Pidgin English is no longer a makeshift language it once was, and has grown to maturity, as a language can, and satisfies the complex linguistic needs of the many people here who need a common tongue. To my surprise I came across the New Testament in Cameroonian pidgin this morning. It is entitled: Gud Nyus Fo ol Pipul (I think you’ll be able to work this out!), and this edition was published in Yaounde, in 2005.
Whilst there is a clear resemblance to English, the structure of the language is definitely African. The first verse of St John’s Gospel reads:
“Fo fest fest tam, yi weh na de Tok e bin dei: de Tok e bin bi witi God, an de Tok e bin bi na God.”
It’s clear that Tok comes from the English talk and that fest is first and tam is from time, but the structure is un-English. I'm starting to understand it, but it's not easy.
The pictures here are of:
1. The New Testament in pidgin. The banana is of no significance!
2. and 3. Roadsigns!