News at BBC Pidgin goes like this:
No joke. That’s for realsies.
In an attempt to virtue-signal just how multicultural they are, the BBC has begun publishing articles in African Pidgin. You may have seen some of their other astute articles, such as “Ghana import 30 million condom but dem no use am” or “9 reasons why Trump win me – Hillary Clinton”. Other than being hilarious and somewhat cringeworthy, writing articles in Pidgin is just about the most pathetic attempt one can make trying to reach out to other cultures.
As a student of linguistics I have studied a wide variety of foreign languages and dialects. Pidgins and Creoles are commonly spoken in Africa and the Caribbean Islands. Both are essentially the result of African languages mixing with English. The primary difference is that Creoles are usually peoples’ native dialects and Pidgins are not.
Take Jamaica for example: Jamaicans are raised to speak Creole from birth. Pidgins are essentially dialects of broken English. Nobody is raised to be a native Pidgin speaker. It is a dialect that is learned from contact with the English-speaking world. Generally it is spoken in areas where shipping and trade occurs in Africa. Pidgins evolved to serve as a lingua franca so that both English speakers and speakers of African dialects could understand one another—unlike the Creoles which evolved overtime due to the mixing of English with different dialects by large communities.
So if there’s a BBC Pidgin, then why aren’t other similar dialects represented? Esperanto is the largest artificial language in the world and, unlike Pidgin, even has a small number of native speakers. Why does the BBC publish articles in Pidgin but not Chicano or Cajun French? The answer is quite simple: they are simply attempting to virtue-signal that they care about Africa. It has nothing to do with publishing articles in a language that other people can understand, and everything to do with flaunting themselves as multicultural and progressive.
People should understand that this does not do anyone a damn bit of good. English is not an easy language to learn, really no language is. But that does not mean we should dumb it down and break away from our standardized versions. In fact it makes a language harder to learn when one learns to use it improperly. There is nothing wrong with publishing the news in other languages but publishing it in a language that is essentially a broken version of your own does nothing to promote multiculturalism and robs people of the opportunity to experience and understand the language as it is truly spoken.
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