Friday, March 12, 2010


This morning during announcements before classes, one of the teachers scolded the students, “yesterday I took the chapa to [the town north of us] and it was full of students from this school and ALL of the students were speaking to each other in Tchopi! When I go in the library here at school and students are studying together and you are all explaining things to each other in Tchopi! How shameful!”
Language is a bit of a problem here. Portuguese is the official language, but for 99% of Mozambicans it is not their first language and they don’t consider it “their” language. I do think it is fairly necessary for a country to have a national language because without it, a person here can travel 50 miles up the road and not speak the local language anymore. But it also is a problem to have a nation full of people speaking a language that they learn only when they start primary school, nobody speaks particularly well, and nobody takes much pride in because they don’t consider it their own.

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