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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Globalization of an African language: truth or fiction?
Author:Dzahene-Quarshie, JosephineISNI
Periodical:Legon Journal of the Humanities (ISSN 0855-1502)
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Tanzania
Subjects:Swahili language
Swahili language--Globalization
Abstract:Contemporary discourse on KiSwahili centres not on the possibility of its adoption as a common language for Africa, but on the question of its globalization. On the one hand Swahili is seen as having a high potential for globalization. On the other hand, it is seen as having already achieved globalization to a limited extent. The author gives an overview of the current state of the Swahili language globally, that is at the national (Tanzania), regional (East Africa), continental (rest of Africa) and global (diaspora) level. She then examines the challenges that face the language at each level and their implications and highlights the emerging paradoxes for the question of globalization. While Swahili is increasingly receiving global recognition and acceptance, Tanzanians are turning away from the language, evidenced by the number of English-medium schools mushrooming all over the country. At the regional level the growth of Swahili as a lingua franca is due to natural evolution such as population growth rather than any major effort to ensure its consolidation in the region. And although Swahili was adopted as the fifth working language of both the OAU and the AU, this has never been implemented. Finally, efforts at ensuring that Swahili thrives and is globally accessible are being championed mainly by foreign institutions. Unless steps are taken to resolve these paradoxes, the use of Swahili will be limited to the classrooom, ICT and global broadcasting, and the quest for the globalization of the Swahili language in the true sense of the word will remain an illusion. Bibliogr., note, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]