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Why Can't Nigerian Americans Speak Their Mother Tounge?

I've noticed a lot of Nigerians born in america that can't speak their parent's language, myself included.

Why do you think this might be?

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22 answers

yea its true. my sister takes yoruba @ her school . she goes to Howard University. @ her school there r other african languages to chose from.

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I read sometime ago that there was a University in the U.S where Yoruba was one of the foreign languages a student could opt to study, instead of French or whatever languages,

Its a couple of Nija Art professors who put together the course. I read that news like 2004

is it true? has anyone heard of the same news?

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true that. i know u said that. i just forgot to mention ur name in my post. my bad

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I was born and raised in america and i can speak yoruba. i am working on learning how to write it and i plan to go to a university that over here that teaches yoruba.

most kids over here don't learn because they want to be akatas.

the main reason y i got into my culture was because my grandma was here and she taught me and now that she is dead (may her soul rest in peace) i put it on myself to keep my culture, study it, explore it, apply most of it to my life, and pass it on to my kids.

in america kids have the choice to learn on there own because our sweet parents r always working. so things like teaching a language that they wont use in school or may not need in life isn't nessesary i guess.

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thats not true. blame the parents, not the person.

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coz they don't wanna speak

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so that was enough prove to them she didn't kidnap the kids............hmmmm.........thats serious o

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Yeah hunny, you gat a point there. Everyone should speak his/her language to his/her kids.

I speak my mum's language very well because she never joked with her language but I speak little of Igbo because my dad will never speak his language to his two children except English Language. My elder sister was fortunate enough to speak both fluently because she was opportuned to be at home (villa) during the Biafran war.

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I have a family friend who lives in America,she used to teach her children her native language,they were born there.One day,the authorities there told her that she had kidnapped those kids,and wanted to take them away from her.She insisted that they were her kids.They asked her to prove it,she spoke her language and they responded.That was her saving grace.You now see whay you should teach your children your native language?

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yeah i guess.

maybe you guys should cut down on the pidgin. even the adults don't speak ibo no more. Pidgin is like the ibo language so if ibo americans understand/can speak pidgin, i guess that's a good sign.

If your parents used the "real" ibo language w/ you 24/7 in the house (especially when you're young and didn't start school yet) and all your parents' friends and family use it w/ you 24/7. There's no doubt you won't understand it (at least you'll understand a little).

i have a friend who's ibo but knows more Yoruba than she knows Ibo. (pidgin's the only "ibo" she knows)

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wes, now that i think about it, it is mostly igbo americans that cant speak igbo!

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Thats exactly the point. It's not the best.

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Well for me, even when i was in nigeria i never understood the language, i was brought up to speak english.

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I speak as a linguist on this one;the fault lies mostly on the parents.Most parents think it is "bush"to teach their kids their language,not just abroad,even here at home.They take pride in the fact that their kids speak English fluently and can't speak their mother tongue.This is evident in the way the parents tell friends about it.They are so proud to tell friends"ahh,my children don't speak Igbo(or any other language),I speak English with them o".Isn't it a shame?Also,it reflects on the names they also give their children.Where are all the names like Udeme,Emem,Imaobong and other beautiful local names?Now,they give-Gift,Promise,Jack and other English names.I am not against foreign names,but I believe they could be added to the local ones to give one an identity.Some parents even go as far as changing their own local names to outlandish names that have no meaning.I want to advice future mothers and fathers to please stop this slow extinction of our culture by giving local names to our children yet unborn because

The loss of a language is the loss of a culture

and a lost culture is a lost generation

Speak your language

Its all you have for identification

Don't let it DIE!!!

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the best way, i think  for your kids to learn to speak it.  Is to bring their grandma (preferably the one who can't speak english) to live with you for as many years. Trust me they'll be saying yoruba more than you can!.

If their parents or some important family member can't speak english, they'll be forced to learn their native language, or if their parents decides not to use english w/ them.

it's natural not to speak the language of some country you weren't born in or never lived. so it's perfectly normal.

but i think even if you can't speak it, you should be able to understand at least a little (not just the swear words).

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and maybe some just don't wanna learn it!

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alot understand but aren't able to speak it

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They do not specifically need to be born abroad. some pple locally can't speak their mother tongue fluently.

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cuz yall ain't exposed to it and don't have everybody around you speak it every seconds!though if ur parents speak it at home you should be able to pick up a few words!

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