I want to thank Alim Hosein for the letter ‘We need to teach English and other languages but this does not preclude respect for Creolese’ (SN, March 22) in response to my letter, ‘What is the merit of learning Creolese at university level’ (SN, March 20).
Alim Hosein listed six points:
1. Creolese is our language and everyone speaks it.
Creolese is not our national language nor is it our mother tongue as the vast majority of our ancestors came from different parts of the world.
2. Other countries have not abandoned their mother tongue to learn “foreign languages” (English).
On the contrary, many countries of the world have an evolving language and culture, There are now more English speakers in the world. As I noted in point one; our national language is not Creolese.
3. What is wrong in building national pride?
It is good to build national pride but too much pride is arrogance.
4. Why should the various dialects of Creolese be a hindrance to promoting Creolese?
I am sure that there is an opportunity cost in promoting Creolese in that money, time and people (resources, that is) can be better utilized elsewhere.
5. The rest of the world is interested in learning Creolese.
Really? How many Creolese converts have there been in the last twenty years in comparison to people learning the English language?
6. Mr Ori’s thinking is the old imperialistic thinking.
Not true. We have been a colony of England which has shaped us. No amount of rebranding will change that.
To promote Creolese because our education system (English in particular) is failing Guyanese and promoting Creolese is a waste of time and effort.