BRITISH GHANAIANS: LOST IN TRANSLATION

In 2015 I wrote, directed and produced part one of a two-part documentary series, about the lack of fluent Ghanaian language speakers within the British Ghanaian community. The documentary, "British Ghanaians: Lost In Translation" highlights the issue of language endangerment, whereby a language is at risk of dying out. If the British Ghanaian community lose their languages, they face losing their link to their rich cultural heritage and identity. Many 2nd and 3rd generation Ghanaians cannot speak a Ghanaian language fluently. Language endangerment is taking place globally and it is estimated that within the next 50 years half of the world's 7000 languages will be wiped out.

 

The programme idea was birthed out of my own frustration at not being a fluent Ghanaian language speaker. I can eat the foods and wear the clothes, but I feel I can't truly connect to other Ghanaian family members and natives, without being able to speak their language. Language is an integral part of what connects communities and generations within those communities. Whilst living in the UK, my Ghanaian parents adopted a mindset, which is common amongst many Ghanaian migrants. They believed that it was more beneficial to teach me English and not their Mother tongue, Twi. As a result, I felt I lost out on the opportunity to truly connect with my Ghanaian family on many trips to Ghana, whilst growing up. 

#LostInTranslation 

THE BACK STORY

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Mr Silva

Lord Boateng

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Jeanette Kwakye

Elsie Owusu OBE

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