Nigerian Pidgin English

View of Civic Towers in Lagos Nigeria, Photo by Nupo Deyon Daniel
Photo courtesy of Nupo Deyon Daniel, unsplash

Nigerian Pidgin English (NPE) is the lingua franca of Nigeria and quite different from Standard English. It has a lot of wordplay and humour, which makes it fun to use.

Through my experience as a volunteer I have come to think that resources in NPE and German would really help understanding each other, sometimes more than ones in Standard English.
Also, using NPE would be a great way of showing respect and genuine interest for Nigerians who have come to Germany.

With the help of „native speakers“ (whose actual mother tongue is Edo, Igbo or Yoruba etc.) I am working on several design projects:
• An Online Dictionary (Pidgin/ German). This dictionary also takes into account the multiple meanings of NPE words.
• A Set of Cards (Pidgin/ German) with helpful phrases for finding your way in everyday German life .
• A Storybook (Pidgin/ Simple German) with seven tales by the Brothers Grimm.

Here are some first results, in text form:

Online Dictionary:

Current status: I have compiled typical NPE words and phrases from the internet and unified them in their entry structure.
Next step: German words and example sentences must be added.

Current status: I have come up with the structure of a single entry (a data set) that allows to enter multiple meanings and explain them in the context of example sentences.
Next step: Entering and completing all the other collected entries in these structured data sets.


Current Status: I have taken seven very well known german fairy tales and translated them into Simple German, then Plain English.
Next step: Translating the texts from Plain English into Nigerian Pidgin English.