Germany is one of the leading global economies and a hub for many tourists from the north, south, east and west of the world.
The country is also well known for her well-coordinated road networks, her rich culture, booming economic status, her beauty; just to mention a few things that catch your attention when you land in the country.
However, my interest lies with a dominant value of a greater majority of Germans which is their native language or local dialect.
German language is indeed an expensive commodity. One of the striking things that hits you like a Tornado when you enter the country is that a lot of the German natives will hardly trade their local dialect for a foreign one.
Even the ones who are fluent in English or any other foreign dialect pretend they are not or will respond in English "I don't understand English" when you ask something in English.
My thought though is how did you hear me if you don't understand English? How did you even respond in English by telling me you can't speak or understand it?
Then I realized it's not because a German native can't speak or understand English or any other foreign language but rather they cherish their local dialect and so won't entertain you if you lack the basics in German language.
This therefore forces a lot of expats to take a German language course or indulge someone to teach him or her - the language - since that is most convenient and easy way to integrate yourself into the German economy.
Another thing is that almost everything shown on television is translated in German including movies and music from foreign countries.
Take for instance movies like Batman vrs Superman: Dawn of Justice, John Wick, Fifty Shades of Grey and many more which of course one would think since they are not German produced movies; they should be in English or the language in which the movie characters speak but a big NO!
All these movies are translated in German and if I say "translated", I don't mean subtitles but I mean the characters don't speak English but German language. This is to tell that in Germany, everything is German.
So, what do you do if you don't understand German or can't speak either? Simple! Take a German language course or you may opt for English and hope you find the nicest people to be at your service.
Now, enough of the long script about Germany and let me switch to my motherland, Ghana.
Ghana is a great country with beautiful and compassionate people. Our hospitality level towards foreigners is high and impressive. I strongly believe Ghanaians are in fact the nicest people to live with compared to other countries. Why?
Because no matter the language barrier of a foreigner in Ghana, we, Ghanaians will have the patience to speak English to the understanding of the person or find possible ways to understand him or her even when his/her language is foreign to us.
Of course, we are very nice people but being nice doesn't mean we should throw our pride away.
I may be harsh in my estimation of what I think indoctrination has done to us as Ghanaians and I just hope I am pardoned but sometimes one just has to hit the nail right on the head.
This NONSENSE of our teachers telling us to stop speaking "vernacular" must stop NOW!
Gradually and little by little, we're losing our own language and picking other's just because we think someone's language is better than ours. I stand to be corrected though but obviously take about 10 Ghanaians and you'll be amazed how many can read, write and speak their local dialect.
Isn't it a shame that I speak Twi and someone mocks me for not speaking a foreign language? In fact, isn't it a big disgrace that our nation leaders opt for English (obviously our supposed official language) when we're in our own country?
I recall when Prince Charles of the United Kingdom paid a royal visit to Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II in Manhyia Palace at Kumasi, Ashanti Region last year; our great Overlord held a durbar and guess what language he spoke in his address to His Royal Majesty, Prince Charles? Of course, he spoke English!
Not that it is bad to speak English but if our King is speaking English because Prince Charles is around when we have our local dialect, then what example are we leaving for the young generation?
Today, almost every family and household in Ghana, particularly the capital city, is feeding their children with English language which is good but my worry is when we're losing our local dialect in exchange for a foreign one which by all standard, no matter how fluent and eloquent one is in English or any foreign language; you simply can't be better than the natives of the language.
The list of examples goes on and on.
Hello, speaking Twi, Hausa, Ga, Fante (just to mention a few) is not a shame!!!
It doesn't call for mockery. Let's stop stereotyping people for using the local dialect. Let's have a rethink and re-orient ourselves.
It begins with our leaders. It begins with proper structures. It begins with streamlining Ghana's education system and making the local dialect a top priority.
I recently heard our Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey making emphatic call for French to be the second official language of Ghana. Très bon!
It's good to learn French but to make French Ghana's second, third, fourth, thousandth or even infinite official language is a big NO, a fervid NO and a vehement NO!
Teach French, teach English, teach German etc but let the emphasis be on our local dialect.
I advocate that Ghana's official language becomes our local language and not a foreign language. In as much as I appreciate the difficulties in making these transformations now, I strongly believe we should begin from somewhere.
Why can't we, Ghanaians, and the Government of Ghana decide on one common local language and make it our official language? It’s difficult but let’s do it; at least let’s try!
Why English? Why mock the person who speaks the local dialect? Why punish students for speaking vernacular? Why make the local dialect an abomination?
Let's begin to re-orient ourselves!
I admit that I am a victim of the very problem I’m speaking about. One will be legitimately right to even question why my write-up is in English when I am a proud Asante and proud of my Twi language. Of course, I can’t write Twi; I wish I could but I can’t.
You are not wrong to point out my flaws but I hope I made just a little bit of sense and if I haven't, perhaps we are all part of the problem but let's become the solution as well.
Dear ones; we’re not wrong to start the debate now!!!
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