n Literator : Journal of Literary Criticism, Comparative Linguistics and Literary Studies - From foreign to national : a review of the status of the French language in Gabon




This article provides a review of the various statuses of the French language in Gabon, a French-speaking country in Central Africa. It reveals a process in which different generations of Gabonese people are increasingly learning, and thus conceptualising, French as a second language rather than a foreign language. Furthermore, some are also learning and conceptualising French as a mother tongue or initial language, rather than a second language. This process of reconceptualisation has somehow been encouraged by the language policy of the colonial administration and the language policy since the attainment of independence, the latter being a continuation of the former. The final stage of this process is that the language has been adopted among the local languages within the Gabonese language landscape.

Hierdie artikel bied 'n oorsig van die verskillende statusse wat aan die Franse taal gekoppel word in Gaboen, 'n Franssprekende land in Sentraal-Afrika. Dit openbaar 'n proses waardeur verskillende generasies Gaboenese toenemend Frans leer en gevolglik konseptualiseer as 'n tweede taal eerder as 'n vreemde taal. Verder is daar ook sommige sprekers wat Frans leer en konseptualiseer as 'n moedertaal of eerste taal, eerder as 'n tweede taal. Hierdie proses van herkonseptualisering is op een of ander wyse aangemoedig deur die taalbeleid van die koloniale administrasie en voortgesit sedert onafhanklikwording. Die uiteinde van hierdie proses is dat Frans, te midde van die inheemse tale, binne die Gaboenese taallandskap aanvaar is.


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