Questions & AnswersCategory: QuestionsIs Cameroon a bilingual country?
1 Answers
Edukamer Staff answered 4 months ago

Cameroon is a well-known bilingual country (sharing with Canada a dual membership of the Anglo- Saxon heritage organization “Commonwealth of Nations” and its French counterpart “La Francophonie”).

That said, bilingualism in Cameroon remains a subject of controversy.

Although a country can be bilingual, it doesn’t implies the citizens themselves will be. Cameroon here being a billingual coutry simply means there exist two official spoken languages.

Bilingualism in Cameroon is the constitutional recognition of French and English as the two official languages of the country equal in status and guaranteed promotion by the state. This is what is termed “official bilingualism” which differs from the ordinary or basic definition of bilingualism—fluency in or use of two languages.

Official bilingualism was given its most unequivocal definition by Cameroon’s first President Ahmadou Ahidjo who underscored: “By bilingualism we mean the practical usage of our two official languages, English and French, throughout the national territory.”1 This paper examines the potential for the survival of bilingualism in Cameroon.