Language Education and Translation in Niger State
An Inquiry into the State of Language Education and Translation in Niger State
The Situation of Arabic, English, French and the Major Languages of Niger State
By : Amos A. Ihenacho, Aliyu M. Jamiu, Ahmed S. Abdussalam, Margaret N. Agu, Simon A. Ebine, Samuel Adelabu, Eucharia F. Obi
An Inquiry into the State of Language Education and Translation in Niger State is a study of the status of the languages studied in Niger State, Njgeria, viz: Arabic, English, French and the three major indigenous languages (Gbagyi, Hausa and Nupe). It is thought that the enhancement of language education in these six languages, and in particular, the improvement of literacy education in at least the three major indigenous languages, Gbagyi, Hausa and Nupe (among the 38 languages of the State) will help in the State’s implementation of Nigeria’s National Policy on Education (NPE) and, consequently, in the improvement of education in Niger State.
This study is on language education and translation in Niger State, Nigeria. However, it would be useful to consider first what the subject has to do with education in general. In a broad sense, education is the acquisition of knowledge, culture and civilization. Such acquisition may be formal, non-formal or informal. Whether education, as defined here simply, is formal, non-formal or informal, it is a sine qua non for self development, community development and national development.
Language education, for its part, is the teaching and learning of a language or languages. It goes beyond “learning” to understand and speak a language; it involves learning to read and write in that language. In other words, it involves the acquisition of literacy in that language, with a view to acquiring knowledge, culture and civilization (that is, education) through that medium. Language is the most important pillar that supports education in all societies everywhere in the world. That is why language education is paramount in the education policies of all societies all over the world.
In monolingual societies or nations where only one language is spoken or used, language education plays a primordial role in education. In countries that have more than one language, or a multiplicity of languages, this role is doubly paramount. This is the case with Nigeria which has about 500 languages, but which has had to adopt English as its lingua franca and official language since its colonisation by the British. In such societies, the recourse to translation is a sine qua non. In this regard, translation (which is the transfer of a message or information from one language, the source language, to another language, the target language) will be indispensable at two levels: (a) at the level of the codification, development and promotion of the indigenous languages, and (b) for synergy between the languages in contact for the transmission of information.
About the Author:
Amos Ihenacho was born at Orogwe (Nigeria) and educated in Nigeria (University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria, Nsukka), Cote d’Ivoire (Université de Dakar) and France (Université des Langues et Lettres, Gronoble 3; Ecole Supérieure d’Interprètes et de Traducteurs (ESIT) de la Sorbonne-Nouvelle, Paris 3) He is currently a Professor of French and Translation Studies (TS) in Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, Nigeria. He has also taught French and TS in several universities in Nigeria and abroad, including: University of Ibadan, Imo/Abia State University, Uturu, University of Benin, University of Port Harcourt, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Université du Togo, Lomé; and EFL at the Université Scientifique et Technique de Masuku, Franceville, Gabon. He is also a freelance Translator and Interpreter. He is author of Structures et Images spatiales dans LES FLEURS DU MAL de Charles Baudelaire, of Marathon and of numerous journal articles. He is the Lead Researcher of the present study.
Other co-researchers are: Aliyu Jamiu, Professor of Arabic; Margaret Agu, Associate Professor of English and HOD of the Department of English; Simon Ebine, Senior Lecturer in French and HOD of the Department of French; Samuel Adelabu and Eucheria Obi,both Lecturers in French – all at Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, Nigeria; and Ahmed Abdussalam, Professor of Arabic and Linguistics at the University of Ilorin, Nigeria