Thursday, 17 November 2016

BBC is launching Pidgin, Igbo and Yoruba services

The World Service of the BBC is adding Pidgin, Igbo and Yoruba and eight other languages to its broadcast as part of its biggest expansion "since the 1940s". Others are Afaan Oromo and Amharic, spoken in Ethiopia; Tigrinya, the main language of Eritrea; Gujarati, Marathi and Telugu and Punjabi.

The BBC World Service began operations in 1932 as a radio channel for English-speakers in the British empire but has transformed over time into a respected provider of news to global audiences. It now broadcasting in 29 languages, including Hausa, reaching an estimated 246 million people around the world every week.

The expansion is said to be as a result of a funding injection of GBP289 million until 2020 announced by the government last year. BBC Director General, Tony Hall, said the move is historical and reinforces the importance of the organisation globally.

African languages:
  •     Afaan Oromo: Language of Ethiopia’s biggest ethnic group
  •     Amharic: Ethiopia’s official language
  •     Tigrinya: The main working language of Eritrea, along with Arabic. Also spoken in Ethiopia
  •     Igbo: An official Nigerian language. Also spoken in Equatorial Guinea
  •     Yoruba: Spoken in south-western Nigeria and some other parts of West Africa, especially Benin and Togo
  •     Pidgin: A creole version of English widely spoken in southern Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea

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