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Sunday, February 5, 2017

multilingual Cameroon -camfranglais

Cameroon has been described as “Afrique en miniature” (with over 200 distinct national languages) as regards sheer linguistic complexity.
Francamglais, as it tends to be called by its adolescent speakers today (p.c. Gardy Stein) – is a hybrid language spoken in the big cities of Cameroon, Douala and Yaoundé.
In Cameroon, French and English are official languages, and over 250 other languages are spoken, making communication difficult without a common language. Camfranglais first emerged in the mid-1970s after the reunification of Francophone Cameroun and Anglophone Southern Cameroons. It became fashionable in the late 1990s, due partially to its use by popular musicians.
A thorough discussion of the many issues surrounding cultural identity and language use in contemporary Cameroon, Dr Peter Vakunta offers a cogent argument for the recognition of Camfranglais as a legitimate literary language.



Official bilingualism was guaranteed, as formulated in article 1, paragraph 3 of the constitution of 1996.  The reality, however, is drastically different. Official bilingualism (Echu 1999a, 1999b) is very imbalanced, due to the predominance of francophones on the political and administrative scene, many of whom cannot speak English.

In order to move up the social or professional ladder, it is absolutely necessary for anglophones to become bilingual in French, whereas francophones do not have to become bilingual in English. Eventually, many pupils in the francophone area leave secondary school without being able to hold a conversation in English
The genius of Camfranglais is that it integrates Non-French lexical items into a French morphosyntactic frame: “sa structure morphosyntaxique a surtout l’ossature du français”.
(Roland Kießling, University of Hamburg - 2003 )

PIECE 2. TASK. READ THE article from 2007  below:  Full text click at the headline and share your opinions at the option of a new interlanguage. 

 New language for divided Cameroon  

-By Francis Ngwa Niba  
20 February 2007,

BBC News, DoualaTeachers in Cameroon are concerned that the new language frananglais - a mixture of French, English and Creole - is affecting the way students speak and write the country's two official languages.

Tu as go au school - Did you go to school?
Tu as sleep hier? - Did you sleep well last night?
Tout le monde hate me, wey I no know - Everybody hates me, I don't know why
Je veux go - I want to go
Il est come - He has come
Tu play le damba tous les jours? - Do you play football every day?

          Opinion is sharply divided on the origins of frananglais.
Francoise Endwin, head of the French department of the Linguistic Centre in Douala says it developed because French and English have a lot of similarities, despite their different syntax.

A lot of musicians now also use frananglais in their music. One of the earliest musicians to do this was the famous Lapiro de Mbanga, but dozens of other artists have now joined the bandwagon and sing in a language that most people will understand. That now happens to be frananglais. The most popular of these musicians now is known as Koppo and his best-known frananglais song is titled Si Tu Vois Ma Go (If You See Me Go). A mother of three I met buying the album in Douala told me: "I love Koppo's music very much - he sings in a language everyone can relate to." Jacques Towe, head of the English department of the Linguistic Centre in Douala, says: "Only time will tell what will happen to frananglais. It might develop into a new type of language" that might help bring national unity in a country divided along strong linguistic lines. As far as I am concerned, "je ne suis pas sure about this" (I am not sure about this). To be recognised as a language on its own, frananglais will have to be codified. Some university post graduate students have carried out research on frananglais but they all agree only on one point - if it helps communications, it's good for the country. Vous reading this toujours? (Are you still reading this?) You might be hooked already.

PIECE 3.  
Multilingual Cameroon has awoken to a new linguistic reality characterised by reconstructing linguistic identities in order to fit in the global space. This is seen in more and more urban Francophones pursuing English medium education and the Anglophones consolidating their identity alignment to the English language. From a sociolinguistic perspective, this paper evaluates the prominence and implications and prospects of this rush for English education in contemporary urban Cameroon. 
The case study method and cost-benefit analysis confirm that there is a fast growing interest in English medium education and the beginnings of English as an L1 in urban Cameroon. The result is a paradoxical sociolinguistic outcome: first of all, there is a shift by the majority Francophone group, who are shifting from a predominantly French medium to an English medium education, principally for economic benefits. Secondly, the Anglophones are increasingly shifting to English as an L1, without losing French as they live in basically French-speaking urban zones. 
This state of language shift implies that there will subsequently be bilingualism without diglossia in Cameroon's two official languages, and loss of the long-standing French language hegemony in Cameroon. At the same time, this shift threatens Cameroon's ancestral languages, forcing them increasingly into attrition and possibly endangerment.

‘Back moi mes do!’ = ‘Give me back my money!’

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