The Republic of Cameroon is a country that belongs to Africa, whose capital is Yaoundé (the most populous city is Douala). It has a population of more than 24 million inhabitants (56th) and an area of 475,442 km 2 (53rd). Its human development index is medium (151º) and its official currency is the CFA Franc of Central Africa. And what language is spoken in Cameroon?
What language do they speak in Cameroon?
Cameroon has two official languages:
- French , spoken by 40% of the population.
- English , which is spoken by 31.3% of its inhabitants.
The Cameroonian government encourages bilingualism, thereby making official documents, legislation, etc. they are written and issued in both languages. As part of this program, 6 of the 8 universities in the country are fully bilingual. The reality of the inhabitants is that there are very few bilinguals in French and English (approximately 12% of the population), and much of the country does not speak either language.
Despite this, in 2017 the Anglophone crisis began, where the English-speaking population feels oppressed by the Francophone, with protests that left several dead. The situation has now led to a fight between Ambazonia and the Cameroonian government that could be described as close to a civil war.
Cameroon is one of the countries with the most languages in the world, with 274 living languages (and another 9 extinct). Of the 274 languages, 270 are autochthonous. Unfortunately, there is very little literature, radio or television in these indigenous languages of Cameroon.
German, which was the official language during Germany ‘s colonial days until World War I, gave way to French and English in the country. Even so, Cameroon is one of the African countries with the largest number of German speakers, as it continues to be learned by a good number of students.
The French language
French (français) is the dominant language in Cameroon, with 8 of the 10 regions of the country having a francophone majority. As a lingua franca, the Fula language is spoken in the northern part of the country, and the Ewondo language is spoken in the centre, east and south.
The English language
English (English) in Cameroon has been in constant decline over the last few decades. The two provinces where English is predominant are the Northwest Region and the Southwest Region. Cameroonian Pidgin (also known as Cameroonian Creole or simply Kamtok) is spoken in this area as the lingua franca.
Camfranglais (or francanglais) is a relatively new pidgin language emerging from urban areas where French and English are in continuous contact (it also mixes with Cameroonian pidgin and the lexicon of various indigenous languages). Several singers have used this hybrid language, giving it popularity. Examples of phrases are: «Tu go où?» (Where are you going?), “Je vais te see tomorrow” (I’m going to see you tomorrow) or “Il est sorti nayo nayo” (He has left very slowly).
Share which languages are spoken in Cameroon.