The Rising Official Lingua Franca in Nigeria Is Pidgin English

Ifeoma Ugwuoke

Pidgin English is a simple form of English derived from the mixing of English dictions and local dialect dictions (local slang or language) and coined into new phrase or sentence with not so strict grammar rule of the original languages when spoken or written.

Pidgin English has existed for many centuries. It forms is widely dependent on the region and the languages in the mix, so there are different versions of spoken Pidgin English.

In West Africa the Nigeria form of Pidgin English is relatively acknowledged and used. In Nigeria, Pidgin English is use for various purposes and has become a vibrant and widely accepted form of communication in within the country. Here are some common ways Nigerians use Pidgin English.

Firstly, for Casual Conversations, Pidgin English is often used in informal conversations among friends, family members, and peers. It’s a relaxed and easy way to communicate on a day-to-day basis especially within the south-south part of the country. In local markets and trade centers, Pidgin English is often used for haggling, bargaining, and general communication between buyers and sellers who may come from different linguistic backgrounds. Pidgin English is a unifying language in a country as linguistically diverse as Nigeria. It helps bridge communication gaps between people who speak different indigenous languages. Pidgin English is used as street slangs in urban areas, particularly among the youth. It helps create a sense of identity and camaraderie among young people. And in informal workplaces or settings, such as construction sites or small businesses, Pidgin English may be the primary language of communication among workers.

Secondly the Mass Media, Pidgin English is commonly used in Nigerian music, movies, and comedy. Many popular Nigerian musicians incorporate Pidgin English lyrics into their songs, and comedians often perform in Pidgin English to connect with their audience. Some Nigerian radio and television programs, especially those with a focus on entertainment and pop culture, use Pidgin English as a medium of communication to reach a broader audience. Nigerian sports commentators and fans frequently use Pidgin English to express their passion for the game, especially football. Even international mass media like BBC has its Pidgin English arm and Google has infuse Pidgin English as part of language options for Nigerians.

Pidgin English is prevalent on Nigerian social media platforms. Many Nigerians use Pidgin English to engage in discussions, share content, and connect with a wider online audience. Many Nigerians view Pidgin English as a part of their cultural identity. It represents a fusion of Nigerian cultures and languages and is seen as a reflection of the country’s rich diversity.

In all, Pidgin English in Nigeria serves as a versatile and inclusive means of communication that cuts across linguistic and cultural boundaries, allowing people from various backgrounds to interact and connect more easily. It has become an integral part of Nigerian culture and society.

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