Jolly good, bolly good, nolly good?

The Economist this week has an article dedicated to the increasing dominance of English in South Africa. Despite the fact that there are 11 official languages and that English is the the mother tongue of only 8% of the population, English has become the most widely used language for anything official or semi-official. The full article and a discussion of implications are at

Before Christmas I read another article on the rise of the Nigerian film scene, ” Nollywood” and how this industry is based on cheap, quick to make films which are later exported throughout Africa creating what is in effect a major industry. One of the keys to its success: using English as the language which will be understood across the continent. Lots to think about here, positive and negative: why do some languages dominate and others not and what are the implications and consequences.


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