Geschichte der Sprachenpolitik Kameruns, oder: der lange Weg nationaler Sprachen aus der Verbannung

Esaïe Djomo


A major characteristic of Cameroon's language policy during the colonial era as well as during the first

four decades of the postcolonial era, is discrimination against all indigenous Cameroonian languages.

This began when German was introduced after the arrival of the first colonisers in 1844 and lasted

until the end of the First World War, after which the policy was continued by the French (in eastern

Cameroon) and the English colonial administrators (in western Cameroon). Even after Independence

in 1960, this policy was perpetuated and defended, now by the Cameroonian government who fostered

so-called "Official Bilingualism", a policy securing the development of French and English as

languages of education, and of administration and general public use in the entire country. The first

attempt to put an end to this aspect of colonial policy occurred in 1996. Since then, a lot has been done

to overcome and correct the policy of banishment of local languages, so that the Cameroonian

languages are now being introduced into the educational system.

Keywords: Schlüsselbegriffe: Kamerun, Sprachenpolitik, Nationalsprachen, Sprachrehabilitation

Cameroon, language policy, national languages, language revitalisation

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ISSN 2224-3380 (online); 1726-541X (print)

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