Tuesday, 20 May 2008 7:17 PM

English and Pijin

The discussion about the merits of English versus Pijin is very interesting. Please allow me a few lines to respond.

It is a grave mistake to think of Pijin as broken English. It is not. Very soon I hope my PhD on the grammar of Pijin will be accepted and then published. Believe me there is a grammar, and it's not broken English. Very soon the entire Bible will be published in Pijin. In fact the first printed copies are being shipped to the Solomons as we write.

The point is not either Pijin or English, it is the right language at the right time for the right purpose and relationship.

Is Pijin the enemy of English? It has the potential to be. It also has the potential to be a bridge. Research in Haiti has shown that when kids learn French (their official language) in comparison to Haitian Creole (their pidgin) they acquire the language more successfully. Teachers can do this now - compare and contrast the grammar of English with Pijin to their students. I also hope that one day I can create a grammar resource book that will help the teachers to do this more effectively.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this letter/article are those of Gerry Beimers and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Solomon Times Online.

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