Legendary Ghanaian musician popularly known as Okyeame Kwame Explains to his son why humans speak in different tongues (languages).
My Son asked me, Daddy if we all came from Adam and Eve, why do we speak different languages ? Usually, when my children asks such social questions with religious implications, I am cautious because if I tell them my truth without the Christian perspective and my wife catches me I am beans. So I usually call my wife in if I know my answer will be controversial so She can also tell her truth. My wife asked us to read Genesis 11 :1-9 . The Bible says when Noah’s Relatives moved towards the East they wanted to make a name for themselves so they decided to build a tower to house themselves so they don’t spread about . God saw the action and descended down to confuse them by causing them to speak many languages. Annica explained further by saying the Tower of Babel is a historic fact proven by Oxford University through excavations and She is the historian in my house. So I asked, did God confuse his children only because they wanted to make a name for themselves? If God wanted to introduce multiplicity of languages , did “He” need the prompt of humans ? Why did God create men with the power of creativity but confuse them when they try to use it ? Why couldn’t God wait for the natural process of evolution to eventually spread the people from Shinar to the world ? Why did God destroy the Tower of Babel but allowed the Burj Khalifa, the Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower, Villagio, Johannesburg Carlton center , Nairobi Global trade center and all NASA ? She answered with an honest face. God is God we can’t question him.
I gave my Son the scientific reasons why we have multiplicity in languages. If we all accept that All humans came from Adam and Eve, the causative agents for different languages will be grouped into Time, Space and linguistic processes.
Time : My father is called Kwasi Bota , over time his Sisters changed his name to Kwabota due to economy of words ,conviniece in speech and evolution . Over time words evolve and change in dialect till it becomes a new language.
Space; As groups spread away from other groups they create sounds to identify and differentiate themselves . They see new things and find new names for them that a Foriegn group would not understand. In our house we have such jargons that is only meaningful to us. Alokotroo( look through ) means spectacles. A thousand years ago when the Akans were walking to coastal West Africa, we came as eight families (Oyoko, Aduana, Asakyiri , Ekuona, Bretuo, Asene and Ekuona ). We spoke variants of a prototype Kwa language. Since we settled in the middle belt of Ghana and Kpong, our dialects and even language changes tremendously. We the Asantes speak twi , our Cousins who went to the Cape-coast speak Fante , our sisters who went to Ahanta speaks Nzema and Fante , our uncles who headed towards the Eastern mountains speak Akuapem etc .
So You see , the closer the proximity the closer the dialect and the opposite is true . Asantes understand Bono’s more than we understand Nzema . Time and time space( geography ) is changing our language .
Linguistic processes: Evolution, Omission, Elision, morphology and many other scientific processes affect the multiplicity of languages on earth . Groups or tribes at war can create unique words to communicate for their safety.
My wife said yes but…… I said let me finish my point . Another factors to consider is date of the incident. According to Wikipedia, the Tower of Babel was built and destroyed between 2400 and 3000 years ago . Other literature links it to Nabuchadnezzar so the era cannot be missed . I know Ancient languages like Egyptian Coptic , Tamil from the Dravidian family and Sanskrit were around 5000 years ago .
My question is , how can a Babylonian/ Hebrew language which is 3000 years give birth to Tamil and Sanskrit which is 5000 years ?
I asked my Son , can I give birth to my father ? Could it be that Gen 11 should not be taken literally? Could it be a metaphor ? Could it be discussing psychological language ? Could the confusion in languages mean more than verbal ?
I speak the same verbal language with you , my wife , however there is confusion . Have you realized that most of the confusion within us comes from our psychological differences ? Should we consider Psychological language ?
I ended by telling my son what I tell myself every day . Question everything and look without prejudice.
My Questions : 1 . what do know about the origin of languages . ?
2 . Do You agree or disagree with me ?