Following Rwanda, Senegal to Replace French by English to Develop the Country Faster

French-CocoricoFrench is Dead. If it’s the only language you speak, you’d have access to less than 4% of humanity knowledge and ideas. That’s very limiting.

For France, French language is a matter of international prestige, but Africans don’t have anymore the luxury of satisfying the salon caprice of grandeur of France by sticking to a dying language!

In United States more than 300,000 new book titles and editions are published every year. In United Kingdom this number is  206,000. Where does France stands?

In France only 63,000 new book titles and editions are published every year. This is 5 times less than the Unites States and 3 times less than United Kingdom. This means a person who is only literate in French would have 8 times less access to information and knowledge than a person who is is literate in English.

Book-publishing-language

In Burkina-Faso, only 12 new book titles and editions are published every year. In Mali 14, in Benin 84, in Madagascar 119, and in Egypt 9,022 the highest ranking African country.

How does French stands in scientific publications?

In terms of academic and scientific articles, Unites States produced about 3 millions scientific articles over the last ten years, United Kingdom 700.000 articles. Where does France stands? 500.000 articles. It means that a person who is literate in French would have 7 times less access to scientific publications than a person who is literate in English.

In fact, this number is much higher because all other countries mainly publish their scientific articles in English as all major scientific reviews, journals and publications are in English.

scientific-academic-articles-per-country

What about the number of scholarly journals and publications by language

Only 4% of  scholarly journals and publications are in French.

Scholarly journal by language

What about the size of Wikipedia by language?

On Wikipedia there are more than 4 millions articles in English, with more than 600 millions edits, 1,447 admins and more than 18 millions users. Wikipedia in French is 3 times less, comprising 1,2 millions articles, 93 millions edits,  181 admins, and only 1,5 million users.

What about the number of content per language on the Internet?

The internet has about 634 million websites pages, and 54% of the content is in English and only 4% in French. French is in fact marginal on the Internet, which is now the collective brain of humanity.

Language-internet-comparison

What about Film and video production by language?

Only 3% of film and video content are in French.

Film and video production by language

What about Newspapers and magazines production?

Only 2% of Newspapers and magazines are in French. Less than Hindi.

Newspaper-magazine-production-language

French is really Dead.

If it’s the only language you speak, you have access to less than 2% of the humanity knowledge.

Slowly, we will start classifying French as an indigenous language spoken by only 60 millions people in a small country in Europe, and few other micro-countries or Regions like Belgium, Quebec, Switzerland. What’s an Irony!

Some French colonies in Africa still speak that language, but recently there is a huge movement to move away from that colonial heritage to embrace English. Rwanda was the first African country to replace the French language by English. The reason is simple, Rwanda doesn’t export perfume, cosmetics and fashion clothes, therefore the country doesn’t need such a sophisticated and rich language.

Gabon has also made it clear to steer the country to English language, as the President Ali Bongo is amazed by what Rwanda has accomplished in so little time. ( Excusez-moi, text in French).

France itself, just has took notice of the huge shift, and will introduce English into all its schools and universities.

When it comes to Science and Technology, Business and Commerce, French is a dead language. English is the language that could open faster the developing countries to the world and help them access up-to-date information, and become more competitive.

It’s not about trowing French for English. It’s about science, business and education. Go to scandinavian countries, they all speak English by default and offer hundreds of curriculum in English at their universities. The same now in many East European countries. I know several African students studying in China in English.

I know few people working on the matter, and they won’t even be able to talk about it publicly because of French government intimidation and harassment to keep french alive in the African schools.

Anyway, with or without the government, I have to say French has no future on the continent simply because French is more a tourism language, not technology and business language for the future Elite of the continent.

It’s not a Dream, it’s already a reality. The governments would have to catch up, and the French government intimidations won’t be enough. The time where Africans have to ask for permission to do what they want with their life has now passed!

Yesterday I spent almost 1H30 with a senior manager, and they will do it the other way around, because the demand from the students is huge for english.

Contrary to what people can see in the medias, a dying star looks the brightest when it’s close to hit the ground!

Mawuna Remarque KOUTONIN

About Mawuna Remarque KOUTONIN

Mawuna Koutonin is a world peace activist who relentlessly works to empower people to express their full potential and pursue their dreams, regardless of their background. He is the Editior of SiliconAfrica.com, Founder of Goodbuzz.net, and Social activist for Africa Renaissance. Koutonin’s ultimate dream is to open a world-class human potential development school in Africa in 2017. If you are interested in learning more about this venture or Koutonin’s other projects, you can reach him directly by emailing at linkcrafter@gmail.com

10 Responses to “Following Rwanda, Senegal to Replace French by English to Develop the Country Faster”

  1. Ricky R Edward

    Sir, all I can is it's seem to me you just loving one side of the story more then the other. French-English what's so different about them? In reality like you well put it they are both the devil's language whom have no interest of seeing Africa or Haiti improve. You said Rwanda and some other African countries change their language from French to English because they wanted to move away from that colonial heritage to embrace English. Wow, how is embracing English helping Africa move away from their Colonial heritage? What is a colonial heritage? For both language have F**** Africa up so please do tell me how English going to help, because I'm pretty sure if it was it would already has. In fact you wouldn't probably have to write something to ignorant as such if it did. How come English ( or French it could be any European's language) not helping those poor Afro Americans living in the state? you praising English but yet you've no idea which is good or bad for your own people.

    Reply
    • Rory in London

      Mate, I’m an Englishman who’s lived in France and the French West Indies quite a bit. (I’ve also visited Haiti and spent a lot of the last two decades in India.) I’m afraid you have completely missed the point of this excellent article. He’s saying (quite rightly) that if you only speak one language, it’s better that it’s English than French. Whether you want to be able to do a degree – whether to study or to read the academic articles – or even if you just want to learn from wikipedia or simply enjoy reading books or magazines or websites, you can do far more with English than French. My time in India, where many speak Hindi, but it’s still less than half, and where there are 15 national languages and many other non-official ones, shows that without English, not only would the country be less united, but it would be cut off from global business, media and academia. Africa had an oral tradition – it didn’t have a written language before colonialism, so suggesting that African should invent an African language (because apparently the language of Shakespeare and half the internet is the language of the devil) is even more stupid than saying they should continue to speak French because it sounds good on a perfume bottle. Look at the African writers and academics who have made a name for themselves in the west, and hence influenced global debate, because they speak English. To say that Africans shouldn’t use written languages because they didn’t invent any is as stupid as saying they shouldn’t use the printing press, or saying that Westerners shouldn’t use the number zero (and hence any computers) because Roman numerals didn’t have one and it was the Indians who came up with the concept. To be perfectly honest, your argument is an example of why Africa and Haiti are so screwed up, just like this guy’s article is an example of why you have a hope of a much better future. I suggest you rethink. Merci ampil et bon swa.

      Reply
  2. Erick Tankama

    very narrow minded article mirroring the mindset of many English speaking people who can only speak their language and expect everyone else to understand them…you do not even understand that an article written in any language can and is often translate in French or mandarin,spanish ,ect…this then will mean that me as a French speaking will have the knowledge of the article/book as soon as it is published anywhere in the world…also in your so called study you don't even make mention of Canada as one of the major French speaking countries,you probably didn't know that,did you?…note as well that france is no longer the largest French speaking country , it has been overtaken by the DRCongo with more than 70million people and that the future of the language is in Africa…As for Senegal English choice over English , yet again you are wrong and misleading people that trust you , Senegal is not on the path to replace French but rather introduce English as a second international language for its students alongside Wolof(a local indigenous language)to broaden their minds , which many English speaking countries aren't doing…except for your information, Nigeria that has adopted-guess what- French as part of it curriculum in high schools…the DRC is also one of the countries that has a strong English curriculum in high schools and universities….these attitudes of French speaking countries gives their citizen an edge over those narrow-minded countries and people who think that English is everything ,whatch out for mandarin now being thought in major countries , even in England…so what are you going to teach your kids ? are they going to stay monolingual(English speakers) or you are going to dust off your narrow view and intice them to learn mandarin like English and American kids?
    think twice and be wise.
    Au revoir monsieur.
    Erick Tankama

    Reply
    • Rory in London

      He did mention Canada – see his comment about Quebec. And the number of people learning Mandarin in the UK is tiny. (Though my wife has learnt conversational Hindi as we spend a lot of time there as she makes documentaries in India.) The fact that you can translate is not that relevant to his point. Yes I have websites like Le Monde and La Republicca on my speed dial, and can click a button to translate them into English. But I generally read the ones already with an international (English) edition like Der Spiegel. The point is, that when I google something, it will bring up the options in the language asked, and as such, I read wiki only in English and click on its links to other wiki in English pages. If you only have one language and wiki. you’ll learn much more if your language is English than French. Same for academic papers and indeed the internet as a whole. This is the point the author made. He made it clearly and he made it well. How can you not see this?

      Reply
    • Foba

      Mawuna has come up with a well researched piece of work with abundant facts, figures and statistics from which any other reader can draw conclusions. These may align, differ or even contradict the author’s position(s).By the way, am not too sure if his position is clearly stated in his write up for or against any of the languages. His figures and statistics do not in any way put English and French against each other. The well chosen displays show how the selected group of prominent languages fare against each other from various perspectives.
      At another level, Mawuna’s piece, like any scientific work is there to generate not only comments but better still, further reflection and research. We are all humans but a scientific mind has the obligation to go the extra mile to avoid being emotional in perception ,interpretation and translation of facts; especially those that can be cross-checked. We have our different and various reasons our preferences (including language) but it should not cloud our scientific approach to issues especially at the academic/university level where much is expected of us in the domains of integrity and leadership. All endeavors of social change (should) depend a lot on evidence-based decision making processes(evidence-based practice).
      Being multilingual (in as many languages as possible) definitely has several advantages but it comes at a price. With resource constraints, priorities have to be made and such priorities must be very pragmatic. Senegal may have looked at the Rwandan experience before taking the English option. Even if it is not the best evidence, case reports/case studies is accepted in the evidence-based process. Besides, the global trend in communication and trade obviously lends support to Mawuna’ article.
      Erick’s choice of Canada in his tirade against Mawuna (to me) is ill advised because Canada is more English speaking than French. The DRC may have that much French speaking population (assuming that all the 70 million population are literate in French) but how much impact does DRC has at the international level.
      If at all there are doubts over what Mawuna has presented, let’s make it a constructive/scientific debate as much as possible.

      Reply
  3. Foba Cyprian

    Mawuna has come up with a well researched piece of work with abundant facts, figures and statistics from which any other reader can draw conclusions. These may align, differ or even contradict the author's position(s).By the way, am not too sure if his position is clearly stated in his write up for or against any of the languages. His figures and statistics do not in any way put English and French against each other. The well chosen displays show how the selected group of prominent languages fare against each other from various perspectives.
    At another level, Mawuna's piece, like any scientific work is there to generate not only comments but better still, further reflection and research. We are all humans but a scientific mind has the obligation to go the extra mile to avoid being emotional in perception ,interpretation and translation of facts; especially those that can be cross-checked. We have our different and various reasons our preferences (including language) but it should not cloud our scientific approach to issues especially at the academic/university level where much is expected of us in the domains of integrity and leadership. All endeavors of social change (should) depend a lot on evidence-based decision making processes(evidence-based practice).
    Being multilingual (in as many languages as possible) definitely has several advantages but it comes at a price. With resource constraints, priorities have to be made and such priorities must be very pragmatic. Senegal may have looked at the Rwandan experience before taking the English option. Even if it is not the best evidence, case reports/case studies is accepted in the evidence-based process. Besides, the global trend in communication and trade obviously lends support to Mawuna' article.
    Erick's choice of Canada in his tirade against Mawuna (to me) is ill advised because Canada is more English speaking than French. The DRC may have that much French speaking population (assuming that all the 70 million population are literate in French) but how much impact does DRC has at the international level.
    If at all there are doubts over what Mawuna has presented, let's make it a constructive/scientific debate as much as possible.

    Mawuna has come up with a well researched piece of work with abundant facts, figures and statistics from which any other reader can draw conclusions. These may align, differ or even contradict the author's position(s).By the way, am not too sure if his position is clearly stated in his write up for or against any of the languages. His figures and statistics do not in any way put English and French against each other. The well chosen displays show how the selected group of prominent languages fare against each other from various perspectives.
    At another level, Mawuna's piece, like any scientific work is there to generate not only comments but better still, further reflection and research. We are all humans but a scientific mind has the obligation to go the extra mile to avoid being emotional in perception ,interpretation and translation of facts; especially those that can be cross-checked. We have our different and various reasons our preferences (including language) but it should not cloud our scientific approach to issues especially at the academic/university level where much is expected of us in the domains of integrity and leadership. All endeavors of social change (should) depend a lot on evidence-based decision making processes(evidence-based practice).
    Being multilingual (in as many languages as possible) definitely has several advantages but it comes at a price. With resource constraints, priorities have to be made and such priorities must be very pragmatic. Senegal may have looked at the Rwandan experience before taking the English option. Even if it is not the best evidence, case reports/case studies is accepted in the evidence-based process. Besides, the global trend in communication and trade obviously lends support to Mawuna' article.
    Erick's choice of Canada in his tirade against Mawuna (to me) is ill advised because Canada is more English speaking than French. The DRC may have that much French speaking population (assuming that all the 70 million population are literate in French) but how much impact does DRC has at the international level.
    If at all there are doubts over what Mawuna has presented, let's make it a constructive/scientific debate as much as possible.

    Reply

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