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Opinions of Thursday, 10 March 2016

Columnist: Ananpansah, B. Abraham ( AB)

Use local language to curtail gratuitous debate on error-riden brochure

I have followed with great disinterest and hobgoblin the unbroken debate surrounding the Event Brochure for the 59th Independence Day celebration.

The brochure which largely contained an outline of the programme of the celebration at the Black Star Square as well as some historical facts about Ghana was found to be riddled with a lot of unpardonable grammatical errors and some misrepresentations.

Infact, it has since become a popular subject on social media, radio and television programmes and talk shows ever since news broke about the error infested brochure, with some demanding that "heads must roll" to atone for the mistakes.

For many others, it is simply a national embarrassment and an indictment on the image of our dear country,especially,in the eyes of the international community.

As a concern citizen of mother Ghana, I have followed the debate keenly and I'm sorry to say not only is this debate inconsequential, but highly unproductive and a mark of a "lost people".

I can't believe it! What are we spending our time and airtime discussing? Errors committed in the use of another man's language!The same people we drove away from our country years back...!With all the plenty talks, how many of us can really speak or write the Queens language effortless without errors?

Don't you get it; it's not our language and we can't simply understand it that perfect no matter how hard we try. They set the rules and will continue to change the rules .You don't have to blame anybody in government or the information service department for what they probably didn't envision. Blame our mothers for imbuing us in the L1 right from birth.

I can't imagine the relieve it would have brought to the people of my community, if one - half of the time, energy and ideas used in discussing this trivial issue was spend in highlighting the water problem in the community.I can't equally imagine the investment ideas the youth will have been benefiting from, if same time we are spending in discussing some one's errors was expended in elaborating more, the team of the celebration, "Investing in the youth for Ghana's Transformation".Think about it.

Interesting enough, I have heard some people suggest that in order to prevent such occurrences moving into the future, not only should we involve people with competence to edit and proofread such national assignments, but if necessary, external actors should be involved to avert such inadvertent errors. External actors? This sort of thinking is not only flawed and lazy, but highly unproductive....

Instead of stretching our brains, the therapy is right here with us:lets awake the spirits of our sleeping identity by putting such national writeups in the local languages.That way, we will not need to invite external actors to correct us on the use of a borrowed language. If the international community is genuinely interested in reading about such events, they will employ the service of a local interpreter. And by so doing, we will see that we are indirectly creating jobs for our people. In fact, with the local language, no one apart from us can identity our own errors. Hence, no more national embarrassment in the use of a borrowed language.This may sound crazy on the surface. But a deep-rooted thinking and reflection will reveal sense in the coming days.

More so,it is high time we get to realise that language is one of the powerful modern tools used in corrupting our minds, colonising our sovereignty and killing our identity in this modern global race.

I have just passed my opinion and I believe as a country, we should be making strident efforts towards changing our way of thinking and doing things.We must save our sinking local languages!

May God bless our homeland Ghana and give us the foresight to think through and wake up to the reality that language is one of the newest tools for corrupting and colonising the black man.