radio stations whilst commuting and it had me thinking to write this post. They had invited into studio a gentleman who is an advocate for the preservation of culture and he made some very interesting points about how African cultures are fading away from the natives. The one point that really caught my attention was when he asked why is it that we have to learn mother tongues of developed countries whenever we have to go there but expatriates from these countries do not have to learn the native languages for ease of communication but rather locals have to learn their tongue to accommodate them.

Although one might argue that it is more convenient to learn a "global language" like English than expatriates having to learn native tongues,the fact remains that the use of "global languages" by most African countries as the main means of official communication in both education and economic industries is a concerning issue. There is nothing wrong with Africans knowing a colonial language as it is the remnant of a period of bondage and subordination to foreign powers that we cannot shake off but almost 6 decades after most African countries gained their independence,it is that they are are still being subordinated through language.

I read an interesting article on The Economist about how the use of English as a medium of communication in most education systems of anglophone and formerly colonized  countries is one of the contributing reasons to students taking a long time to grasp concepts and even to teachers failing to correctly relay these concepts to students. This shows that the continuing colonial language subordination through education systems is having a negative effect even on the education of upcoming generations and hence the issue warrants the attention of legislation makers.

As aforementioned,most African countries have had independence for over half a century and it is time they took the initiative to completely root out the relics of colonization including this language issue. No more should they allow even future generations to be subservient to a foreign language in order to go through education and life in general. This will only happen if African countries go through a second wave of independence where they will be economically free enough to sustain their sectors using their own languages as means of communication. They must work towards developing educational curriculums in native languages but for that to happen,concepts which are to be learned in native languages will have to be correctly translated from the colonial and foreign languages they were crafted in by their inventors.

For example, for students to be taught programming in native languages,the programming languages would have to be translated into those native languages which would take a lot of intellectual prowess from the native programmers to develop compilers in those native languages. Though seemingly difficult,as with everything that is challenging,it requires for the challenge to be gladly accepted and tackled head-on for the good of future generations. The same concept mentioned in the programming languages example above also applies across all other industries if they are to move away from using colonial languages as a main means of communication to native languages.

Africans have to learn foreign language because important concepts required to go through education systems are not available in their native languages. If these concepts were available in native languages,they would be able to learn them more easily and thoroughly with their mother languages as the means of relaying those concepts.Countries must get to a point where their languages are as important to learn as the main foreign and colonial languages like English,French and Spanish and this will only happen if its people provide an incentive for foreign people to want and have to learn their languages. This happens by it making enough contributions to sectors like economics,science and diplomacy in its native languages that foreign people will want to learn about them and it is my belief that #AfricaCAN.

This post was completely inspired by the aforementioned radio discussion and it is a conversation i feel like we must all have.What is your opinion?Should African countries push for the replacement of colonial languages as the main means of communication in official local communications or are the colonial languages efficient enough?Leave me a comment below



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