Nigerian Pidgin English is a version of English and ethnic Nigerian languages spoken as a kind of lingua franca across Nigeria and is referred to simply as “Pidgin”, “Broken English” or “Broken”. It is estimated that Nigerian Pidgin English is the native language of approximately 3 to 5 million people and is a second language for at least another 75 million.
Nigeria is a land of many languages, with over 500 spoken by its inhabitants. As a result, the country has a great need for a common form of communication across ethnic groups. English, introduced to Nigeria during the colonial era, was chosen as Nigeria’s only official language with this goal in mind. It is widely learned as a second language by speakers of many different Nigerian languages, and frequently used in business and education.
However, not all the English spoken in Nigeria is the “standard” English recognizable in most English-speaking countries. As is commonly the case when a language is heavily used between non-native speakers, a new way of speaking has developed, with its own unique grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary. This form of communication is Nigerian Pidgin English, often referred to simple as “Pidgin” by those who speak it.
Nigeria or Naija as is called in pidgin english is a blessed country with so many Languages, but still there is problem of understanding between one region to the other, in other to have an understanding we need a to unite, a type of national language like Pidgin English.
Pidgin English has been so badly misunderstood by many, much more than any other language in Nigerian today. Thanks to the young people especially there seems to be an appreciation for Pidgin as National Language . People like “Abami Eda”Fela Anikulapo-kuti have been misunderstood for the use of Pidgin his afro beats music. He was a musical icon in the history of Nigeria who was the fore runner of Pidgin English in Music.
Nigerian Pidgin English has been stigmatized, stamped as dirty language etc. by language experts who find it difficult to understand unlike an ordinary Nigerian peron who uses’ it daily to communicate, the language of the a common man. It is dismissed as the language of the uneducated. With Nigerian Pidgin English there is the freedom of creativity.
Changes and awareness’ towards Pidgin English is on the horizon amongst individuals, goverment and non govermental organizations. Its been seen as a langiage in its own right a good of example is the United Nation documents published in pidgin english. It begins with ” Di agreement of di unted nation” .
Articles & Other Resources on Nigerian -Naija Pidgin english
The UK Guardian has a great article about Naija pidgin english that would give more insight into this beautiful language
Broken English, Pidgin English And Nigerian English
Use and Attitudes towards Nigerian Pidgin English among Nigerian University Students