Cameroonian English

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Cameroon English is an English dialect spoken predominantly in Cameroon, mostly learned as a second language.[1] It shares some similarities with English varieties in neighbouring West Africa, as Cameroon lies at the west of Central Africa.[2]

It is a post-colonial variety of English which has long been in use in the territory (Southern Cameroons, now the northwest of the republic). Over the years, it has developed characteristic features, particularly in lexis though also in phonology and grammar. These characteristics were once regarded as errors, but are now increasingly accepted as distinctive Cameroonian contributions to the English language.

Phonological features[edit]

RP /ʌ/ and /ɒ/ tend to merge with /ɔ/, making "cot", "caught" and "cut" homophones.[1] Similary, "lock" and "luck" are pronounced alike. And "white-collar worker" sometimes becomes "white-colour worker" in Cameroon.[3]


Characteristic turns of phrase in the country or local coinages:[3]

  • "detailly" = in detail
  • "to see with me" = to agree with me; to see my point of view

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pearce, Michael (10 September 2012). The Routledge Dictionary of English Language Studies. Routledge. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-134-26428-5. 
  2. ^ Kouega (2007): "Cameroon is a Central African country whose variety of English shares a number of features with West African Englishes."
  3. ^ a b Todd, Loreto (1982). Cameroon. Varieties of English Around the World. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 90-272-8670-1. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Kouega, Jean-Paul (2007). A Dictionary of Cameroon English Usage. New York: Peter Lang. ISBN 978-3-03911-027-8. 

Kouega, Jean-Paul (1999). Some Major Speech Traits of Cameroon Media News in English. English Studies 80(6), 540-555

Kouega, Jean-Paul (2000). Some Aspects of Cameroon English Prosody. Alizes, 19, 137-153

Kouega, Jean-Paul (2003). Influence of Contacts between Western and African Cultures on English in Cameroon. Proceedings of the Unifying Aspects of Cultures conference at Vienna, Austria, November 7–9. In: TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften. No. 15/2003, (2003). WWW:

Kouega, Jean-Paul (2005). The Effects of French on English L2 in Cameroon. In J. Cohen, K. T. McAlister, K. Rolstad, and J. MacSwan (Eds.) ISB4: Proceedings of the 4th International Symposium on Bilingualism (pp. 1201–1210). Somerville, MA, USA: Cascadilla Press.

Kouega, Jean-Paul, (2006). Aspects of Cameroon English Usage: A Lexical Appraisal. Muenchen, Germany: Lincom Europa. ISBN 3-89586-877-9

Kouega, Jean-Paul (2006c). Interplay of Accent and Orthography in L2 English in Cameroon. Annals of the Faculty of Arts, Letters and Social Sciences, University of Yaounde 1(5), 183-197

Kouega, Jean-Paul (2007). Forenames in Cameroon English speech. The International Journal of Language, Society and Culture, 23, 32-46.

Talla Sando Ouafeu Yves (2006). Intonational meaning in Cameroon English discourse: a sociolinguistic perspective. Goettingen: Cuvillier Verlag