Rex May kirjoitti: > And there you have it. The centrifugal force of nationalism (in the separatist sense) against > the centripital force of desire for a common language. It's all tradeoffs. And you have to > judge each case on its merits. You can't say all small-language movements are a bad idea, > or that they're all good. > > But, all things being equal, I'd advocate that a 'new' country like Kameroon push for general > knowledge of a major language, useful outside the country, rather than elevating one of its > native languages at the expense of such knowledge. It all depends on whether the > government wants its citizens to have more opportunities, or prefers that they be that much > more insulated from outside influences. > Knowledge of a major language can be learned in school as a subject. It doesn't have to be the medium of education since kindergarten. In fact, education in your native language generally leads to better learning results than education in a foreign language. Therefore elevating local languages would not isolate Cameroon or handicap its citizens. French and English would hardly be excluded from curriculum at any situation. On the contrary, giving privileged status to the foreign languages is destructive to the local languages, because their usage is excluded from school, work and the media. > Jacques mentioned Mexico. Imagine how bollixed-up Mexico would be today if it had > decided to reject the evil European language, Spanish, in favor of Nahuatl and the dozens of > other languages originally spoken there. > I don't think that wider usage of Nahuatl and others would have hurt Mexico. Switzerland and South Africa seem to be doing fine with many official languages and even Nigeria, the most multilingual country in Africa, is doing much better than nearly monolingual Somalia.