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Re: Is Twi Developed Enough to Become a National Language?

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Re: Is Twi Developed Enough to Become a National Language?

On the 25th of May, 2012, I logged onto my favourite news website (myjoyonline.com), clicked my way to the opinion section and an article with the title: “Is Twi Developed Enough to become a National Language?” caught my curiosity-piqued eyes.

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Possible, but no and never; I thought to myself, and not without a number of reasons coming to mind.

Of course, I’ll agree with the writer on this—Twi is the easiest Ghanaian and native language one can master (both native and non-native speakers) within our borders, but that shouldn’t qualify it as a possible lingua franca? There’s a case to be made for other Ghanaian languages too.

Before a language can be accepted and postulated by general consensus as a possible common language, it must have a number of qualities. Does Twi possess such qualities? Of course, it does; just like other native languages spoken within our borders. And therein a problem lies.

Will there ever be such a general consensus to make one particular language a lingua franca; a common language which MUST be accepted, spoken and written by everybody as a single national language (with English pushed into second position or disbanded unceremoniously due to its colonial colouring)? And won’t nationalizing one language, making it a MUST fly in the face of freedom; individual freedom, lingua freedom?

How many speakers of non-Twi languages will be prepared to relegate their own tongues into third position or disband it completely and go learn “somebody else’s lingua?”

Prejudice, pride, possible elitism, misconceptions—they are all things that may arise if a particular language (whether Twi, Anlo-Ewe, Ga or Hausa) is pushed ahead of the others for consideration as a second national language or the first and ultimate.

There’s also another argument to be made against such a possibility: Countries which were once colonized and for sometime used the language of the colonial master, then later on adopted one of their own tongues weren’t all that much multi-tongued.

They DID NOT have to choose a single language out of six or more; reason why it was simple for them; ours is a different boxing bout altogether—there are too many languages and forcing one on everybody will be uncalled for.

We should encourage the learning of our local languages and their use, but we should never ever dream of making one national. Let such an idea, to use a favourite phrase of politicians, remain in the pipeline forever. We stand to gain nothing from such a move. Moreover, there’s a mighty reason why we should retain English as our only national language.

It is the world’s lingua franca, and we are part of the world. Keeping English nationalized won’t cause us to lose our Ghanaian identities, not if we persevere in preserving our native languages besides English.

From: Stanley Courage Dugah /This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



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