58 years later and we are still romanticizing the English language.

The last interview of the departed Alhaj Nasser Ntege Ssebagala that I watched was in luganda, recently while appearing on NBS, Pastor Joseph Serwadda wondered why he could not use luganda reasoning that the English language is very limited in communication,I look at the word, nga kitalo nyo a phrase used to show compassion and empathy after someone has lost a loved one, its English Translation would be,”its a pity” but I wonder whether one would say that sentence and it carries the exact empathy as the luganda version.Many have criticized the head of state for using runyankole in the address to the nation, with all the speech writers at the president’s disposal, the fact that he goes to the native language shows that we have a huge problem.

The romanticization of the English Language is amazing, whoever speaks well crispy toned English is taken as bright. Whoever falters then is loathed by the so called elites who sit behind their tablets and smart phones to harangue the councillors, yes English is a medium of communication and it is no surprise that I am using it right now. But why not in fact translate the oaths to the local languages, conduct council meetings in local languages this actually helps the oath have more sense of meaning and it is respected. Thats the whole essence of community participation, I think we ought to ask ourselves, “Does language affect service delivery at local councils?”
We have failed to adopt a national language and this leaves us struggling with English. What this means is that such a councillor will not speak in district hall meetings yet he/she has issues. We are slowly transiting into Black Europeans and thats sad.

A while ago while applying for further studies abroad.i was required to undergo a TOEFL, Test of English as a Foreign Language, the only way I got a waiver was showing that I had been to the United States and participated in their law competition and I was good to go, authors like Steve Biko didn’t die for this, the biggest problem with Uganda is failure to create a National Language and maintain the neocolonialism of the official language,58 years later, we are still praising English as the best thing that happened while spewing profanities and contiñuing with degeneration.

Our grandfathers didn’t raise us to be like this .

11 Comments

  1. Imagine the hell for some of us that weren’t taught a thing about our native languages as youngins and now struggle with what should be our heritage in the taxi parks and boda stages of KLA?
    That’s why my LO has to see jaja every evening..

  2. I don’t know if I should start communicating in my native language and then realize a few will agree with me. I need some decolonisation in terms of African languages…

  3. The issue of a national language in Uganda is not about to be worked upon …. and Its not romanticizing the language it’s what is upon us… Let the elders teach the children ,once they go to school they can learn English…

    So it’s more of collective effort for the elders to teach the young ones the different languages and know English as well…

    Where is the harm in that!

    People use English as an excuse only because they have not taught their children their cultures… English is the not the problem we just don’t have enough deliberation from the older generation teaching the culture aspect.

    English also unifies the different tribes across Uganda , a muganda, munyole, acholi, Lugbara etc what language will they speak to understand each other.

    Sorry for the long comment 🤦🤦but I just don’t believe we are romanticizing the language we are just fighting the wrong battle

  4. Well this makes sense. People should normalize using their native language for communication in formal settings and other important settings. It sucks that the English language has infiltrated many parts of the world and has contributed to the erosion of some cultures and soon extinction of language (if many people stop investing in learning their native language) I don’t know… I feel like it takes collective effort for people to recognize that and make the change but it’s gonna take some time. With the booming economy in the west, many people look up to and idealize western culture and language. This has also contributed confusion of one’s identity. I, for one, having grown up in a multicultural family where three languages are spoken… is really confusing. I actually don’t know which language helps me communicate better. So I turn to English… and that’s where the romanization begins.

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