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General News of Saturday, 9 May 2020

Source: newswatchgh.com

Coronavirus has deepened use of indigenous languages - Catholic Priest

A Catholic Priest in Ghana has stated that though COVID-19 pandemic is a plague, it has deepened the awareness for people to think locally and use indigenous languages to communicate.

“It has become clear that to overcome this invisible enemy, the COVID-19 pandemic, the indigenous languages should be used more at the family and village level or better still for the masses,” said Fr. Alphonse Bulloro, a Priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Accra.

In a write-up on “The Role of Indigenous Languages in the Fight against COVID-19 Pandemic” made available to newswatchgh.com, he said it was important “to attach great importance to the use of indigenous languages so that they can help deepen our identity and help us in our fight against pandemics such as COVID-19.”

He commended President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for speaking few words in Ga and Akan languages in his national address about COVID-19, saying that “I know the Information and Communication Ministries are trying their possible best to disseminate information to the masses in the indigenous languages.”

He stated “It is worth noting that the Ghana Health Service is also doing well by using about 13 of our indigenous languages to educate the masses. Some Religious groups are also doing well in making information available to the indigenes through the native language.”

However, according to him, “there is more to be done in the use of the indigenous language here in Ghana,” adding that “The Linguists in Ghanaian languages have a role to play too.”

“I am of the view that African heads or Ghana promote regional languages so that in every region there is an indigenous language spoken. This may come with its own challenges especially with the politics and prestige involved coupled with the fact that some people see their languages more important than others.”

He asked governments, Heads of State, and nations of Africa to think globally and locally with regards to the indigenous languages, appealing to parents also look at teaching and nurturing their children in the indigenous languages.

“Parents have a crucial role to play in promoting indigenous languages. Truly, if parents fail to promote the indigenous languages at home, it will be difficult for the younger generation to identify themselves with the use of such languages,” he added.

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