Pidgin English; A Broken Format Of English Language & It's Usage Amongst Diverse Ethnic Groups In Nigeria

in blurtography •  10 days ago 


Nigeria; Diversified Into Ethnic Groups

In Nigeria, we have three majorly tribes which are hausa, Igbo and Yoruba but then we have so many other minor ethinic groups that are unique, with diverse culture and of course a different way of life. Lagos is a central city, irrespective of the fact that it lagos was originally co-habited by the aworis who are majorly Yorubas people have come to see lagos as a central city owned by no one.

The rich cultural heritage of lagos is second to none in West africa this is because there are more than 250 distinct language speakers and owners that originated from many minor dialect across Nigeria. Dialects are minor and mere, while a language is vast, spoken and more importantly written. I have lived in Lagos for like 20 years and the one main language that codifies the people in official communication either educated or not educated is the pidgin English.

The Native Pidgin English

You'll be surprised that pidgin is recognised worldwide and it is spoken in other African countries too. However other countries like Ghana that richly speaks pidgin have a way of making it their own, the intonation, the manner of pronunciation and of course the structure of the language when it comes to the sound.

So what makes Pidgin English Easier To Speak and Understand Than Normal English?

First of all Pidgin English has no rules governing it, unlike English that has a rudimentary core, you need to have a base understanding and exposure of vocabularies coupled with understanding how to use these words with the right sentence structure.
Understanding the way and manner to form a speech and of course understanding the various forms of words. You don't grow to understand and know how to speak English effectively because you're exposed to English speakers You will still need to go to elementary school coupled with the exposure to effectively speak English.


This isn't same for pidgin, the warris which are a South southern ethnic group in Nigeria are said to have the richest and the most undiluted form of pidgin and whenever you see a warri person in Lagos conversing in pidgin English you'll know. It is pure, beautiful to listen to and not westernised. This is because you grow to learn pidgin by just listening to it.

It's surprising to know that you don't need a knowledge of English to speak pidgin English

Yet it is even better to understand English quite well before you start learning how to speak pidgin.

The Hausas from the north are known to always migrate to the Lagos to sell their produce and also for commercial purposes as Lagos is the center of commerce in Nigeria. Most Hausas have opened successful businesses in Lagos despite the fact that they're known to be nomads and cattle rearers originally.

They're of course the least educated out of the three major ethnic groups in Nigeria. So since they majorly do not go to school how then so they communicate, converse and do business? This is through pidgin English.

For Migration Purpose

Most Hausas migrate to Lagos having no typical knowledge of English or even pidgin English but then immediately the arrive Lagos the first aim to yo understand pidgin and this they effective do in two to three years and become speakers themselves.

This is necessary for them to sell their wares and also have a means of communication because when you're in a different place entirely or you're just moving to a foreign country or state within a multi-cultural nation and state the first thing is to dump your mother's tongue or your ability to speak your own language in a bid to understand the universe language or communication in that particular place.

Original & Diluted Pidgin English?

The Diverse Forms Of Pidgin English are quite different even in Nigeria itself. Some people westernises Pidgin English by actually inducing an English intonation into it. These are the diverse diluted forms of Pidgin English in Nigeria.

Westernised pidgin English are mainly spoken by those who deem themselves too educated to speak pidgin English but generally needs to speak it due to the fact that they have to talk to uneducated and traditional pidgin English native speakers alike.


Pidgin English is of course spoken by arguably everyone in Nigeria but then some people speak it quite different and these different and diverse formats is how you know which is original and which is diluted.
The Hausas speak a customised and diluted pidgin English due to the fact that it's even a foreign language which they needed to learn. When an Hausa speaks pidgin English it's broken down and you just avoid need to use your intuition to get what he is trying to communicate.


It is generally important to understand that communication is a human concept and language is what we use to communicate. In Nigeria communication is vital to trade, association with fellow humans and the society at large, creating or carving an identity and establishing an identity. Pidgin English is universal and unites the more than 250 ethnic groups we have in Nigeria more than English itself that are spoken by the halfly educated and fully educated.

While pidgin English is unique, the various dialect in Nigeria are even more unique but they're limited in reach. The warris are the purest pidgin English speakers with a non-diluted format and it's always a joy to watch them speak, a person can learn to even speak it, but sometimes it feels inborn and only doable by them.
Pidgin itself is language that is broken down into nation and states and it's being documented worldwide as it has native speakers all over the world. I can't place a finger on its origin but then each country that speaks it has learnt to makes it their own.

All Images Owned by me

Originally posted on my blog here

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