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Business Languages In Africa

Business Languages In Africa | Kidd's AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

"The Main Languages of Business in Africa."


Via Seth Dixon
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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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Half Of The World's Population Lives In Only 6 Countries - Business ...

Half Of The World's Population Lives In Only 6 Countries - Business ... | Kidd's AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
The world population has reached 7.2 billion, according to data from the United Nations, which celebrates World Population Day today, July 11. The numbers rose from just 2.5 billion in 1950. But half of those 7.2 billion people ...
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Detroit expects boost in public safety, continued population decline

Detroit expects boost in public safety, continued population decline | Kidd's AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
Detroit's plan to reinvest $1.4 billion over 10 years as part of its bankruptcy exit strategy will result in 12.5% more police officers on the streets and 17% more firefighters, according to new details of the spending plan.
Debi Ray Kidd's insight:

This connects to our study of urbanization and the effects of urban decay.

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Thanks to Urbanization, Tomorrow's Megalopolises Will Be in Africa and Asia - Foreign Policy (blog)

Thanks to Urbanization, Tomorrow's Megalopolises Will Be in Africa and Asia - Foreign Policy (blog) | Kidd's AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
Foreign Policy (blog)
Thanks to Urbanization, Tomorrow's Megalopolises Will Be in Africa and Asia
Foreign Policy (blog)
In total, urbanization in Africa and Asia will add 2.5 billion people to the world's cities.
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The Great Language Game

The Great Language Game | Kidd's AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
Challenge yourself to identify some seventy languages by their sound alone. Learn more about how languages sound and where they're spoken.

Via Seth Dixon
Debi Ray Kidd's insight:

Make sure you look up the languages that you don't know to determine where they're spoken.

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Shelby Porter's comment, September 19, 2013 2:21 PM
This certainly was interesting! It was challenging to identify some languages, and others you could figure out right away. Some of them I had never even heard of! Being exposed to a few languages growing up I thought I would be better at this, but I was very wrong. It is a little disappointing knowing that many people are not exposed to the many languages our world has to offer. It is also disheartening to hear many people get offended when people do not speak English here, when really America has no national dialect. I know that many schools require students to take a different language in high school, but it only the more common ones that are becoming popular in the U.S. (Spanish, French, Portuguese, etc.). Maybe some day children will become more exposed to the many different languages that have grown across the globe.
Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 2014 11:59 AM

A game where you can test your knowledge of global tongues only by sound.

The knowledge of languages is important in movement especially for migrants and immigrants and participators in global trade.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, November 5, 2014 8:20 PM

unit 3-- use in class

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Allan Massie: Gaelic will only be a hobby language

Allan Massie: Gaelic will only be a hobby language | Kidd's AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
The indulgent pretence surrounding Gaelic does nothing to halt the language’s decline and amounts to intellectual dishonesty, writes Allan Massie

Via Peter A Bell
Debi Ray Kidd's insight:

Languages such as Gaelic are being revived but at what cost?

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, October 16, 2013 7:08 AM

What a magnificently pointless rant! I can only assume that Mr Massie felt a pressing need to lance the boil of his curmudgeonly indignation. Quite why he should think others might benefit from witnessing this operation remains a mystery. But then, I've never understood the urge that drives people to flaunt their gross physical abnormalities in front of the TV cameras for an audience whose motives I find no less incomprehensible.

Don't get me wrong! I can do the grumpy old man thing along with the best of them. Get me started on the subject of dogs and dog-owners and you'll soon discover the truth of that. But I prefer to put my energies into railing against the injustices of the things people are denied or deprived of rather than the the things that enrich the lives of individuals and add something to our society.

I don't see anybody trying to pretend that Scotland is a bi-lingual nation. All I see is an important part of our culture being given the kind of prominence it needs in order to survive. If there is a cost to this then I, for one, am happy to pay what cannot be more than my infinitesimal share. I do not speak Gaelic, and have no particular personal interest in the language. By the same token, I do not play a musical instrument or enjoy the ballet, but I am content that public money should be spent supporting the teaching of music and the performance of ballet because I recognise that our culture is enhanced thereby and that it would necessarily be diminished were support for these things to be withdrawn.

It all comes down to ones concept of society. Whether one sees it as something external to you as an individual. Something which can only be added to by subtracting from the individual. Or whether one sees society as something that we are all part of. Something which connects us all such that, if one part gains, we all do.

I suspect Mr Massie tends to the former perspective. But I don't think that explains his issue with the way Gaelic is treated in Scotland. The clue to what really troubles him is to be found in his remarks about "national identity". While the semantics suggest an acknowledgement of "our distinct national identity", the tone clearly indicates resentment of the fact that this distinctiveness is more than merely acknowledged.

The tone is redolent of that narrow, jealous, supercilious British nationalism which perceives in the tokens and symbols of other national identities only a threat to its own integrity. A chauvinistic and exceptionalistic nationalism that is offended by the sight of the Saltire.

Gaelic is fine, so long as it knows its place. Just as Scotland is OK so long as it does not exhibit any pretension to be other than totally subsumed in a British identity.

Alexander Metcalfe's curator insight, October 18, 2013 11:59 PM

Language and politics

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Bridges to somewhere

Bridges to somewhere | Kidd's AP Human Geography | Scoop.it
SHANGHAI, which already boasts 14 subway lines, a high-speed maglev service, two huge modern airports, some 20 expressways and a bullet-train departure every three... (China spent 8.5% of its GDP investing in infrastructure from 1992 to 2011.
Debi Ray Kidd's insight:

This helps us understand some aspects of development and mentions the BRICS countries specifically.

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