the European Union has created a comprehensive framework to help all europeans to have the right to speak their mother language in public administration, regardless of the number of people speaking that language
BY MAWUNA KOUTONIN
Few years ago, I use to tease people this question “Give me the name of one country which developed to a powerful nation using a foreign colonial language as official language?”.
Aftet thinking hard on the question, most will give up, because there is none! It’s a malediction to force a foreign colonial language on an entire nation.
Currently, the African Union is using only European languages as official languages, isn’t that stupid?
All in the opposite,the European Union has created a comprehensive framework to help all europeans to have the right to speak their mother language in public administration, regardless of the number of people speaking that language.
If you take one of the smallest european country like Lithuania, they are so proud of their language and they do everything to preserve it, in a country of less than 3 millions people.
With their own lithuanian language, a small country like Lithuania graduates over 2000 medical doctors in a year, and another several thousands of engineers. Those students are not taught in English or French! NO. They receive their medical, laser and nanotechnology courses in their native language: Lietuva.
A small language or diversity of languages have never been a barrier to people understanding or trade.
The biggest trade partners in the world are China and USA, but visit China and try to speak english and you’ll see. Germany and France are the biggest trade partners in Europe, now visit France and try to speak in German, or Vice versa!
We African are just lazy, and so well brainwashed to believe that our education and political system should be in european languages to be modern. Plain stupidness!
As my friend Personna Newell put it “I feel that using English as an official language only confirms for westerners that western languages are superior. If an entire country can learn a foreign language, they can learn one of their own languages (maybe the one spoken by the majority).
As it stands now, I’m in the process of trying to learn French so that I can connect with AFRICAN people. It says a lot that when people want to connect with African people, it’s not important for them to know any African language. And we wonder how long the cultures will stand with your not needing to know it, and even people wanting to connect to you not needing to know it.
I can speak only English and French and never have to mention even the word Yoruba or Wolof to any children I will have and communicate with Africans. How much longer do you think your languages will survive?”
Here is my call to all Africans who want to fight the colonial languages in our education and public administration.
- Let’s starting forcing our governments to use our languages in public administration.
- If for convenience only your government included any native language in your country official languages, start sending letters, and requests to government in that language.
- If you go to public administration refuse to be served in colonial language, and speak in any of the other official languages which are local.
- If the government or the public administration refuse to serve you in an official language, bring them into court, and have them condemned for refusing to serve citizen in an official language of the country.
- If you have a company start using your native language in your invoices, orders and receipts, and slowly upgrade to make your local language the conversation language inside your company. Don’t hire people who can’t speak in their local language properly. Slowly upgrade to writing.
- Create a network of like-minded to lobby for the african languages usage in public administration and politics. Raise fund and hire lawyers to support more citizens who would sue the government for refusing to serve people in their mother language.
- Ask for help from other groups around the world who fight for saving dying languages and preserve multilingualism.