Skip to comments.South Sudan adopts the language of Shakespeare
Posted on 10/09/2011 6:02:37 AM PDT by decimon
The young nation of South Sudan has chosen English as its official language but after decades of civil war, the widespread learning of English presents a big challenge for a country brought up speaking a form of Arabic.
I knew there might be problems as soon as I arrived at Juba International airport - and was asked to fill in my own visa form, as the immigration officer could not write English.
The colourful banners and billboards hung out to celebrate South Sudan's independence back in July, and still adorning the streets now, are all in English. As are the names of the new hotels, shops and restaurants.
After decades of Arabisation and Islamisation by the Khartoum government, the predominantly Christian and African south has opted for English as its official language.
At the Ministry of Higher Education, Edward Mokole, told me: "English will make us different and modern. From now on all our laws, textbooks and official documents have to be written in that language. Schools, the police, retail and the media must all operate in English."
"With English," the news director of South Sudan Radio, Rehan Abdelnebi, told me haltingly, "we can become one nation. We can iron out our tribal differences and communicate with the rest of the world."
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
Looks like they’re trying to be practical.
We need to make it the official language in the US.
The British made a terrible mistake of forcing the South and North of Sudan in one union.
Southern Sudanese have much more in common with Ugandans and Kenyans. They’ll do just fine.
WOW!! if only AMERICA would adopt English as the official language!!
They’ll do fine because they are Christians.....thank GOD!
I hope so. Do you know if they're developing any kind of market economy?
I don't think history bears that out. Economics rules, IMO.
The economy will be heavily dependent on Oil for quite sometime. Literacy rates, health care statistics and poverty rates are abysmally low. All Petroleum export has to go through Sudanese pipelines and the Sudanese are ripping them off (charging $23 per barrel for pipeline transportation).
They are in talks with the Chinese to construct a pipeline moving through Uganda to Kenya (Chinese have already begun training Oil and Gas technicians). There seems to be quite a bit of potential for agric based industry - and once again, the Chinese seem to be the most interested.
South Sudan will simply move from being part of the Arab World to being part of the East African community.
The Chinese involvement is...uhh...inscrutable. But it’s surely better than in the days when that involvement meant fomenting bloody Marxist revolution.
Speaking English allows them to interact with the Western world. Speaking Arabic would have bound them to the Muslim world.
Economic considerations made English something of a lingua franca and the internet has reinforced that. English is forever evolving so I suspect the internet will evolve some universal language with English at its base.
They should stay off the blogs.
[Aside to Costard] They have been at a great feast of languages,
and stol’n the scraps.
O, they have liv’d long on the alms-basket of words.
—Love’s Labor’s Lost Act 5, scene 1, 3239