FG Expresses Concern Over Fading Nigerian Languages
Thu, 04/10/2012 - 2:20am | KUNI TYESSI News Education
The federal government has expressed concern over the preference of foreign languages especially the English language as against the indigenous mother tongues especially on the part of parents and school teachers who seem to have lost interest in the languages.
The minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, Chief Edem Duke at the standardisation and harmonisation ceremony of orthography of four Nigerian languages, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba and Ijaw at the Ministry of education, presented by the Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization, CBAAC, lamented that the young generation especially the upcoming ones run the risk of forgetting their mother tongues if the situation is not addressed urgently.
He lamented that, “Despite this reality, most African languages face threats of extinction. In most Africa homes, there is growing lack of use of African languages. Indigenous languages are not longer spoken with pride.
The value we place on the use of our indigenous languages have over time, been eroded by our preference for foreign languages”
He said, “It is disturbing to note that most parents encourage the use of European languages by their children forgetting that wherever our children may be around the world and not matter how long they stay in foreign countries, they must always remember that they are first of all Nigerians and must therefore not forget their mother tongues”.
“We must begin to see the use of our languages as essential components of empowering our people, our countries and the continent. If we fail to promote the use of our languages, we risk stagnation, backwardness and amnesia”
He recounted, “Africa has one of the most complex language situations in the world. The continent has over 2000 languages according to UNESCO, 30 percent of the world’s languages are spoken in Africa”.
Via Charles Tiayon