Malawian English is the English language
as spoken in Malawi
. English is the country's official language
English was introduced into Malawi towards the end of the 19th century, due to the influence of British explorers, missionaries, the arrival of the African Lakes Corporation
, and colonial administrators present since the establishment in the 1890s of the British Central Africa Protectorate
. The seventy years of British colonial rule
that followed the Scramble for Africa
, set the groundwork for English to grow into the area's dominant and most socially prestigious language.
Since Malawian independence, the dominance of English has continued:
* official government records are written in English,
* parliament conducts its deliberations
* the laws of Malawi are written in English,
* progression into secondary
and higher education
requires certification of competence in English,
* nearly all Malawian newspapers are published in English (though some include small Chichewa supplements),
* English remains the language of commerce in the country.
This remains true despite a large majority of Malawians speaking Chichewa and the small number of English speakers outside urban centres. Also, in Malawian government schools, students are taught in Chichewa, and learn English as a second language from about age 10. But in international schools in Malawi (like Saint Andrew's International High School in Blantyre
) which follow the British curriculum, English is the language students are taught in, and do not learn Chichewa at all, as it is regarded as a local language.
English words are even replacing their equivalents in other Malawi languages. One study of a corpus
of Chichewa discourse captured over a ten-year period found that references to numbers greater than 3 were exclusively in English, at least in urban areas.
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is in HTML format.
Malawian English has a slight tinge of non-linguistic expressions that are still used, such as "eesh!", an exclamation meaning "oh my!"
Malawi's Ministry of Information and TourismMalawi SDNP
supported by the United Nations Development Programme
University of Malawi website
Category:Languages of Malawi
Category:Dialects of English