Knowledge of French in Cameroon in 2005, according to the OIF. In 2005 18% of the population were "real" French speakers and another 26.8% were "partial French speakers". Both figures are estimations.
The nation strives toward bilingualism, but in reality very few Cameroonians speak both French and English, and many speak neither. The government has established several bilingual schools in an effort to teach both languages more evenly, however, in reality most of these schools separate the anglophone and francophone sections and therefore do not provide a true bilingual experience. Cameroon is a member of both the Commonwealth of Nations and La Francophonie. German, the country's official language during the German colonial period until World War I, has nowadays almost entirely yielded to its two successors. However, as a foreign language subject German still enjoys huge popularity among pupils and students, with 300,000 people learning or speaking German in Cameroon in 2010. Today, Cameroon belongs to the African countries with the highest number of people with knowledge of German.
Most people in the English-speaking Northwest and Southwest provinces speak Cameroonian Pidgin English as a lingua franca.Fulfulde serves the same function in the north, and Ewondo in much of the Center, South, and East provinces.Camfranglais (or Frananglais) is a relatively new pidgin communication form emerging in urban areas and other locations where Anglophone and Francophone Cameroonians meet and interact. Popular singers have used the hybrid language and added to its popularity.
There is little literature, radio, or television programming in native Cameroonian languages. Nevertheless, a large number of Cameroonian languages have alphabets or other writing systems, many developed by the Christian missionary group SIL International, who have translated the Bible, Christian hymns, and other materials. The General Alphabet of Cameroon Languages was developed in the late 1970s as an orthographic system for all Cameroonian languages.
Literacy in French for individuals of age 12 and above rose from 41.3% to 57.6% between 1987 and 2005 while that of English rose from 13.4% to 25.3%. The global proportion of individuals literate in official languages has thus markedly increased between 1987 and 2005, rising from 53.3% to 71.2%.
In 2005, the probability to be literate in French while being anglophone was 0.46 while that of being literate in English while being francophone was 0.20, resulting from the predominant status of the French language in Cameroon as a whole.