Partie 1 (16 pts)
(a) Prenez connaissance du dossier proposé, composé des documents A, B et C non hiérarchisés, et traitez en anglais le sujet suivant (300 mots maximum ; 16 points) :
Say what the documents reveal about the influences that have shaped English both as a shared language on the global stage and as a language of self-expression for individuals, groups and nations.
Partie 2 (4 pts)
Traduisez en français le passage suivant du début du document A :
What is English? Why do we care? And for that matter how do we know? To answer these questions this book draws on original archival research as well as historical and grammatical analysis. It addresses English’s past, present, and possible futures, and also the reasons why English-speakers have cared so deeply about their language.
Partie 3 (20 pts) : Essai argumentatif :
« The English language is nobody’s special property » Discuss in 200 words maximum.
What is English? And Why Should We Care? By Tim William Machan Abstract
What is English? Why do we care? And for that matter how do we know? To answer these questions this book draws on original archival research as well as historical and grammatical analysis. It addresses English’s past, present, and possible futures, and also the reasons why English-speakers have cared so deeply about their language. With some 1.5 billion people around the world speaking English today, finding a definition that fits these changing demographics and usages challenges Anglophones to decide who they are and want to be. Tim Machan suggests that the identity of English depends on the sum of multiple processes shaped by its sounds and structure, and on the attitudes and social values of its speakers. Throughout time and place, he argues, these shift constantly in response to changing cultural pressures, with the paradoxical result that English survives precisely because it is so changeable. But, as he also shows, such mutability encourages speakers to invest their varieties of English with cultural and political significance. English matters because its speakers, often in contentious ways, have come to see so much of their own identity in it. […]
Source : https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com.
War of words as Nigerian English recognised by Oxford English Dictionary
‘I don’t care what Brits think’
The OED’s move has divided opinion in the former British colony of 200 million people, who between them speak more than 250 languages.
English is the official language in this polyglot nation and the one used in schools.
There are those who think the idea that an expert sitting in Oxford can define how it is spoken is outmoded.
“I don’t care what the Brits think of Nigerian English,” one writer curtly replied when I asked his opinion. He declined to be interviewed, as did two other writers.
But there are the fundamentalists befuddled by what they consider “street words” having made it into the dictionary.
“What we expected was a formalisation of Pidgin,” said Uzoh Nwamara, chairman of a local authors’ organisation.
Pidgin, a mix of local languages and English, has become the lingua franca here and is gaining respectability, not least from the BBC, which has its own Pidgin service.
« But to leave Pidgin and go tamper with the [colonial] master’s language… well, » Nwamara hissed as we spoke over the phone.
I imagined he shrugged his shoulders in that typical Nigerian way that means « What nonsense! ».
‘Last word on words’
Some of the words now included in the OED, for example “sef”, “chop-chop” and “gist”, have derived their meaning from the way that Pidgin speakers use them.
The OED has described most of the 29 new entries as “either borrowings from Nigerian languages or unique Nigerian coinages”.
The publishers say its dictionary has been the “last word on words for over a century” and entries are considered on the basis of widespread use and published evidence.
But Nigerian historian, Timi Soleye, thinks the OED may have gone too far.
“It is possible that in an attempt to be inclusive, they have made wrong calls,” he said.
He told the BBC that he had no problem with the nouns, such as “okada” and “danfo”, but he had issues with the addition of some of the verbs and adverbs.
“They added ‘sef’. ‘Sef’ is like a verbal exclamation to add emphasis but you go to the dictionary entry, ‘sef’ has no etymological roots,” he said.
“It doesn’t mean anything. It is completely useless. It is not even a corruption from another language. What is ‘sef’?
“This amounts to accepting the debasement of English grammar,” he added with a deep sigh.
He described it as the “Pidginification” of the English language and that the OED has gone down the wrong path for the wrong reason.
“People should feel free to speak Pidgin but Pidgin isn’t English.”
For the record, the OED cites the use of “sef” by author Ben Okri in his 1980 book Flowers and Shadows.
But in accepting Nigerian words, along with past inclusions from the rest of the English- speaking world, the lexicographers have recognised what this country’s literary giant Chinua Achebe wrote in 1975.
« The price a world language must be prepared to pay is submission to many different kinds of use, » he said in a passage about how an African writer should use English.
English here has evolved to incorporate the rhythms and accents of indigenous languages and developed new pronunciations.
More Nigerian English words are being considered for inclusion, Kingsley Ugwuanyi, the Nigerian consultant who worked with the OED on the 29 words, told the BBC.
This “has put Nigeria on the map of the English-speaking world. [But] Oxford is not validating Nigerian English, only recognising previous efforts made by researchers,” he said, trying to correct the impression that the OED is telling people how to speak.
BBC News, 1 March 2020.