Pidgin English to Become a Formal Language

Well its about time this happened.  Pidgin English has been Nigeria’s lingua franca for decades, but it appears that plans are afoot to turn it into an official language – not just slang.

Nigerian academics have created a “Naija Languej Akademi” to  create a Pidgin reference guide including a Pidgin alphabet, dictionary, a standard guide for orthography, and a history of the language.

Pidgin evolved from a contact language developed in the 1400s to trade with the Portuguese and the British in the southern Niger Delta. Pidgin uses borrow words from indigenous Nigerian languages such as Edo, Itsekiri and Yoruba.

I look forward to the day when I see Professors of Pidgin, and students getting Masters Degrees in Pidgin! :-)

23 responses

  1. It’s popular to hear “there’s time for everything”. For Nigerian Pidgin, there’s no other time for it to have government’s attention than now. At the last declaration of intention of Nigeria’s President intention to contest the next presidential elections come 2011, pidgin was “on display”. See my blog: or my

    1. Well there is a customisation of English in Nigeria anyway (aside from Pidgin).

  2. […] to Become a Formal Language…rmal-language/ _______________________ To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or […]

  3. abeg make una give me more tory about dis matter i dey dey wait ok

  4. That is an interesting move at least we should now respect those who spoke fluent pidgin because some Nigerians themselves could’nt speak it. I learned to speak it myself, it is not easy. When you are speaking pidgin or ”Broken” as it is widely refered to, be sure not to mix it with school grammer otherwise you miss out.

  5. u spoke too well. we should no more copy the whites, lets be ourselves


    Abeg sef he don reach time make we be ourself as country. male uh na carry go i dey uh na back kampe

  7. Na so,he nor too good make we dey follow English man dey drag oyibo

  8. which kind talk be dis? Me a been dey am for pidgin since wen i be small pikin o.I tink say the tin na our language.

  9. Mahmoud belgore | Reply

    I dey fel dis govt

  10. oluwagbemiga ogboro-cole | Reply

    Wonderful job, pidgin na real language an soon professor of pidgin go kom out veri veri soon. make you read mai sort tori buku.

    MAMI Wata short stories in Nigerian Pidgin English. ISBN 978-3-89896-354-1 mak you chair di info wit everi bodi i dey greetuna oo Oluwagbemiga ogboro-cole author of the book info

  11. Make we come with our own style, we don tire dey copy white man.

  12. Solomon Tanko | Reply

    weitin govt dem dey wait 4 b4 even me i don dey tiya with weitin dem dey calam for oyibo english

  13. dis one wey una bring so na beta tori so far make he no go be say una no go fit do am as una talk am. d time don com wey we no go dey fall our hand for oyibo man again make we show dem our own yannings.

  14. Doris George | Reply

    d coret yanning for coret coret people na pidgin. we don dey am since small pickin an we go hapi if dem fit for us to dey break

  15. Na so, i like d fact say Pidgin wan b Naija ogbonge language. N as una don talk am so, make una make sure say d Flow enta inside corricolum for all institution (Academk). Igood.

  16. Naija langwej (Nigerian Pidgin) is already going places. My passion for the promotion of the language led me to write a collection of poems in it titled “Abuja na kpangba an oda puem dem,” published by IFRA-Nigeria.

    As a pioneer member of Naija Langwej Akedemi, I wish to call on all to join in the promotion and development of Naija.

    The following is a poem on Naija, written in Naija.

    Naija naim bi Naija
    Na wetin wi ol de yan fo Naija
    Na di langwej we don enta ol of os fo Naija
    Na langwej we de join ol of os fo Niaja
    Na di onli won we mek os propa fo Naija
    Na Naija, Na Naija.

    Wi don si plenti plenti fo Naija
    Wi don go kom fo insaid Naija
    Wetin wi neva si fo Naija?
    Naija de enta evriwie fo Naija
    Naija don sho imsef fo Naija
    If no bi Naija, i no go fit bi Naija

    Wi get langwej berekete fo Naija
    Ol of dem de shek han wit Naija
    Naija de join ol of dem fo Naija
    Igbo, Hausa an Yoroba don trai fo Naija
    Evritin de du go kom, go kom fo Naija
    Naija de laf, Naija de laf

    Naija na Naija, Naija na Naija!
    Hu de tek am du amraja fo Naija?
    Hu de tek am ple futbol fo Naija?
    Hu de tek am ple payan fo Naija?
    Notin de hapun fo Naija fo Naija
    Naija na Naija! Naija na Naija!

    Naija don de fait fo awa togeda fo Naija
    Naija no get wahala sam sam fo Naija
    Bikos na onli Naija bi awa Naija
    Dem get dia oun fo dia yonda
    Dem folo fo dia oun fo dia yonda
    Wi ol de luk ayanya fo awa Naija

    Copyright – Edwin Eriata Oribhabor (June 17, 2011)

    1. Hi Edwin,

      Nice info please do you have the ISDN number of this poems (Book)?
      its will be nice to read the other collections too.


  17. That will be too bad. pigin is a bad english

  18. Na naija we dey, so we go lead am. Bcos na my papa & mama language.

  19. wat sort of rubbish talk is dis


    I dey fil una…make una carri dey go!

  21. Pidgin na d language wey everybodi fit undastan 4 naija, 2much grammer don spoil plenty tins 4 we country, if everybodi 4 naija start 2 dey speak pidgin peace go dey 4 we country, ontop sey na all d language 4 naija form pidgin na, dat 1 show ogboge oneness 4 we country…

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