Mwalimu George Ngwane*
A Press Release of June 16, 2016 by the Cameroon Bar Council ‘vehemently condemns the translation disparity between the French and English versions of the Penal code bill introduced in the June 2016 Parliamentary session’. The Release fears that the unprofessional translation would result in the divergence in interpretation and the likelihood of misinterpretation and application of the said bill with the probability of creating chaos in the administration of justice.
Petrol station in Mamfe in English-speaking Cameroon with all-French signs.
The date of the issuance of the Press Release coincides with the International Day of the Child observed worldwide in memory of the eleven year old Hector Peterson and his more than 60 friends who were massacred in Soweto, South Africa for standing up in arms against the imposition of Afrikaans language in their educational system.
In a terse opinion in the Post newspaper of February 15 2016 captioned “Cameroon as French Bilingual country”, Yerima Kini Nsom states inter alia
“it has become an unwritten law that almost all the official documents in Cameroon appear only in French. Nobody cares a damn as to the fact that those who speak, read and understand only English are cheated of their right to information”.