“Misinterpretation of African Linguistic to conform European culture and tradition”-By Zamalek Gizerah Amlak

Africans indigenous system and other human civilization that were condemned as backward and relegated as irrational are still viable for human existence in the present day Africa… As a result of the colonial misfortune much of what constitutes contemporary Africa both metaphysically and epistemologically is, though arguably, to a large extent a product of the European gaze… As the gazing subject the European enjoyed the privilege of seeing its “other”, the African, without being seen for some time and in the process took this opportunity to define the African as its negative other… As a result much of what goes into defining African cosmology is what was developed from the privileged position of the outsider… This representation, or call it misrepresentation of the African at various level did not only end with the Westerners but a few African protegees in mould of mostly the first crop of African Christian scholars brought into these misrepresentation
about their own people… It is with this in mind that a number of philosophers and other
Afrocentric scholars that are calling for the Africanasation of knowledge… Africanasation of knowledge is basically a call to place the African worldview at the centre of analysis and recognition that there are different pyramids for the construction of knowledge none of which should be regarded as inferior for knowledge is basically a cultural construct and hence boasts of its analysis, it would always be one cultural perspective since culture is the window through which every man make sense of the world… If this is anything to go by, then it is not difficult to realize that when the European write about
Africa, their perspective is always a product of their culture… And for this reason;

  • a) Theconceptual framework within they define linguistics as a field study is non-African…
  • b) The concepts with which they work are not contexualised within African cultural traditions…
  • c) Western academic perspective determine their definition of what constitute a linguistic problem…
  • d) The language and linguistics of Africa are not centralized, with most of their
    illustrative material coming from outside Africa..
  • e) The language and language-related problems typical of this comprehensive and complex multilingualism of Africa are not dealt with substantially…
  • f) The background knowledge assumed in certain textbooks are Western in nature, and the information they provide and the skills they develop are not specifically directed at African conditions, and finally..
  • g) Very little reference is made to work of African linguistics….



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