On Monday August 21,2017 BBC launched its Pidgin service. The aim of BBC Pidgin is to provide news, current affairs and analysis of West and Central Africa.
Speaking to Ndefcam Radio in a live interview conducted by Edmond Ndeh, one of the key organisers, Bilkisu Labaran expressed excitement that it is a first of it’s kind of a fully digital service that the BBC is offering in Africa. It should be noted that Pidgin English is a lingua franca spoken widely in West and Central Africa. The British government, through the Foreign and Commonwealth office will be investing 289 million pounds towards the launching of 12 new languages.
Currently, the BBC World Service delivers content around the world in English and 28 other language services on radio, TV, and digital, reaching a weekly audience of 269 million people. In Africa, contents are delivered in English, French, Hausa, Kinyarwanda, Kirundi, Somali and Swahili. But the Pidgin Service hopes to make inroads in a region where the language is not accepted as an official lingua franca and its use in schools are frowned upon by the authorities.
Linguists, however, maintain that Pidgin is a full language in its own right and has grown to become a language of communication between young people mostly due to its ability to bring people together as well as its expressive and fun nature
[9:20 PM, 8/24/2017] +237 99916789: Pidgin English has no current written standard, as it is mostly used in informal contexts. But the World Service has viewed this as a challenge, rather than an obstacle.
“Because it mixes indigenous languages, it differs from country to country.
There is no standardised Pidgin, but there is a Pidgin that almost everybody that speaks the language can understand, and that’s what the BBC is going to concentrate on.