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MISCONCEPTION ABOUT LANGUAGES

Concept of Language

Language is a systemic way of communication or, a means  of  passing a message to another person or being, from a human to human, or from human to animal; or from animal to human, or from animal to other animal. Communication can be made through verbal, gesticulations, signals, signs, and pictorial presentations etc. Any method used in getting across a message to the other party is done via language.

Language, according to Hornby (875), is the system of communication in speech and writing that is used by people of a particular country or area. It is however, a form of communication, using words, either spoken or gestured; or with signs with the use of grammar, often with a writing system. Language, is therefore, a means of expressing one’s thought or mind in other to pass a message to an intended recipient.

Governor Akeredolu explaining his point

Languages of the world:

There are so many Languages spoken in the world of which it can be so difficult for an entity to know all, except the Almighty God who created the languages and their speakers; but for the purpose of this piece, only three are picked: Arabic, English and French. Perhaps because of their wider acceptance to many part of the world; or due to their opulence.

According to ethnologue, 7, 177 languages are spoken today, as at year 2020.Meanhile, just 23 languages account for more than half the world’s population. Interestingly enough, the top ten most spoken languages as purported by ethnologue are: English, Mandarine, Chinese, Hindi, Spanish, French, Standard Arabic, Bengali, Russian, Portuguese and Indonesian.

It is an open fact English, as a language become widely spoken due to many factors, of which colonization and stylishly enforcing the Language on colonized countries, Nigeria as a typical example. So vividly well I can still recapitulate how the Nigerian government banned, or do I say, prohibited vernacular speaking, and mercilessly we were dealt with, with the inclusion of fine and capital punishments for whoever defaulted, (during our days in primary school); as if we committed a heinous God’s unforgiving atrocity.

Today, people learn French at ease, with smiles and comfort; and so do people in learning Arabic without either a fine or punishment, yet they have wider acceptance. Anyway, no gain, without pain!

Pensioners...Maina yanked from saving them

The English speaking countries include: Ausrailia,UnitedState,Pakistan,Banladesh,Ethiopia,Philiphines,UnitedKingdom,Tanzania,Kenya.Uganda,Sudan,,Canada,Malaysia,Ghana, Cameroon, Sri-Lanka, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Burundi, South Sudan, Jordan, United Arab Emirate, Papu New Guinea, Israel, Palau, Liberia, New Zealand, Kuwait, Eritrea, Jamaica, Qatar, Namibia, Lesotho, Bahrain ,Nigeria etc., all of these countries speak English due to the influence of the British Empire and United State. But at the Federal level of US, technically, she does not have official Language, despite the fact that English is the most commonly spoken Language.

So very disgusting that till this day, a country like Nigeria has not developed her own lingua franca, when a country like Niger republic adopts her language without solely depending on a foreign language like English.

Turkey attaches so much importance to her language so much that, as a student, learning the country’s indigenous language is a prerequisite .Will it be an extravagant adventure for Nigeria to adopt her own indigenous lingua franca such WAZOBIAVE? Wa (come), Zo (come) Bia(come) and Ve (come)Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo and Ebira respectively.

What Nigerian language is mandatory for any foreigner learn before studying in Nigeria. This is just a typical example.

Governor Akeredolu listening to Ibrahim Gusau, President of AFN

A Scenario of Importance of Language:

A woman, who was a trader, was travelling for her business pursuance. In the vehicle she boarded, was a gang of robbers. The robbers spoke their own language as they discussed when and where the robbery operation would take place .So baffled and terrified the woman was! She almost wee inside the bus. So suspicious was one of the robbers, to the extent that he quarried the woman in a subtle manner: do you understand our language (in Pidgin English)?

The woman nodded in negation; but behold, the woman actually understood every bit of their discussion. Luckily, enough, they had to branch at a filling station in order to top-up the vehicle’s tank. What a sigh of relief to the poor woman. There, at the filling station was a patrol vehicle of the policemen, but just they very few were (in number).Courageously, she was walked up to one them and narrated to him, the narrations of their discussion.

The woman’s courage was kindled as the policeman promised to meet them at the point where the robbers intended to rob the woman. What an omen of sacrament or succor! With great enthusiasm, the policemen (in a large quantum) traced them to the destination of evil and arrived in good time. That was how the evil day was never was! All of them were captured and taken to the police’s custody for their attempted action. Can you imagine the power of language?

French:

French is also spoken in a total number of twenty nine countries as at the year 2020.While thirteen of these twenty-nine countries adopt French as their official language. Republic of Congo takes the lead in Africa. In United State, French is recognised as a cultural language. Other Francophone countries include: France, Canada, Cameroon, Niger, and Ivory, Burkina Faso,Mali,Senegal,Chad,Guinea,MadagascarRwanda,Benin,Burundi,etc.

Arabic:

As an international language, is also one of the international widely spoken languages in the world. It is spoken in twenty-four countries; and more than 420 Million people around the world, speak Arabic. Many countries in the Middle East are expanding their dominance in the business sectors and technology, including international businesses and so that calls for the need to employ translators or interpreters of the language, including international government agencies. Auspiciously, many people all over the world, who are neither religiously bigots nor biased, have seen the unequivocal immense importance of Arabic as an internationally widely famous language.

Arabic department of University of Ibadan was established in 1961, the famous American historian, JOHN HUNWICK,(a non-Nigerian Christian)  led the crusade of documenting information on the history of North African societies; written in Arabic; as a staff of University of Ibadan, in the sixties.

Sulaiman was Dawud’s heir, and he said: O men! we have been taught the language of birds, and we have been given all things; most surely this is manifest grace. And his host of Jinn and the men and the birds were gathered to him, and they were formed into groups. Until when they came to the valley of the ant (Naml), a Namlite said: O Naml! Enter your houses, (that) Sulaiman and his hosts may not crush you while they do not know.(Q27:16-18). All this communication exercise between Sulaiman and other creatures were made in Arabic language. Arabic remains an international language that has been in use from time immemorial! For lack of interest in the language (Arabic) does not deny its existence.

In the Bible:

King Solomon used to have power over the Jinn. He could see them, talk to them and command them to do stuff for him (www.steetdirectorate.com). And he spake of trees, from sedar tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall: He spake also of beasts and of fowl, and creeping things and of fishes (First Kings, chapter 4:33).

Top-10-Most-Popular-Spoken-Languages-in-Nigeria

Misconception about languages:

It has been critically observed that personal hatred, nepotism and  meritocracy has blinded many people so much that they could not see the goodness or advantages attached to the understanding of others’ languages. It should be remarkably known that understanding other peoples’ languages saves and protects one from the evils of the speakers of such a language as exemplified in paragraph three above; and at the same time, it brings about a lot of goodie to the speaker of other people’s language(s).

Apparently, it should be noted here that Arabic is a language which can be studied by all and sundry, exactly the way other languages, such as: Spanish, Chinese, German, Hebrew, English are. Studying any or all of these languages does not necessarily change one’s opinion. Ideology, culture or religion.

Therefore, studying English or Hebrew as a language is never an automatic or license to becoming a Jew; rather, it makes one to understand better, the people who speak the language, which will cause more understanding, better relationship and smooth co-existence. Without contempt, open your heart to study as many languages as possible.

Pensioners...Maina yanked from saving them

There are uncountable number of non-Muslims who recite in countries like: Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, United Arab Emirate (Dubai), Qatar, Sudan, Jeddah in Saudi-Arabia, who speak well polished Arabic as a language; not as a religion, but as a medium of inter personal communication for educational, business and diplomatic relationship, only! In Egypt and Palestine, there are a number of indigenous non-Muslims whose mother- tongue or L1 is pure and undiluted Arabic, yet they remain in their religions. Another vital misconception is the myopic thought of some people who could not differentiate between Arabic as Language; and Islam as a Religion.

Though, Arabic remains the Language of Islam, the Language of the Glorious Qur’an :Surely, We have revealed It (Qur’an) in Arabic, so that you may understand (Q12:2).Other references include:Q13:37;Q16:37;Q20:113;Q26:195;Q39:28;Q41:3;Q43:3 and Q46:12).It is the language of every deceased in the grave, the language of inmates of Paradise, the language of the Angels and  the language of the Prophets and Messengers of Allah. Other advantages of Arabic include among many others: An Arabist can be:

  • An Interpreter or a Translator;
  • A teacher or Lecturer;
  • An ambassador;
  • A writer or an author;
  • A Counsellor;
  • A state or nation’s secretary;
  • A carrier civil servant;
  • An employer of a Country’s foreign affairs’ office;
  • An administrative officer;
  • A social network worker like: Victoria Dubrovskaya, Dinar Khairutdinov,

Kiril Moiseev, Valentina Abu Abdullah etc.

  • As a worker for military, police, immigration, custom and all uniform jobs, etc.

 Conclusion

Whether, Arabic or any other language, no discredit should be apportioned to any. For no one knows when you will be stranded of such, and perhaps, that may be the only savior in a challenge you may find yourself, just like a the narrated scenario of the woman in this piece. The author of this piece is an intending student of all possible languages local and international so as not to remain as a partial deaf and dumb. Everyone is therefore advised not to be a monolingual, rather to be a bilingual or a multilingual. Since languages break barriers, why not learn as many you can?

References:

https://jobforarabists,ru:Home job for Arabists

Aguda, O, Arabism and Pan-Arabism in Sudanese Politics- jstor https://www,jstor,org

https://www.ethnologue,com

About Colins Ajibola

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