Tag: Africa

Beyoncé in Kiswahili

Beyoncé has released a song featuring lyrics in Kiswahili, one of Africa’s more widely spoken languages.The song, “Spirit,” is featured on the Lion King album produced by the star, which is the soundtrack to Disney’s new version of the classic movie The...

South Africa’s Language Question Remains Unanswered

The governing African National Congress (ANC) held a rally in Sharpeville (suburban Johannesburg) on March 21 to celebrate Human Rights Day and to commemorate the 1960 Sharpeville massacre, widely regarded as the inaugural event in the struggle that eventually led to the end of apartheid in 1994. President Cyril Ramaphosa, ANC party leader, gave the principal...

Anglophones Seek Split in Cameroon

English and French still demarcate the lines of a violent conflict in Cameroon. This situation has worsened in the two years since 2016’s police clashes (see LM, December 2016).According to the Washington Post, what started as peaceful protests has escalated to a secessionist movement and brought the Central...

Rwanda Revives French

Rwanda replaced French with English as its language of education a decade ago, but French is now experiencing a revival. French was the most-widely spoken European language in the once Belgian colony until it began losing ground to English in the aftermath of Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, when the anglophone Tutsi took control.Adding to Rwandan distaste for French was the...

Ancient Script Found in Sudan

In northern Sudan, archaeologists have uncovered a trove of new artifacts at the necropolis of Sedeinga, an ancient Nubian city. Tablets, lintels, and steles covered in the mysterious script of one of the oldest known written languages will hopefully provide more insight into this ancient culture.Sedeinga is known for...

Should Americans Learn African Languages?

According to the 2011 census, just .03% of Americans speaks an African language. However, the United States was ranked third for capital investment in African countries in 2014 begetting the argument that more Americans should learn African languages. The Financial Times reported that, “the U.S. was the top source country by number of projects last year, with 67...

BBC launches Pidgin Portal

Afro women using tablet computer in the park
The BBC has launched a new online section that delivers news exclusively in Pidgin for West African audiences. Pidgin is a language spoken by over 75 million Nigerians. While the number of speakers is large, Pidgin offers unique challenges: it is a language without official spelling or grammar that is in constant flux.The portal is a huge step forward...

Chinese Developments

Partnership in Pakistan... To promote Chinese language and culture in Pakistan, the Confucius Institute, the University of Karachi, and Islamabad’s Preston University signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to improve the teaching of Chinese in Pakistan. As a first step, the three institutions will jointly launch a free Chinese language credit course that even includes materials. Confucius Institutes adopt flexible teaching...

Portuguese from Cape to Cape

Brazil may be the Portuguese powerhouse, but the language is still alive and well in AfricaWith a population of just 10 million people, Portugal has seen its language go global thanks to the dynamism of its ex-colonies. Portuguese’s status as the sixth-most-spoken language in the world is a direct result of Portugal’s empire, which owed its power and riches...