Protect our country’s lingua franca

Members of Parliament, the English language is Uganda’s lingua franca. Consequently, every official communication is conducted in English. That is why all Ugandans must respect the usage of our lingua franca.

Ugandans are now misusing and abusing the English language to the extent that, many now proudly call the distorted English, “Ugandan English”! It is only the United States of America which managed to make the British Government recognise “American English”.

Ugandans could be excused for failure to speak English correctly as far as accent and intonation are concerned, the learned Ugandans cannot be excused for pronouncing wrongly, English words in very common use.
I will give three gross illustrations of words in this category: 1. Minute (pronounced ‘minit’) and wrongly pronounced minati. 2. Bury (pronounced ‘beri’) and wrongly pronounced barreh. 3. Burial (pronounced ‘berial’) and wrongly pronounced barrio.

There are very many English words with peculiar pronunciations however, educated Ugandans must endeavour to pronounce them correctly.

If in doubt, please consult the Oxford Aanced Learner’s Dictionary. Unfortunately, the young Ugandans copy such wrong pronunciations, to their detriment, because they will also be causing shudders and chuckles in international conferences just as is happening now , when learned Ugandans speak “Ugandan English” at such conferences.

Honourable legislators, Parliament makes Acts, creating boards, commissions, authorities, councils, etc., based on the needs andthe importance of the concerned sectors.

Therefore, the English language being our lingua franca, it definitely deserves to be governed by an Act of Parliament in the form of say, a council, to protect and promote it under the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Honourable MPs, please note that the ongoing misuse and abuse of the English language by learned Ugandans puts a question mark over the value Ugandans give to our lingua franca!
For God and My Country!

Dr Kinani is the current vice chairman, Uganda Trypanosomiasis Control Council, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries and former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Animal Industry and Fisheries and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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