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Wikipedia, others begin work on Yoruba language standardization



Yoruba language

Free content online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, will on 20, February begin process of language standardization for Yoruba, a language indigenous to South West, part of North central Nigeria, Benin and Togo.

The language is spoken as either mother tongue or in its Creole form in countries like Brazil and the Caribbean.

Wikipedia, in collaboration with the International Centre for Yoruba Arts and Culture (Yoruba World Centre), DAWN Commission and other relevant stakeholders would be organizing an international conference on the project on the said date in February.

As learnt, the conference will focus on standardizing the Yoruba orthography.

The Conference will be capped with the first Southwest Nigeria’s Joint celebration of International Mother Language Day on 21, February.

According to Professor Oluwole Oyetade of University of Ibadan and chairman of the organizing committee, elaborate consultations with teachers, learners and users of the language, as well as the ministries of education in Southwest, Kwara and Kogi States has begun.

According to the Professor, who is also the Dean of Faculty of Arts, the Committee comprises the President of Yoruba Studies Association of Nigeria (YSAN); President of the Association of Yoruba Language Lecturers in Colleges of Education in Nigeria, President of Egbe Akómolede ati Asa Yoruba; Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Publishers Association, Yoruba Writers Association and other stakeholders.

“What we are doing is not new. Our fathers and leaders had done it before.

“But the last concerted effort on Yoruba orthography was in the early 70s, which brought the 1974 approved orthography for the language.

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“Even, then, there were disagreements on some of the words and their spellings.

“Now that we are beginning a new language policy in Nigeria, and because Yoruba language has now been accepted globally, we must have a universally accepted orthography,” he said.

Language standardization has been argued as key in national development.

The Yoruba Orthography Committee will be inaugurated by the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, while Governor Seyi Makinde is the Chief Host for the two-day events.

Archbishop Ayo Ladigbolu is the Guest Speaker on the Mother Language Day, with Orangun of Oke Ila, Oba Adedokun Abolarin, supported by other Obas, as the Royal Father of the day. The Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan, Professor Kayode Oyebode Adebowale, will host all the dignitaries.


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