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Equatorial Guinea Language

Equatorial Guinea Language
Equatorial guinea
(Last Updated On: November 24, 2020)

Equatorial Guinea:

The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is a country in Central Africa with a population of a little more than one million. Río Muni is the mainland region of the country through which it shares its borders with Cameroon and Gabon. Bioko Island is the northernmost region of the country. The region where this Central African country is located was ruled by various European Powers including the Portuguese and the Spaniards. After getting its independence, the country had to face a lot of problems. The country has the worst human rights records in the world. Despite a high Gross Domestic Product, the unequal distribution of wealth has badly affected the lower classes of the population. The rule of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo led to the end of press freedom in the country. Mass media cannot report human rights violations in the country freely. The Obiang government has broken all records of human rights violations.

Bioko Island is the region where the capital city of Malabo is located. A significant percentage of the population lives on Bioko Island. The country wants to get the membership of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries (CPLP) so it can establish good connections with other states of the region. The country also has close ties with the Portuguese speaking people of the São Tomé island. Portuguese rule was the first time the people of Equatorial Guinea came into contact with Europeans. The Annobón province of the country is only 155km south of the equator. A Portuguese creole is spoken in the Annobón province. The promotion of Portuguese in the country continues and might ultimately connect with the leaders of Portuguese speaking nations. But the government’s tendency to repress mass media and violation of human rights is the reason it hasn’t been given full membership of CPLP.

What is Guinea Language?

Africa is known for its cultural and linguistic diversity. It is the place where some of the oldest languages of the world originated. Egyptian Hieroglyphs were discovered in Africa. The earliest humans also called Africa their home. Even today, the continent continues to be one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world. It isn’t just Central Africa or the Gulf of Guinea which has linguistic diversity. Thousands of languages are spoken by the people of Africa.

The country of Equatorial Guinea is no different. It is the home of various aboriginal and indigenous languages. But after the colonization of the region by Europeans, the indigenous languages lost their popularity. There is a reason why Portuguese is spoken by the people of São Tomé. But despite the popularity of Portuguese, it is not the official language in the Gulf of Guinea.

Spanish is the Equatorial Guinea language and is spoken by 67% of the country’s population. According to the Fundamental Law of the State, it is one of the three official languages of the country, the other two being French and Portuguese. English is also recognized as a regional language. Although the country has three official languages, it is the Spanish language which is given preference by the government and the people.

The majority of the country’s population are native speakers of the Spanish language. The region was a Spanish colony in the past, which is why Spanish is the most popular language in the country today. The Republic of Equatorial Guinea is the only sovereign state in the African continent where Spanish is recognized as an official language. The language has become an important part of the national identity. It is also a compulsory subject in schools. The variety of the language spoken in this African country is known as Equatoguinean Spanish.

Various regional languages are spoken in the country by small communities. On the Islands of Bioko, Spanish is the most popular language. But various regional languages including Bube and Pichi are spoken on Bioko Island. There is no national language of Equatorial Guineans but Spanish is spoken as the lingua franca. Pidgin English is also spoken in the country. Many linguists theorized that the Spanish spoken in this African country is similar to the Caribbean Spanish. But the theory has been refuted as Caribbean Spanish is different from African Spanish. The native speakers of Spanish don’t share any cultural ties with the people of the Caribbean.

equatorial guinea language
guinea language

Equatorial Guinea’s History, Language, and Culture:

African, American, and Asian countries were colonized by various European powers throughout history. Africans were treated poorly by the colonizers. They were taken as slaves to different parts of the world and were forced to work. But even in their countries, they were not treated fairly. The Europeans not only affected the national culture of Africans but also their national languages. They also stole the natural resources that the African nations were abundant in. Equatorial Guinea’s history is also full of such stories. From Portuguese rule to becoming a Spanish colony, the people of the region had to endure a lot of suffering.

But even today, the country is not progressing as it should. The Obiang government is curtailing the basic rights and freedoms of the people. The death penalty was only abolished to get accepted by the neighbors. But according to Human Rights Watch, the situation is not all better in the country. Mass media still cannot report on the violations of human rights. Amnesty International has reported various cases of human rights violations. The President Obiang government executed nine inmates in total a day before abolishing the death penalty.

The official and de facto national language of the republic is Spanish. But there is linguistic diversity in all the mainland regions of the country including Bioko Island and Rio Muni. Various aboriginal languages are spoken in different parts of the country. They have also influenced the Spanish language in some ways. The minority languages are not protected under the constitution which is why they are slowly fading. The positive attitudes towards Spanish have made it more important than minority languages.

Although the republic is home to various aboriginal groups, there aren’t any intangible cultural heritage sites here that appear on the UNESCO cultural heritage list. However, various beaches on Bioko Islands attract tourists every year. Sports are an important part of the country’s culture. The republic hosted the African Cup of Nations in 2015.

The country is known for its oil production, which has multiplied 10-fold in a couple of years. In Sub Saharan Africa, it is in third place in oil production. The oil reserves of the country were discovered in 1996 and contributed to a significant increase in government revenue.

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