Why Africa, and not Afrika

Editor, Allow me to react to Ines Giramata’s article, “Unlearning lessons of injustice: The conscious decision of spelling AfriKa with a "K"” (The New Times, April 19). I suggest that we should avoid that type of consideration.

Editor,

Allow me to react to Ines Giramata’s article, “Unlearning lessons of injustice: The conscious decision of spelling AfriKa with a "K"” (The New Times, April 19).

I suggest that we should avoid that type of consideration.

First of all, check from where comes the word Africa.

It comes from Latin. The Romans used to call North Africa that way. Then from Niger River to South they used to call it Ethiopia.

We Africans have not that type of name in our languages. Africa is a Roman word written with a “C”. The spelling with “K” is known in some Germanic languages like Dutch and German.

Bernard

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Arabic is a relatively very recent arrival in Egypt, whose ancient Pharaonic language was more closely related to the Berber, Semitic, and Beja languages. That language survived until the 5th century and continued as Coptic (i.e. Egyptian) until the 17th century when it gradually began to be supplanted by Egyptian Arabic.

The etymological origins of the word Africa, or Afrika, as you seem to prefer are not African but variously the Phonicean-Cathargian "Afri", meaning "afar, dust"; the Greek "Aphruke" for "without cold"; and the Latin word "aprica", which is translated as "sunny".

Thus, whether you say Africa or Afrika, none of these variants are no more native to our continent and people than America or Amerika is to its indigenous populations.

Mwene Kalinda

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