Guide to Pidgin English
What’s pidgin English exactly? It’s basically broken English or simplified English. Really really simplified, you’d be shocked how easy it is to pick up. Over here in West Africa, it’s considered “street” language. Mainly because the majority of the people who use are the common folks and also because it’s really casual. Definitely not something you would hear people communicating with in a business setting.
Pidgin English is mainly spoken in Ghana and Nigeria. There’s a Few other countries however these are the most prominent ones.
The Pidgin language got really popular in Africa because of its ease of learning. Most countries in Africa were colonized by English speaking countries, therefore English is somewhat the main language or the most popular language spoken over here.
Overtime, the people tweaked it into what it is now. Don’t be surprised when you see someone speaking pidgin but can’t understand normal English properly. It’s a way of life.
There was a time where schools tried to prevent it from being spoken since it deviates from the normal English they’re trying to teach, however that didn’t really work out too well. Majority of the younger generation speak it not only because it sounds cool, but also because most find it easier to express themselves through that way.
There are different variations or dialects of pidgin English with the two most notable ones being Ghanaian Pidgin English, and Nigerian Pidgin. They sound a bit different since both countries have different ways of expressing themselves. However once you understand one of them, you can easily understand the other with almost no effort.
Find this language interesting and still want to learn it. Below we have an image of pidgin text. This should be quite simple to read. If you’re having problems, try to sound out the words. It’s still English. Just a bit broken.
How well did you do? Compare it to what we have below
“Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.”
Still confused? Don’t be. It isn’t something you pick up in a day, but it is sure a lot easier than some languages.
Pidgin can also be fun, just check out the image below where one phrase can have many different meanings.
We still find this hilarious because it’s so relatable. Especially if you live in an African home or have those gossiping African aunties in your neighbourhood. It’s an everyday thing, you’ll get used to it eventually.
Want to pick up this broken English language to impress your friends or family? You could start by watching some African-produced local films. These are available on YouTube for free. Search on Amazon for some extensive guides to pidgin English textbooks online. Or better yet, come to Africa and learn it by living with the people. We are sure you’ll enjoy it.
That’s it for your simple guide to pidgin English. We hope you learned something new. Don’t be afraid to comment in the comment section below, we will reply asap.