Language Development : Camfranglais , Cameroon’s new language in the making

 

Camfranglais is the new medium of Communication among Cameroonians, especially youths.

It is a blend of French, English and pidgin , all in one phrase.

If you listen to street conversations, you will hear phrases like

# “Je wanda” meaning ; I WONDER
#“Ont go au school all les days” meaning ; WE GO TO SCHOOL EVERYDAY
# “Je veux chop” meaning ; I WANT TO EAT.

These expressions are used by youths nationwide , especially in metropolitan cities like Yaounde, Douala , and other regional headquarters.

But besides the youths’ willingness to create their own identity, most like Alice use the new language because of peer pressure.

” I express myself in this language, because, it is mostly spoken by youth, around my neighborhood and even at school”

Thanks to its growing popularity, some enterprises have been convinced to use Camfranglais to advertise their products.

Also, local artists have understood the necessity of introducing this form of communication in their songs.
An example of such songs is “Je go” , composed by popular artist Koppo in 2014 .

Language development : The pedagogic downturn

Although some scholars think Camfranglais could increase the number of languages widely spoken in Cameroon, education experts say it’s causing more harm than good.

Teachers particularly argue that Camfranglais threatens the quality of English and French spoken in the school milieu.

Mme Mebenga Yvonne, a secondary school teacher holds that speaking one language is more beneficial.

“It has a negative impact on the writing skills of students, who could gain more by speaking either English or French. We’ve noticed lapses during spelling exercises when students mix-up English and French”.

To remedy the situation, the experts have come up with some strategies to repair the damage.

Amina malloum(intern)

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