Africa: When language reflects life

Language does reflect life as Miquel observes: Of course, many people here in Côte d'Ivoire keep insisting that the word for pen is “bic” instead of “stylo” or to grab a “Lotus” (a local brand) instead of a “tissus”…

1 comment

  • Nii

    Thanks Subsaharska

    I guess the most infamous one i can think of, that relates to certain corners of Africa is 419….

    419 was meant to be the code for white colour crime…..well…not anymore :)

    OMO was one that i realised rather belatedly in life was actually a brand and not the generic name for all washing up liquids….

    In 2000/1 Ghana was sold the idea that by joining the IMF’s “Highly Indebted Poor Countries Initiative” the country’s debts will be made to disappear overnight. Ghanaians, being a proud people, resisted this to the hilt. The thought of being seen by the rest of the world as being unable to pay off ones loans did not go down well……

    The President at the time though, John Kuffour, soldiered on like a good trooper and went ahead against the will of Ghanaians.

    Well….guess what? For his sins a flag ship overhead bridge project he was constructing (incidentally about a 100 metres from his private residence) changed names overnight to “HIPC Junction”…:)

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