Foreigners should not influence how we use our language

Editor, Refer to the article, "What does Kinyarwanda change mean for education?" (The New Times, November 26).
Rwanda Academy of Languages and Culture recently announced orthographic changes in Kinyarwanda. (D. Umutesi)
Rwanda Academy of Languages and Culture recently announced orthographic changes in Kinyarwanda. (D. Umutesi)

Editor,

Refer to the article, “What does Kinyarwanda change mean for education?” (The New Times, November 26).

It is a sad story. A sign that we are still under colonisation, with its main consequence being us wishing to change our culture to be more like Europeans or make them happy.

I think a language is not about popularity or anything like that. Hip hop English has never ever been adapted in the English dictionary much as many people sing or talk like that.

But it is sad to change a language to “accommodate” foreigners as it is said in the article.

If you think Kinyarwanda is complicated, have a look at Chinese, Russian and so on, and they have never been changed to accommodate someone else. A language or culture is not meant to please or accommodate other people.

Officials at Rwanda Academy of Languages and Culture (RALC) are just solving the symptom, and not the real problem which is our standards. Our journalists have no idea about Kinyarwanda, French or English standards; they just speak and no one corrects them.

You cannot find that anywhere else where journalists (who are supposed to have a certain level of language) just bash a language like they do on almost every radio station in Rwanda.

We are responsible for our language issues, especially with our standards. I don’t mind the evolution of a language, but a major change like RALC is doing is just not right.

What’s next? Our traditional weddings, funerals or dance will be changed to accommodate “Rwandans and foreigners”?

We should preserve the language as it is, ensure the evolution of the language expertly, but never change the language. If the particularity of Kinyarwanda is to be difficult, so be it; we should be proud of that. No one should impose on us things.

Alex

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