Stella Dimoko Korkus.com: Mrs Dee's Corner - Local Languages Are 'Dying' In Nigeria..

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Mrs Dee's Corner - Local Languages Are 'Dying' In Nigeria..

Language is a beautiful way of communicating our thoughts, conveying our emotions and interacting with people who share the same tradition, beliefs and ways of life. 











It's a vital and cherished tool by those who own it and its loss can be the extinction of its people.


My native language, Igbo is music to my ears and one can't help but admire the beautiful rhythm and melody that emanates during its use in speech.


My broad knowledge of the language especially in the use of proverbs is all thanks to my mother who always inculcated it in her speech to buttress her points. Indeed, 'Ilu bu mmanu e ji eri okwu' ( Proverbs is the oil with which words are eaten).


It's a sad occurrence that most Nigerian indigenous languages are going into extinction.


So many homes as a result of various reasons have relegated the use of their native language to the background and their growing children only acquire or learn the language of communication between their parents and it's usually English.


As a young girl who experienced first-hand the neglect and lack my widowed mum faced, she always consoled herself with 'mgbe a na-ahughi ukwa, ataghi nsi ewu' meaning when there was no breadfruit, no one resorted to eating goat shit.


Each time anyone of my siblings stepped out of line, the ensuing words of 'okuko anaghi eti mkpu ka ihe ji ya hapu ya aka kama o wu ka uwa nuru olu ya' would follow and it simply meant she was not forcing us to change or amend our ways, but no one will blame her and say she/he was not warned.


After every advice session, the closing remarks of 'onye mara asu suo n'ikwe, onye na-amaghi asu suo n'apata ya' would end her long talk and we all knew she was stressing the need to either use the pieces of advice for our own good or throw it away and bear the consequences.


Sadly, I do not think my kids can say the same about me. Most times when my mum and I talk on the phone, the kids end up asking me 'mummy what language are you speaking with grandma?' and I feel so ashamed.


Hubby is not from the Eastern part of the country and honestly, switching from one code to the other is such a chore that I forget most times.


I wish there's a way to salvage the situation....

31 comments:

  1. Nice topic Mrs Dee, as always.
    The thing is that it is a bit difficult, but very doable, just be intentional about speaking your mother tongue to the kids.

    My kids are 7 and 5 year old, I speak Igbo language to them, though most times they respond in English, but they understand very well.

    Lately I noticed that they are speaking Ìgbo to me and dad, and I usually high Five them and this ginger them to speak more Ìgbo, Lol!

    Asụsụ Igbo amaka,
    Asụsu Ìgbo dị ụtọ.

    I have pledge to continue teaching my children and continue communicating to them in Igbo so help me God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chai 😖, God help me.
      Sincerely I am not doing well at this ohh 😫

      Delete
    2. Nice one Mrs Dee.

      It took me 4 years to pick Igbo language when we returned here,in the long run I had an A2 in SSCE, thanks to Mrs Emerah(Chichi's mum) and Mr Nwaobosi(Abuchi's dad).
      Our parents paid them to teach us Igbo language and etiquettes every Xmas for days. They were teachers in Onitsha and Awka.(I doubt they're still alive).

      Then we learned many tongues and dialects, crafts and mannerisms in Igbo culture.

      I pity people who can't speak their dialects because I do many tongues (domestic staff and siblings brought in theirs from wherever they were schooling or coming from).

      Today we did same for our kids, they read Igbo Bible,novels and watch Igbo films alot though they don't speak it properly but they write well already.
      If during morning devotion we're reading the Igbo Bible, they comply.

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    3. Language is a good thing knowing how to speak it is a plus one.

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    4. Aaaaaaaaah, thanks Xhlrted P, thanks for this, Ìgbo devotion and prayers!

      Happy Weekend E-family!

      Delete
  2. I did everything I could for my kids to speak Igbo but it didn't work out. Their staying in school from 7am till 5pm did not help issues. They come back to assignments and sleep.
    Speaking ones native language is very important. 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄

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  3. Extinction of cultural identity,😢😢😢....
    (I see a future where foreigners will come to Africa to teach our children the same culture of their forebears which they jettisoned; and as usual turn such venture into another money making industry)

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  4. It's sad. I don't know how to speak my mother or my father's native language, so what do I teach my future kids? It's really sad.

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  5. Nice one Mrs Dee.
    I and my siblings were born in the north,we stayed in a big "yard" that housed many languages,I ended up speaking other languages but not mine. I and my siblings communicate with hausa and my dad wasn't happy abt it.He had to bundle us to the east to sch and learn how to speak Igbo.Today I can speak igbo fluently thou my siblings and I still communicate in hausa.
    I'm married now but my kids can't speak igbo,I and hubby communicate in ignore but speak english to the kids😫 but now I've changed that,I speak igbo to them and translate in English.Theyre catching up small small.
    I've this friend that has a gwari girl as a househelp,the other day they came visiting,see the gwari girl blowing Igbo language choke me o.Since then I vow that I won't be speaking English to my kids again..if gwari gurl can be speaking Igbo like this what will stop my kids,and they're based in the north of.

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  6. Nice one,i always speak to my boys and tell them to interprete while i correct them

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  7. Eyyy God! 😰😰

    I can admit that I’m struggling couple with having a francophone speaking partner but we speak my village native tongue quite often at home, just not the central/common Igbo.

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  8. This is correct and occurs mostly in homes where the parents are from two different tribes. Well, you can still be speaking it to them, I'm sure they'll catch up.

    If I end up marrying someone outside my tribe,i want my kids to speak the two languages. I plan on schooling them the one i know at home. It's my job to do that

    For the English part, it will be perfected in school.

    And I believe trips to the village helps also. When they meet and interact with grannies, and age their mates they'll pick up.

    some parents now don't even want their kids speaking their dialect. I suffered to learn, and I'm still learning and I want my kids to speak fluently.

    In all, well done

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is correct and occurs mostly in homes where the parents are from two different tribes. Well, you can still be speaking it to them, I'm sure they'll catch up.

    If I end up marrying someone outside my tribe,i want my kids to speak the two languages. I plan on schooling them the one i know at home. It's my job to do that

    For the English part, it will be perfected in school.

    And I believe trips to the village helps also. When they meet and interact with grannies, and age their mates they'll pick up.

    some parents now don't even want their kids speaking their dialect. I suffered to learn, and I'm still learning and I want my kids to speak fluently.

    In all, well done

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  10. That's what i am suffering now. Inability to speak my Esan language. While growing up, we will be speaking English language and be doing shakara that we cannot speak our language. Both parents are from Edo state oo but my mother rather taught us Yoruba language, or maybe we learnt it because we were born in Lagos. Now i am all grown and working and everyone is forming groups according to states, speaking individual languages fluently. I just dey look like lukman. It is well.

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  11. I am an educator, raised by a seasoned educator too.
    My mom made sure we don't just speak Igbo but our local dialect cos she believes that it can't be taught in school.
    Learning mother tongue is a responsibility every parent should take serious.

    It might pose a barrier in an inter tribal marriage.
    However, if we make it a priority, then it is possible.

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  12. My daughter is good at both English and Igbo. When we are talking about something serious or friendly gist I usually use English unconsciously but hmmm when I am angry I use Igbo unconsciously too. I don't know why but it has been helping oh at least she knows when I am angry and behaves her self. She speaks Igbo but not excellently, she will get there soon.

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  13. dunno what this article is referring to but my language Yoruba is thriving very well. it's now mainstream. u can find yoruba in popular music, slang, internet memes and is even studied and spoken in other parts of the world as well. dunno about other tribes but if you want your language spoken n never dyiing down you're gonna need to inject it in as much popular media as possible until it becomes common. nowadays u find non-yoruba people speakin yoruba more fluently than yoruba indigenes sef. so it's all about collective efforts to spread your language and then allow others to spread it 4 u

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  14. the only way to preserve language is to expose young ones and foreigners to it as much as possible. thanks to slave trade and musicians like wizkid and burna boy injecting yoruba in music n gaining international fame, yoruba is vastly known

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  15. A thriving language can still become vulnerable if the work isn't done. The onus is on govt to help the people indirectly, by making rural areas a little bit urban(developed), it will to an extent prevent rural residents to relocate to big cities, na too much of city life and relocations dey cause language loss. When Igbo people go to Lagos or Other towns, even if their children speak the language, they wouldn't know enough proverbs, na community dey influence language well. If Rural places are made a bit urban, the locals of the place will Stay and their language will thrive, and less foreigners(i mean nigerians from other sides) will stay in their communities too and their language will thrive, relocation will be minimized.

    Another thing is mmasi, have admiration, pride in your language, give children native names as first names, expose them to native things, i am from Imo State, but i happened to Stay in Anambra state for a year and my Lord, i love the Consciousness the Anambra people chose Igbo over English, even in schools too. Parents these days in Town will speak English to their children, saying so they will learn Igbo when they grow up. Big lie. In Anambra state children learn Igbo first, and then grow up to learn English, and I can't say they are left behind.. Many of our parents learnt the native tongue first and still caught up with English so Why the cringe for Local language.

    Thirdly, it is a natural phenomenon for languages to die sha, even The English, French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese are Romance language coined from Latin. So languages die, evolve over time. But still it is in the hands of the indigenes to sustain theirs.

    Travel Travel dey kill language

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  16. You can't really blame anyone though. The major reason is because our official language is English for obvious reasons and kids spend more of their time in school speaking.

    It's just natural they'd be more used to speaking it than any other language.

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  17. Another point, That’s Why i appreciate Flavour, Phyno, Olamide, Duncan Mighty, despite some non entities that will tag them local, they always infuse their language in Music. The Ikwerre dialect in Rivers State is slowly vulnerable because children less than 10 barely speak, though they understand, when Spoken to, they reply with Pidgin or English, and they are in their Hometowns, Port-Harcourt have now, people from different Part of the country, Pidgin Pidgin Everywhere, Ikwerre children instead of teaching others their Ikwerre, they start speaking Pidgin Too. This is my maternal home, i speak the dialect too, but when i speak to my younger Brother, He responds back in English, especially when in public, as if language is for old people in public.. Tiring

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  18. I am one of those struggling to speak my language as an adult. I will make sure my kids speak, even if it is only the small one I speak, let them learn.

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  19. We learn English in sch oo cosnmy house is a typical igbo house , my mum don't have all the time of blowing grammar for you

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  20. Anyone 12:54' you typed something that caught my attention. "so it's all about collective efforts to spread your language and then allow others to spread it 4 u" ...this right there. I was so interested in learning igbo language. I am a young lady but got fascinated by the language. I was learning gradually from my neighbour one girl in my class back in secondary school. Fast forward to when I started working, an igbo lady was sitting close to me, I begged her to speak to me in igbo and translate so I will catch up, this lady told me point blank she cannot teach me her language o, that for what na. I got passed and told her she should even be happy I showed interest in her language
    That didn't she know it was a show of love. She still didn't and I lost interest ìn it. I believed some of them would rather not teach u so you will not understand what they are discussing when u are in their mist(amebo things). I just wanted to learn it then.

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  21. Hubby and I are from the same place and we speak our dialect so well at home. Our 5 years old daughter understands it and can mutter a few too. Parents, most especially mothers should speak their dialect to their children at home as these children will learn and speak english in school. Take pride in your language please.

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  22. I remember when I was in Port Harcourt, OMG I use to enjoy Sunday service because of Ibo gospel song , I use to sing and enjoy it without knowing the meaning, but my neighbour doesn't want me to understand the language by frustrating my efforts and I gave up.

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  23. I am in this as well. I am an Ibibio girl married to an Isoko man. Hubby can't speak his but he understands every word.

    I can speak mine but unfortunately most times I speak English to my children. I don't know how to get them to understand at least one of our indigenous languages.

    I tire sef

    ReplyDelete

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