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Macron Stirs Controversy, Saying French Is Africa’s ‘Universal’ Language


Macron blamed Africa’s move to restore local languages as one of the reasons behind the gradual decline of the Francophone’s heritage.

Rabat – French President Emmanuel Macron causes another controversy, saying French is the “true African language” that can help African countries reach unity.

The comments enraged internet users as many viewed Macron’s comments as remnants of the colonial era when France and other colonial powers forcibly imposed their languages as the “civilized language.”

While speaking this week at an event on Francophone heritage, Macron went as far as to claim that French is “the pan-African” language. However, he acknowledged that French is slowly losing its grip as a de facto language in many African countries.

“In the Maghreb countries, they speak less and less French compared to 20 or 30 years ago,” Macron said with an air of disappointment.

The French president went on to provide his personal analysis of the reasons underpinning the decline of Francophone heritage. “There are forms of resistance (to the French language) that are seemingly political,” Macron said.

In addition he detailed, “French may also sound more difficult,” implying that young people in Africa are turning to English given it is easier to acquire.

Noting a third factor directly responsible for the decline of the French language status in Africa, he explained that “there is a will [to] revive other languages, saying that this [is] how we can find a political path.”

The remarks on reviving other languages infuriated social media users as this indicates that the French president is criticizing Africa for the growing number of movements calling for reinstituting national languages and preserving them from extinction.

In his elaborate debate, Macron went from blaming Africans for attempting to revive their national languages to insinuating that African youth are embracing English because it is developing as a new “esperanto,” and a safe place for communication where they can communicate “with imperfect language yet not be criticized.”

Marcon’s comments stirred significant controversy with one French-speaking influencer saying sarcastically: “It is too much to want to speak your local languages. What could even be the aim behind doing such a thing for Arabs and Maghrebians?”

Source : Morocco World News