Camfranglais, Frananglais or Franglais (portmanteau of the French adjectives camerounais, français, and anglais) is a pidgin language of Cameroon, consisting of a macaronic mixture of Cameroonian French, Cameroonian English and Cameroonian Pidgin English, in addition to lexical contributions from various indigenous languages of Cameroon.
The language blend is common among young people in the country, and rivals Cameroonian Pidgin English ("Creole") as the country's most common lingua franca. It is most popular in the high-density urban centres where anglophones and francophones meet.
In Cameroon, French and English are official languages, and over 250 other languages are spoken, making communication difficult without a common language. Camfranglais first emerged in the mid-1970s after the reunification of Francophone Cameroun and Anglophone Southern Cameroons. The point of origin may have been the markets, ports, and sports stadiums of Cameroon's larger cities. It became fashionable in the late 1990s, due partially to its use by popular musicians.
Camfranglais has caused concern for educators, who worry that the language blend may hinder acquisition of regular French and English and may be seen as a shortcut around true bilingualism. Studies are underway over Camfranglais, which some academics consider to be on its way to becoming a proper language.
A few examples of phrases in Camfranglais and their English translations:
Tu came a la maison? - Are you coming to the house?
Je go do le way la - I'm going to do the thing
Il speak que quoi? - What is he talking about/ what is he saying?
Falla le man la - Follow that man
- DeLancey and DeLancey 131.
- DeLancey, Mark W., and Mark Dike DeLancey (2000): Historical Dictionary of the Republic of Cameroon (3rd ed.). Lanham, Maryland: The Scarecrow Press.
- Niba, Francis Ngwa (20 February 2007). "New language for divided Cameroon". BBC News. Accessed 20 February 2007.
- Kouega, Jean-Paul (2003a). Camfranglais: A novel slang in Cameroon schools. English Today 19 (2), 23-29.
- Kouega, Jean-Paul (2003b). Word formative processes in Camfranglais. World Englishes 22 (4), 511-538.