Pasch, Helma (2005). New Roles for African Languages with the New Electronic Media. In: Africa’s Great Rift: Diversity and Unity, pp. 215-225. Brussels: Royal Museum for Central Africa.

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Mass communication is not new in Africa. Until the mid-20th century aural surrogate languages were used to convey messages which would immediately reach many listeners and which could even be transmitted when the telephone line was interrupted, in particular in Western and Central Africa. The comprehension of these languages depended on the mastership of the spoken language and basically all speakers could understand messages transferred by drum, gong or whistle. With the introduction of writing and printed literature a division emerged according to which certain types of written/printed information were restricted to non-African languages or available also in African languages. While basically all types of literature can be printed or imported in English or French, the production (or import) of literature in African languages is basically restricted to religious texts and to fiction, but hardly any non-fiction. Letter-writing to family members overseas was for a long time the only type of written communication carried out � if at all � in African languages. The new media bring the chances of significant changes in the choice of languages for written information. While making books is expensive, the production of websites is fairly cheap. This offers the chance to produce written texts in African languages which formerly could not be published for economy reasons.

Item Type: Book Section, Proceedings Item or annotation in a legal commentary
Translated title:
Neue Rollen für afrikanische Sprachen in den Neuen elektronischen MedienEnglish
Translated abstract:
Massenkommunikation ist kein neues Phönomen in Afrika. Bis zum 20. Jahrhundert dienten u.a. Trommelsprachen zu diesem Zweck. Sie basierten auf den Strukturen der mündlich gesprochenen lokalen Sprachen. Mit der Einführung von Schrift und gedruckten Medien erfolgte eine Teilung der Sprachen, in denen gedruckte Texte veröffentlicht wurden, und solchen, auf die das nicht zutraf. Wichtige Informationen wurden vorwiegend in den europäischen Sprachen veröffentlicht. Mit dem Zugang zum Internet können aufgrund der geringen Kosten nun auch afrikanische Sprachen als Medien genutzt werden.German
CreatorsEmailORCIDORCID Put Code
Pasch, Helmaama14@uni-koeln.deUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
URN: urn:nbn:de:hbz:38-31798
Title of Book: Africa’s Great Rift: Diversity and Unity
Page Range: pp. 215-225
Number of Pages: 10
Date: 2005
Publisher: Royal Museum for Central Africa
Place of Publication: Brussels
Language: English
Faculty: Faculty of Arts and Humanities
Divisions: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Fächergruppe 4: Außereuropäische Sprachen, Kulturen und Gesellschaften > Institut für Afrikanistik und Ägyptologie
Subjects: Data processing Computer science
Other languages
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Internet, Afrika, Hausa, Swahili, SomaliGerman
www, online publicationsEnglish
Refereed: Yes


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