How Inter-tribal Marriages And Social Environment Affect Our Local Languages

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How Inter-tribal Marriages And Social Environment Affect Our Local Languages
By Mercy Alfred and Margaret Dennis
Families involved in inter-tribal marriages create crises to their children to which language will they .learn for, Language is a system of communication by speech and writing that is used by people of a particular country or area to pass information. Language is also part of cultural practices and heritage which is passed on from generation to generation. Nigeria basically has more than 250 ethnic groups and considered as one of the richest in terms of cultural heritage in African.
Unfortunately, because of the trend in change our society today, the rate at which communication and ideas are passed in diverse language and tribes extinct now a day’s people due to socialization choose to communicate in English,resulting in the loss of speaking their own languages.
In our community today most of our youth can’t fluently speak their languages and tends to find it’s difficult to express themselve in their native language.
Parents therefore contribute in the depreciation of the local languages in the country. Most of the parents refuse to teach their children their original language. Due to Socialization and globalization the children find it difficult to learn the languages because of the inter-tribal marriage,where the father’s language is different from that of the mothers.The father may be a Tiv, and the mother also a Yoruba by tribe. Inter-tribal marriage, make most of the children not to be able to learn their parent language unlike those whose parent’s language is the same.
Mr. Mark Daniel Garba, 45 years old, an evangelist in the church of Christ in nation said, “nowadays parent, influence their children with English language rather than teaching them their language. He added by saying,parents don’t usually give their children their time but are always busy with their work in the office and don’t care about teaching their children their language”.
Esther Carl, 33 years old, medical practitioner,says “local language is one of the major factors we need to take in to’ consideration in the family if not in years to come our local languages will no more exist. Because now the rate of language extinction is higher in the north, and most of the northern people can’t speak or hear their language unlike the southerners who understand both English and their language”. She said“like the Yoruba, they teach their children how to speak their language, and it will be very difficult to see any Yoruba child who doesn’t know how to speak his or her language. But if you come to the north like the Bura tribe found in Borno state, most of them don’t speak the language, and if care is not taken, in years to come the children may not be able to speak the Bura language.”She advice parents to teach their children, their dialect since from childhood, for them to grow up with the knowledge.
Kauna Peter a student in the University of Maiduguri 300 level, department of Micro-Biology say’s “I wish I could speak my parent language fluently, because it has a lot of positive impact on me but I found it difficult to speak my dialect and it’s all my fault, because, whenever my mother talk to me in my language I away tell her to stop, because am not understanding what she is saying and is all because of the environment in which I was brought up.”
She advice the youth to try to learn their tribes language because if one don’t understand his/her dialect can’t talk in secrete with the parents, she said, she once went for an interview and they ask her a question with her dialect but she was not able to answer back, that challenge her to learn her language because she missed that opportunity.
Mr. Simon Yusuf 20 year old teacher said,“inter-tribal marriage affect children from learning their dialect,” he said,“inter-tribal marriage is good but bad in the other hand because it affect children from learning their dialect, and parent are usually confused on which language to teach their child, these will make the child to grow up without knowing either his father nor his mother dialect.” He added that those who did inter-tribal marriage should make sure they choose one dialect among the tribe to teach their children to promote our culture.
However there is still hope if our youths are been imparted with the knowledge of their culture by encouraging the speaking of our various dialect through creating awareness, enlightens and to support the various traditional rules to encourage people about the importance of speaking their language and parent should also teach their children their language, if not in years to come our local languages will no more exists.
Alfred and Dennis write from the Mass Communications Department, University of Maiduguri.

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