NAIJA GOOD: PIDGIN/BROKEN ENGLISH
In Nigeria, there is this language that is widely spoken by it’s citizens. It is not a native language neither is it a foreign language, it has been working as a bind for a long time now: the high class, middle class, low class, northeners, southerners, westerners, easterners and even across other west African countries speaks this language in common. Well, It is PIDGIN. Otherwise known as ‘Broken English’.
The term ‘Broken English’ explains that it is English which has been reconstructed/broken down for easy communication amongst countries or individuals who completely speaks different languages.
It all started in the 17th century when the Europeans quest for new market and raw materials brought many Portuguese missionaries and traders on the shore of Jamaica, West and Central African countries like; Sierra Leone, Cameroon and Nigeria.
With no language in common which made communication and eventually partnership difficult, they had to create a form of communication which developed into these African languages such as: CREOLE, PIDGIN and PATOIS.
PIDGIN: Is a mixture of English with some native languages including some Portuguese words e.g SABI which in English is ‘Know’ and PIKIN which in English is ‘Child’.
This language was birthed for trade and religion purposes but now spoken in Nigeria vastly. It is not mostly spoken in a particular state or village by the Yorubas, Idomas, Hausas, Nupes or Igbos -it is generally spoken. Although not generally accepted.
PIDGIN is mostly used on informal occasions hence some parents won’t allow their children use the language because it is a broken English which means it is a language for those that don’t understand or can’t speak English fluently.
Nevertheless movements are being made for the adoption of Pidgin English to become an official language.
The fuss of appreciation for this week’s topic: PIDGIN/ BROKEN ENGLISH is the bind it has contributed to the economy since the 17th century till date, a population of a hundred and eighty-six million with so many diversities, religion, language and culture.
It is a homey language.
Let’s face it, Pidgin sounds cool and rubs off different. It gives you a street credibility and even foreigners like the Americans, Europeans fancy the language.
Many radio and television stations now have pidgin version of their news. E.g BBC NEWS PIDGIN. Musicians and Actors/Actress uses the pidgin language in their productions.
In a world where different culture, tribes and class are in flux -it is good to have a unifier.
Hence! NAIJA GOOD