Hopefully Rwanda Academy of Languages and Culture (RALC) and all those who oversee their work will have fully understood Rwandans’ strongly held views that nobody should be allowed to tamper with our language, a core component of our common cultural heritage as Banyarwanda.
The learned gents and ladies of RALC must take on board that basic precept of bioethics, non-malfeasance, which holds that, even where a preexisting problem is discovered, it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good.
This fundamental principle is a derivative of the Hippocratic Oath, primum non nocere, translated in English as “first do no harm”, which newly qualified medical doctors are required to take.
RALC has other better duties than to force millions of Rwandans to change how they speak or write their language. This actually should be in the constitution that whoever wants to attempt it, should first ask Rwandans before throwing it into their face.
Enrich Kinyarwanda; there are many more words that need to be added to it, especially scientific and technical terms. Start with those ones and let Rwandans decide what they want to do about their language.
Reactions are made to the letter, “Enrich Kinyarwanda, don’t distort it” (The New Times, November 20)