01.01.2005 -

From spoken to written languages in Cameroon

@UNESCOA Bembele speaker reviews the newly-created alphabet in Cameroon, ©UNESCO

This project created and disseminated writing systems for Bembele and Gbete, two minority languages of the Niger-Congo family spoken in the Bertoua region of southwest Cameroon.

This project created and disseminated writing systems for Bembele and Gbete, two minority languages of the Niger-Congo family spoken in the Bertoua region of southwest Cameroon. As part of a documentation project developed by the NACALCO Center for Applied Linguistics, two young Cameroonian linguists worked in close cooperation with the speakers to establish writing principles and produce reference materials for use in literacy classes, bilingual and adult education and written media. Beyond drawing up these orthography guides, teaching manuals and word lists, the linguists also trained community members as language teachers. The speakers have now taken over the project themselves and organized language education in their community. As literacy in Bembele and Gbete spreads, speakers will be empowered to use their language in a range of new domains of communication and media.




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