originally from bbcnews.com
Are African languages important?
African languages like Swahili, Yoruba and Somali are now available to read on the internet based encyclopaedia, Wikipedia.
The website aims to give every single person an encyclopaedia in their own language no matter how rare and features everything from recipes to biographies.
But Wikipedia is dominated by articles written in English for which there are over one million entries. Compare that to African languages where there are just a handful of entries.
Swahili is the most widely spoken African language available in text on the net, but in general the presence of African languages is dismal compared to languages spoken in the West.
How important is it to be able to read, write and speak an African language? Is English now the most important language in the world? Should people in the developing world still be taught local languages and are they useful for everyday life?
In my personal opinion I believe that there is no language that is better than others. And because some languages do not have a written form that does not mean that is not a legitimate language. On the contrary, this what it is prove of legitimacy. That these languages has being around and survive for a long time and their are here to stay. Is the English language the most important in the world today? Hell NO. Not because a certain particular group of people are trying to make the English language a global language, this does not make it any better or the most important language on this world. This is like saying that whites are better than blacks. Why should all indigenous languages on earth being taken off from this planet? And then replaced by the English language? Is not this a form of genocide too?.
Nathaniel Robinson, San Diego, California
Should this question be asked, I really would like to know why this question should arise. Looking at it most countries in europe and Asia don’t speak English and majority of African countries speak English and are better at it than most European and Asian countries. If I should really comment on this question I think it boils down to the level of education in a particular country. About 90% of African education is thought in English it is very difficult to find an African country that doesn’t speak English which could be traced to the colonial era. Moreover it is assumed that if you cant speak English you are not educated therefore the issue of translating the Encyclopedia and most articles into African languages to me is a let down. This is so because only an educated person can read, write and speak any language including English. The same educated persons are computer literate and make use of the internet in any language he or she understands, mind you, depending on their ability to speak and understand! So tell me what difference does it make translating articles to African languages?
Eke Alexander, Sweden.
Language easily brings about acceptance and appreciation which earns one an advantage. The more languages one speaks, reads or writes the better and more advantage he or she would have in this global village of ours. As a Gambian I can go to Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Guinea Conakry and Sierra Leone and use the local languages like Wollof, Creole, Mandinka, Pularr, Krio in addition to my English and little French to survive. One becomes happier when he or she knows you can talk to him or her in his or her mother tongue. Let’s embrace our African languages and work adopting some of them like Swahili, as our official language.
Betsney Gomes, Gambia
Language is an integral part of our history and culture. The different African languages show how diverse we are as a people. Retaining our different languages and cultures gives us the feeling that we have not completely lost our identity to colonialism and the slave trade.
Oyin Oyatoye, Nigeria
I fail to understand what your question aims to achieve, apart from patronising Africans. I dare you to pose the same question to the English.
S. K. Omar,
In my personal opinion is that I believe that all languages are important. Just because some languages do not have a written form that does not mean that is not a legitimate language. In the contrary,that proves it’s legitimacy. Those languages have being around and survived for a long time and their are here to stay. Is English the most important language in the world today? Hell NO!! Just because a certain particular group of people are trying to make the English language a global language, this does not make it the any better or the most important language on this world. This is like saying that whites are better than blacks. Why shouldn’t all indigenous languages on Earth be taken taken as seriously as the English language? Eradicating them would be a form of genocide!
Nathaniel Robinson, San Diego, California
Language is one of the factors that helps to create a sense of strong cultural identity and a sense of belonging to a society. In the current debate and strong search for answers on the causes of our economic under-development, the contribution or the lack of it of language should be one of the areas for exploration. I have always maintain that the use of one’s language enhances the development and articulation of ideas specially for economic development. The rapid education and economic rise in the Far Eastern and Indian sub-continent there is a strong evident that one’s own language can contribute in development. As a Fula or Fulani one of the most widespread tribe in West Africa, the development of our language or any other language in West Africa as a recognised language of communication would make a big impact to our economic development. Unlike Asian leaders our African leaders are busy enriching themselves rather than re-addressing the ills of colonialism that belittle the continent. In some African societies such as the Francophone countries, the desire to behave and talk like their ex-colonial masters has overshadowed their pride in themselves and their cultures so much so that, they speak and behave like French. A big shame on us all as Africans. Let us all start searching within ourselves and start rediscovering our cultures, heritage and values and be proud of them.
Musa Bah, UK
For me life will never be complete without language in the written or spoken form. Anyone who cherishes his language be it African or otherwise must be able to read, speak and write such language. Whether English is the most important language in the world depends on the situation and circumstance in which it is viewed. I think local languages should be taught to people as the society cannot function very well without its language. Language is the people.
Isidore Nwachukwu, Linkoping, Sweden.
Variety is the spice of life as they say. I think it is very important to allow African languages to be sustained and developed. In the English speaking West, we are guilty of expecting everyone else to do the work. Jamaican Tusiwe wavivu, tuanze kujifunza lugha nyingine.
Stephen Gamble, Glasgow, UK
African languages are important because the social, political and economic development of the vast majority of the people of Africa depend on the proper and systematic use of their indigenous languages. Moreover, failure or refusal to use African languages in many domains adversely affects the African’s human and people’s rights in general. These include their right to quality education, to good health, to fair trial, to economic justice, to access to information, to freedom of expression, etc.
Professor Lazarus Miti, South Africa
I think African languages are for Africans while Western languages are for everybody. If you are to work in France you have to know French but a French man can work in Africa without knowing an African language
Hankie Uluko Lilongwe, Malawi
Language is a part of man’s national identity. As a British / Nigerian I am very proud of my African heritage and express myself in Yoruba with pride. My children are British born and speak English as a first language but are equally fluent in Yoruba.
Adewale Adebanjo, London, UK
Of the four languages I am very familiar with, Yoruba, English, French and Dutch. Only the African language (Yoruba) does not discriminate between genders. Same word for expressions for male and female, unlike English for example, she, he . Who should then teach who gender equality?
A Olalekan, South Africa
English in my opinion is the most widely spoken language in the world, but the most important language for me is that with which I can speak to my mother, my father, my grand-parents without having to bother if I was making the right sense. This language is Igbo. You can have your own view, but mine is mine.
Chidi Nwamadi, Toulouse, France
I look language as a dress to thought. One can decide which dress to wear at what time. In this world of globalisation, undoubtedly every body is forced to learn international common Languages like English, French etc., for better survival. Irrespective of its present day importance, any Language that is alive with the people is always precious to us. Each generation has a duty to ensure the maintenance, improvement and pass on it to the next generation
Are African languages important? Are European languages important? Are Americas languages important? Are Asian languages important? Are Australia\New Zealand languages important?
Lloyds, Kitwe, Zambia
I believe that every language is important, no matter how many people use it. In the sense that each language represents a whole new world to discover. Just because English is the most spoken language of world it doesn’t mean that it is the most important one. People in the developing world should continue to learn their local languages because if they don’t they will lose their culture and identities. These languages are useful for their everyday life just like Portuguese is useful for my everyday life. People should learn other languages too besides their own, but they should never let their mother language die.
MÃ¡rcia Cordeiro Guerreiro, Lisbon, Portugal
African languages are very important because not everybody can speak all this foreign languages. It’s our mother tongue, do you know that there are people who can express themselves better in African language, than English and the rest western languages. An example is the Pigeon English widely spoken in Nigeria one can see that most people that speak Pigeon English are not really graduate. Lastly English itself is the mother tongue of the UK people so that is why they have that development, so we African should be allowed to speak our mother tongue
Dayo Objurgate, Abuja, Nigeria
The other day we were travelling to our home town and group people were distributing magazines written in our dialect it was shared among us,could you believe me that some folks found them very difficult to read out the massages despite the language was compulsory in school. It’s easier to speak but hard to read and write.
Plato Owulezi, Nigeria
When broadcasting news on radio in Africa (FM or SW), local languages are an essential element for credibility. Languages also bring a sentiment of “ownership” for the concerned audiences.
Darcy Christen, Lausanne, Switzerland
The question should be “How important are the African languages?” Because a language is a mean of communication for any particular community, therefore African languages are the key for African success in everything! Specially with the failed European colonisation of Africa, where only 10% of the population speaks and understand correctly languages spoken by white people. I was a teacher in my country Guinea-Bissau, and I remember when I asked a question to my student in Portuguese it take them forever to give the answer, but when I asked the same question in Creole, I got the answer in fraction of second! That’s the evidence that,they are not dumb, but they do have problems mastering European languages. I strongly believe we in Africa should do everything possible to teach our people in our own language. It will be easier for them to learn anything and to master it to they best. And at the same time, we still can learn the “White peoples”languages so we can be able to communicate!I know it’s possible, because I speak five African languages and five European languages!
Manuel Gomes, New York, USA
For centuries the Berber language or Tamazight has been neglected by the Moroccan government and its speakers. Tamazight is an oral language and has never had an official script. But now things are changing and people dare to speak and write in their mother tongue, and I hope the three Tamazight languages of Morocco will have an official status in the constitution.
Moussa Aynan, Nador, Morocco
I teach English to speakers of other languages and believe very strongly in doing so radically. What does teaching English radically mean? To me, it means honouring my student’s native languages (and cultures) in the classroom and creating an atmosphere in which they know and can tangibly feel that their languages and cultures are valued and respected. As an English teacher, it’s of utmost importance to me that I emphasise my love of languages and my belief that no one language is superior to another. I tell my students that there are many English, and that standard English has historically been and is indeed still a language of power politics in the world, and therefore it is becoming increasingly important to speak through it and add it to one’s basket of languages. Because it is a language of power politics does not mean standard English is superior. Upon learning to speak Swahili, for example, I was able to express many feelings and emotions that I had been previously unable to express using standard English. All languages are beautiful and important. I find the question of the importance of African languages highly offensive and limited.
Sedia Macha, Greensboro, North Carolina
We are Africans and those languages are ours! it doesn’t matter how useful they are or how many people do use them, they are ours and we can’t afford letting them go! We are used to them and we live in them. They are very important to us. Anyone can join us and learn them to harmonise the world. Mloyi, Dar es salaam, Tanzania Our languages are us.I am African because of my language.It connects me with my culture. Much as I need to learn English for universal communication, I still need my African language to keep my roots.
Mutuna Chanda, Lusaka, Zambia
Languages are an integral part of man, as He communicates with it. Also, African languages should be encouraged to spread because you cannot extricate man from his medium of communication. It is the best way to express our feelings.
Ashipa James Olashupo, Abuja, Nigeria
A typical African is proud of his language. African languages should be taught in school in order to enhance the culture in Africa. Our cultures are dying because many Africans cannot express themselves in their mother tongue. “What a shame!” The highest tool of communication is your mother tongue before the so-called English.
Eric Mbumbouh, Bamenda, Cameroon
Language is a link to identity, and therefore very important to the group it’s specific to, it’s what sets you apart as different people. As much as we need to keep our African languages alive, it’s still important to have a language that connects us all as part of one world.
Velma Kiome, Nairobi, Kenya
I’m from the masena tribe in Mozambique. Despite the fact that i struggle to speak the masena language i strive to master it as it represents who I am and gives me an identity which I am proud of. Yes to me my language is important irrespective of what others think . One simple reason why it’s important is if I want to learn more of my cultural history and background then i would speak to my elders in my language. And elders are an important aspect of our African communities
Language is a link to identity, and therefore very important to the group it’s specific to, it’s what sets you apart as a different people. As much as we need to keep our African languages alive, it’s still important to have a language that connects us all as part of one world. English has proliferated because of the historical positioning of the English speakers.
Language is key for any nation to develop. Facts show that countries with significant development around the world use their own languages. Africa tormented by colonial rule followed by civil war never had neither the chance or time to build its language foundation. Although African countries do not have a written language our mother tongue is a mode of communication .Eritrea and Ethiopia serve as best examples. They use a language based on what is known as Geez, which was the basis of its long lost civilisation. Not until Ethiopia/Eritrea changed the language from Geez to Amharic influenced by outsiders, that the nation began its decline as a result of poor change over of Ethiopian numerals. It is the only known language that uses its own set of characters, grammar, mathematical formula, and yet its 8 step vowels hold the key to today’s 8 bit digital encoding technique!
Gedion, Charlotte, USA
I would like to participate in this programme because our mother tongues are important. It is the cornerstone of one’s identity and to forsake that is tantamount to having no regard for one’s identity.
Kwame Osei, Nottm, England
A people without their own language are lost. Yes English is widely spoken but that surely should be an additional language. By this I mean as a Ghanaian I can’t think why I should only speak English. Humans have been given the brain to learn and this is what Africans must do. African language is important to us so we should learn to communicate in English but never ever forget who we are. Are you going to ask the Chinese, Japanese or the Russian whether their language is important somehow I don’t think so, why then the African.
I’m glad to say that we live in a diverse world. African languages have as much validity as any other language, including English. Let our differences thrive!
Gwilym Davies, Wrexham
While it is true that in the grand scheme of languages, Kinyarwanda may be spoken by no more than 20 million people world wide(counting our neighbours who can understand & perhaps speak our national language); it is the language understood by everyone in my country. Whether you were educated in French, English, Spanish or in whatever western language, on this small piece of God’s earth called Rwanda, everything is done in Kinyarwanda. In this context, English may be as obscure a language as any other.
Florida Kabasinga, Nyamata, Rwanda
To speak African languages is just as important as our identity. To read and write them is gaining grounds; thank God. This trend will never fall. Right now, my grand mother is in USA just to teach my young cousins the ‘bangwa’ dialect.
Tendem Paul, Cameroon
Learning “in” African languages, and not just learning them, is now more important than ever. Without “popular” education, you cannot have the adequate number of qualified human resources in a country, which is a condition to economic development and thus prosperity. An enlightened citizenry is also necessary in order for the government to better communicate with its people, enhancing in the process the political stability and even survival of the country. Democracy is such a complex issue that it requires educated people. This being the case, my argument has always been that popular education cannot be achieved relying on a foreign language with which one doesn’t have any link other than the fact that it was imposed on you. Take the example of simple computer software like word processor or the Internet. A tutor is not needed to learn word processor so long as you understand the language in which the computer converses with its users. It suffices to put the cursor on an icon for it to tell you what it will do. This gives a natural advantage to the European child or any child learning in his own language over the African child who must depend on a foreign language. This allows this child to start using computers from a very young age and starts enjoying the great benefits of electronic communications early. The African child has to wait longer to have a good knowledge of the language before doing likewise.
Issaka SouarÃ©, Montreal, Canada
My mother tongue Kinyarwanda is most comfortable language in my mouth. I now speak it on the phone since I am away from my home country. I can’t miss listening to Kirundi and Kinyarwanda program on BBC every day at 17:30 GMT and the same on VOA at 05:00 GMT, reading news over the net in my language is the best moment, so I can say that African languages are very important.
Arnaud Emmanuel Ntirenganya, Cameroon
African languages are very important because it is our identity. English may be more important to learn and speak but African languages are more important as it differentiates us from other nations. It doesn’t matter if the languages are on net but they play a very important role in the AFRICAN SOCIETY. Long live African Languages!. Rhodah
Rhodah Mashavave, Germany
All languages are equally important. Local languages need to be taught in developing countries as well. African languages are indeed a base for identity. Following the colonisation of most African countries by the white man it is imperative to exhibit togetherness via African languages. When the whole of Europe is playing the EU symphony, we as Africans must also try to be proud of our languages.
Vincent Kwanza, Zambia
I can not speak or understand my language, sad it feels but, I am still learning it.
Jamal, London, UK
Local language is a kind of repository of what is important to a culture or society. That’s why it is vital they survive. One of the sad things is that the internet has become so English dominated – it is an ideal place for smaller local languages to make their voices heard. I am learning Esperanto. I do not think it is right that one language dominates all others. English is the language of our oppressors (the Romans, the Anglos and the Saxons) but it is the language that reflects our culture, values and expectations. English has only become the most important language because it has been allowed to be.
Hlz, Glasgow, Scotland
People living in the African nation must acknowledge the importance of their languages. We need to preserve our heritage and values as it’s our root and identity. Teaching of the language should be a priority to the Government from Primary to University level not only in Africa but in African communities all over the world.
Tunde Onibode, Lagos Nigeria
In Cameroon we have almost 300 different languages beside English and French which are our official language. I am proud to able to read and write both English and French. I don’t deem it necessary to learn to learn or know any other language because they cant help me in any way.
Aaron Anye, Johannesburg
As a British Ghanaian you rarely here of many other languages other than the most dominant ones. It would be a benefit to the nation to understand more dynamics of other languages. Many Brits think that Africans all speak the same language or think that the tongue is a series of vocal clicks and noises. i think its also sad that in many places like Ghana, English is still considered to be the first language, if this was imposed on a western country, the people would be in uproar.
Kofi Ahiekpor, United Kingdom
Africa is the continent that has most been deprived of its own identity through Europeans. During colonialism, local languages were branded primitive and retrogressive and consequently discouraged from being taught in schools. Particularly under the French system of direct rule, local languages were destroyed leading to a first generation of African elites who sold out themselves to European cultures and values. However, some languages like Swahili, Lingala, Yuroba and Hausa have asserted themselves and need to be encouraged. Through them Africa will at least be able to maintain some of its cultural heritage and identity, and gain some of the self-confidence it needs to move forwards.
African languages are very important in many ways. It is clear that teaching in local languages usually convey clearer messages and understanding than foreign languages. As language gives a link to culture and social life , indigenous language would continue to be very important. We can still learn foreign language in order to help us in linking with outside world. We should not forget that language is also people’s identity and window to their tradition.
Adigun Olosun, Ostbevern, Germany
Languages just confuse people after all we are all Africans!!!
Gady Mwamba Museka, Lusaka, Zambia
With over 2,000 languages in Africa, it is very important to speak, read and write in our African languages. Everything can be taken away, but not our languages. Our culture and identity lie in them. Most Ugandans who have finished school remember the punishments for speaking what would be called “vernacular” at school. Though this was helpful because for most jobs now, ability to write and speak English is a requirement. However, most of us who have learned other language(s) find it very difficult to express what we want to communicate in a foreign language. Today, the language policy in Uganda advocates for teaching in local languages in the first four years of primary education as well as adult basic education. Though it would take years for people to appreciate speaking, writing and reading their mother tongue due to the present employment situation in Africa it’s highly unlikely but it is still worth a try.
Prossy Nannyombi, Entebbe, Uganda.
One must learn to move with their own foot before driving a car or anything that can move fast. An African without an African language is like an amputated man who depends only on a wheelchair or a car to move
M. Chille, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
It is significant to be able to read and write in African Languages. If you are born in Africa, the language is your mother tongue and is your foundation. To learn to speak and write in English should come secondly.
Most Europeans are born speaking their native languages but still have to learn languages for at least 12 years at school to be able to communicate effectively in these languages. Most Africans have the disadvantage of having to compete with the rest of the world in a foreign language.
Mourice Akuku, Aac
Learning African Languages is still very important for two main reasons. It is a language which they should identify themselves with, by which I mean that these languages are part of their Identity. In some countries these languages are official working languages of the respective countries, the one I know is the Ethiopian Amharic which is the official language of the country. It is an ancient well developed language which has got its own alphabets. Therefore learning African local languages should be a must not a choice .
Imagine as a Westerner marrying a rural Ethiopian lady, illiterate, and with not one word in common. She is even still unable to communicate in the language spoken in the capital, Addis Ababa. Three years on her English is sufficient for all our needs, thank God. What has bothered us most is the gross lack of basic vocabulary found in both English/Oromo dictionaries which I’ve bought. So far the internet has been of no value. I’ve been partly untruthful in the above and on reflection knew toko, lama (one, two) in her language on the day of our marriage.
Yusuf Tahir, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Language is an essential part of any culture. It has a huge social impact on people. Hence, it is important that Africans develop their local languages. In the contemporary world, it has become a rewarding advantage to be bi-lingual. As much as English has become probably the most important world language so should an African’s language be to them. Native languages should be taught and learnt in schools. It should be compulsory.
Bernard Oniwe, Columbia, SC, USA
Are African languages important? Of course, it like English which are spoken in the world , so they are to be taught in all African schools like others languages that are taught in the school. And it is a must for African children to speak and write their own languages before they start English. A good example is Swahili in Kenya were students must take Swahili as compulsory or mandatory. And thanks.
Gabriel Miabek, Charlotte, NC, in USA.
Wow! what a racist discussion topic! and such a convenient one for such a large medium controlled by the bourgeois class of a colonial/imperial power to choose. should this even be a topic of discussion?
Anonymous A, New York
Any language is important, including African languages. I get so upset that nowadays American schools just focus on Spanish, and very few in French. People need to look beyond the European languages. I would love to learn Zulu.
Megan De Perro, Niagara
Seeing as there are roughly 7,000 languages, of which about 30% are African I find it highly unlikely any source such as Wikipedia thinks it can give “every single person” their own encyclopaedia. Saying that, if any language, African or not, is important for communicating with another culture, it should be taught. On the other hand, countries that only teach the indigenous language(s), regardless of their usefulness in the world, are condemning themselves to obscurity and possible extinction. Most of the Africans that I grew up with speak at least 2 or 3 languages, . I find this very admirable.
Jeff Requadt, Tucson, USA
In the East and part of Central Africa, Swahili is a relevant and unifying language for all people of the region, it gives every speaker the feeling of affiliation without questioning religion, ethnicity or colour. The language gives the feeling of a nation transcending political boundaries. But in places like Nigeria where there are many dialects African language has evolved to become the threshold of hatred among different ethnic groups which has created isolation . The good news is that a new “African” language with English vocabulary is emerging and we have high hopes that Pidgin English continues to grow into a properly recognised West African language.
James Ololo, Brussels, Belgium
African languages should be taught in schools because it’s one part of the culture that can be preserved. African parents should make it a point to teach the language to the kids regardless of where they are born.
Ouborr Kutando, Ghana
Not long ago Latin and Greek were very important languages. The key to importance of a particular language is economic and civil development. I believe that major African Languages especially that of tribes(nations) with strong economic potential will be very important in the near future. I believe that United Nation Headquarters will relocate from New York to Abuja Nigeria this century. US influence will greatly diminish while that of China, India, Nigeria and South Africa will increase. As soon as economic development of key African countries is attained, people will scramble to write and read African languages.
Steve Dibia, New Orleans, USA
It depends on what they are going to be for. If for communication across tribal/national frontiers, then they are utterly useless -and obviously so. If for the preservation of some cultural heritage, then we probably need them – though I’m not sure how we can educate the rest of the world about, say, aspects of Tanzanian or South African culture in Swahili, when it’s not the world’s lingua franca. I speak Ibibio, and only use it to communicate with my family; it doesn’t seem to serve any other purpose at the moment.
Akpan, United Kingdom
I prefer Swahili to other languages, but that doesn’t mean i hate English or other tongues. I feel every ones language should be given its importance. the majority of people in developing countries don’t speak English. So its best if they start with A,B and then C. so I believe its the best idea to put our languages first ,especially in our countries.
Eva, Arusha, Tanzania.
African Language are fantastic its makes you feel at home when you speak it. To be taught as a subject could be a big waste of time in school because it can’t take you anywhere.
Daniel Kibaga, Nairobi/Kenya
It is very important that African people are able to read, write and speak in their respective languages. It disgusts me that English has become so dominant in the world. While it remains an important language, there is no reason for other languages to be forgotten and ignored.
Elizabeth , Helena, United States
What would we have to call our own if there was nothing like a mothers tongue to be proud of?
Abubakar Ibrahim, Accra, Ghana
Our language is our identity. If we cannot hold on to it we may as well continue to be seen as slaves of another origin. the two widely spoken languages in the world, French and English are colonial languages and obviously not our identity. and so if not for anything at all, for the purpose of self-belonging and self-ownership it is prudent to project the African language.
Charlz Kwabena Annor, Accra, Ghana
Of course African languages are important. It has taken so long for them to be institutionalised, used at schools and in official government activities. Now African government should do that and teach them at schools. Time has come to incorporate in the curriculum other African languages as compulsory subject that will help in the goal of African Unity and informal people to people interaction. Nkosi I Sikeleli I Africa.
Yes, it’s absolutely important, it might not get me a job in wall street or for that matter anywhere in the western corporate world. So what, that is not the end of the world. But our language is our identity it is the product of the hard work of our brilliant forefathers.
Mulugeta Ephraim, Debre Markos, Gojjam, Ethiopia
Our languages are the identity and the culture we represent. Courses of African languages should at least be taught in schools so we can successfully build our nations and unite our people. Abdullahi Nur
Abdullahi Nur, Columbus, OH USA
African language as a subject in schools should be made compulsory in areas where such languages are spoken for the first few years of school. In Nigeria Mathematics and English are compulsory up to the last year of High school. Why not Esan language in the Esan speaking areas of Nigeria. Same for all other African languages.
Anthony Okosun, USA
Yes. I am an Edo speaking man and I love it. Although I reside abroad, I still speak my local language with my friends and family members when I call home. It is very important to be able to write, read and speak ones language fluently. It is a part of our cultural heritage and must be preserved. My children are also learning. On the long run, I will send them to Benin City, Nigeria for some years in order to master the language properly. Every African society, Sons and Daughters both home and abroad should do everything possible to preserve our mother tongue. We cannot fold our hands and allow Western influence or English to wipe out our cultural heritage. While English language is good, we must do everything to preserve our local languages. God bless mama Africa.
Omorodion Osula, Boston, USA