Africa and Beyond
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Africa and Beyond
Africa, the Middle East, Food, Agriculture, History and Culture
Curated by diana buja
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Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."


Via Seth Dixon, gawlab
diana buja's insight:

Well, so - now we are to call languages that were introduced in the 19th century *and some earlier * by colonialists - BUSINESS LANGUAGES.  ...

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Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:46 PM

This map is a simple but powerful one. Africa is the continent that contains the most nations (53), yet it uses only six languages for business. Not surprisingly, all of the languages (with the exception of Arabic) are European in origin. Clearly, the effects of colonialism are still felt around the world in former colonies. The languages that were forced upon various African countries by their colonizers have endured and become the main languages of business in their respective countries. What is just as unfortunate as the roots of colonialism holding fast, if not more so, is the absence of any indigenous languages being used as the language of business in any of the countries of Africa. While using a business language that is spoken by much of the world is surely a matter of practicality and logistics, it is still robbing African countries of their heritage and culture to some degree.

 

This brings up the issue of globalization and how it is constantly at odds with the preservation of culture and tradition. In order for Africa (or any continent or region or country) to function in the modern world, it must be capable of conducting business in a language that is spoken by its business partners. The ability to do business with virtually any person, company, or country in the world is an obviously invaluable one. At the same time, however, it allows for the subtle and gradual erasure of unique culture and traditions. So while it would be ideal for cultural preservation for countries to conduct business in their indigenous languages, it seems to be a necessary evil for smaller and less influential countries to adopt the languages of their more powerful and influential business partners if they wish to survive in today's world. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 29, 2015 4:24 PM

The lingering effects of colonialism, so strongly relevant in every aspect of African ways of life, are perhaps most evident in the "lingua franca" of African nations today. With a multitude of different ethnicities and languages in use in every African nation today, the result of the arbitrarily drawn national borders made by European colonizers, necessitates the use of the one language that's commonly spoken across every independent nation- a European tongue. This system, while a necessity in today's world, is a solution that no one is quite happy with. It reminds Africans of all ages of the power still held by their colonizers over their everyday lives, a stark reminder of the horrors of the previous century at every business meeting and every exchange of goods. This harms the national psyche of each nation, as well as undermining the importance and pride Africans deservedly maintain in their own native languages. European-made borders, however, make it difficult to find another, native language that every ethnic group can agree upon. As a result, the European languages are still in use in Africa, and will most likely still be in use for some time to come. It's a system that no one likes but, for the time being, everyone must accept as reality.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:26 AM

This map is a great resource in showing the diversity of language in Africa. Of course, this map discounts the many native African languages. It instead focuses on the language of business in the continent. That language, has been influence by the European colonization of Africa. The chosen language of business is often tied to the colonizer of the region. The diversity of language in Africa is staggering to say the least.  

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What the World Eats

What the World Eats | Africa and Beyond | Scoop.it
What's on family dinner tables around the globe? Photographs by Peter Menzel from the book "Hungry Planet"

Via Seth Dixon
diana buja's insight:

How about differences by socio-economic strata?

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Jess Pitrone's comment, May 5, 2013 5:47 PM
These photos are very interesting, in the way it’s interesting to explore someone else’s house the first time you visit. Looking to see the differences in what people around the world eat, but also how much people around the world eat is fascinating. The fact that the family in Chad eat about one quarter of what most families around the world eat is really telling. What a family eats in week reveals a lot about both their culture, their economy, and their geographic location. It’s no surprise that the people in Japan eat a lot of fish, because they’re an island country; and it wasn’t surprising to see so much bread on the table of the Italian family, because bread is such a large part of the Italian culture. What I did find absolutely fascinating is that most of the families had a bottle of Coca-Cola on their table, which just goes to show you how interconnected our global community is.
Jess Pitrone's comment, May 5, 2013 5:47 PM
These photos are very interesting, in the way it’s interesting to explore someone else’s house the first time you visit. Looking to see the differences in what people around the world eat, but also how much people around the world eat is fascinating. The fact that the family in Chad eat about one quarter of what most families around the world eat is really telling. What a family eats in week reveals a lot about both their culture, their economy, and their geographic location. It’s no surprise that the people in Japan eat a lot of fish, because they’re an island country; and it wasn’t surprising to see so much bread on the table of the Italian family, because bread is such a large part of the Italian culture. What I did find absolutely fascinating is that most of the families had a bottle of Coca-Cola on their table, which just goes to show you how interconnected our global community is.
BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 2016 4:02 PM

This gallery of 16 families from around world together with their week food is quite a treat that shows agricultural, development and cultural patterns.  Pictured above is the Ayme family from Ecuador, just one of the many family's highlighted in the book Hungry Planet.  The Ayme family that typically spends $31.55 on food and commonly eat potato soup with cabbage.  

 

Tags: food, agriculture, worldwide, consumption, unit 5 agriculture, book reviews, culture, development, unit 3 culture.