Preserving Nigeria’s rich indigenous languages

December 3, 2020
12 Views

THAT Nigeria is blessed with several ethnic tribes speaking different languages is saying what is obvious.

It is really hard to ascertain the actual number of languages spoken in the country because in some tribes, the major language is further broken down into different dialects.

A good example is the Yoruba people of South West Nigeria, who have different dialects of their Yoruba language like Egba, Ijebu, Saki, Ondo, among others.

However, while the country is blessed with all these languages, they are being threatened by globalisation.

The meaning of this is that the world is now a global village and a popular culture is emerging, especially among the youth, who have access to technological gadgets, which further alienate them from their culture.

In Nigeria today, it is hard to find a child who speaks his/her mother tongue fluently, as most parents prefer to speak to their children or wards in the English language.

It has gotten so terrible that a child who speaks the English language fluently is considered intelligent, while the one who speaks his mother tongue fluently is considered ‘local.’

The effect of this neglect of the mother tongue cannot be over-emphasised, as these are the same generation that will pass on the culture, of which the language is an important part, to the next generation.

It is, therefore, important for the government and cultural organisations to reverse this trend of craze for globalisation and work for the survival of our culture.

Despite globalisation, some countries like China, Japan, South Korea, among others, still preserve their culture through their languages.

These countries still speak their local languages and conduct businesses or teach in their local languages.

Their culture is then further enhanced when a foreigner comes to their countries to study, as he has to undergo a compulsory one-year language lesson before the commencement of their studies.

With this, these countries are foistering their languages on an international audience, which further translates into a higher survival rate for the languages.

The Nigerian government and cultural organisations should, therefore, rise to the occasion, and one of the major ways through which we can conserve our culture is ensuring that children from age five downwards are encouraged to speak only their mother tongues.

Akanbi is Assistant Chief Antiquity Protection Officer, National Museum of Unity, Ibadan.

You may be interested

Coliation Of Patriotic Nigerian Elders, Charge President Buhari To Addresss Security Challenges In The Country
News
1 views
News
1 views

Coliation Of Patriotic Nigerian Elders, Charge President Buhari To Addresss Security Challenges In The Country

admin - January 16, 2021

By Our Correspondent Coliation of Patriotic Nigeria Elders Forum (COPANE), in the country have said the best way of celebrating…

Retired ACP To Police: Newly Recruited Constabularies Will Embarrass You
News
3 views
News
3 views

Retired ACP To Police: Newly Recruited Constabularies Will Embarrass You

admin - January 16, 2021

By Anayo Onukwugha, Port Harcourt A retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, Dr. Uche Mike Chukwuma, has declared that the newly…

News
2 views

Current Service Chiefs Mentally Prepared To End Insurgency’

admin - January 16, 2021

The efforts of the Service Chiefs at ending insurgency in Nigeria have been commended by Philip Agbese, a Middlesex University…

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.