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How the English imposed their culture globally

Saturday March 16 2019

English, journalism

Oxford Advanced Learner's dictionary. Third World journalism has long nurtured the use of words which add absolutely no semantic value. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Surely, the religious language of England and other European tribes has borrowed vitally from the classical Mediterranean languages of Arabia, Canaan, Egypt, Greece and Rome, especially in terms of word power, particularly in abstraction and conception.

At the bottom, nevertheless — in terms, namely, of basic vocabulary and grammar — English remains a north-western European language.

The official language of Down Under, England and North America remains, that is to say, German-European. In terms of geographical expanse, nevertheless, Europe is an extraordinarily small continent.

Indeed, in all honesty, Europe is not even a continent. For, exactly where can you draw an incontrovertible line to separate Europe from Asia?


In short, Europe’s geographical tininess is why, among other things, three of its world languages — English, Greek and Latin — have always been closely related.

They are related in terms, particularly, of basic grammar and fundamental word power. They are related, moreover, in terms of world outlook, especially in religious conception.

Fundamentally, English is a north-western European language. In short, English is at bottom a Germanic tongue.

However, that statement raises at least one basic question: How did such a narrowly rooted language become the basic means of cultural, economic and intellectual engagement and exchange throughout the human planet today?


How did English rise to become the language of the educated elite in all of our planet’s former European colonies?

Why is English the medium both of education and of essential exchange between, for instance, Tanzania and Uganda? This latter question is easy to deal with.

England it was that, by means of military and culturo-religious propaganda and conquest, imposed its own language and culture on a great number of human societies, especially African, North American and Asian.

England did so including through the conquest that was what was later taught in colonial “history” classes as missionary activities, namely, the colonisation of the mind and robbery of all essential economic goods by a class of Western Europeans armed both with hard weapons and with an extremely attractive ideology that objective critics the whole world over will one day dismiss as “Euro-Churchism”.


Whether a godly entity has once actually sacrificed himself or even herself for humanity in Palestine either two thousand years ago or elsewhere or at some other time is not the issue.

The number of human individuals who have similarly sacrificed themselves for the sakes of their own particular societies is probably overwhelmingly large.

When the truly objective book on human history is finally written, it will make it certain that such an event has taken place, not just once and not just in Palestine, but a hundred and one times all over the human world.

For many human beings, the problem is Europe’s packaging of an example of that story merely in order to favour a class of Europeans economically.

The finger of that European class is thus perpetually raised in accusation of all other human societies, especially African, Asian and native American.

Mr Ochieng is a veteran journalist.