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 two design projects:
• Dictionary (Pidgin/ English/ German). This dictionary takes into account the multiple meanings of NPE words.
• Storybook (Pidgin/ Simple German) with seven tales by the Brothers Grimm.

Below, some images from the work process:

Dictionary (Pidgin/ English/ German):



I have compiled typical NPE words and phrases from the internet and unified them in their entry structure. Now german words and example sentences must be added.



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. Now all the other collected entries in these structured data sets must be entered.

Storybook (Pidgin/ Simple German):





I have taken seven very well known german fairy tales and translated them into Simple German, then Plain English. Now the texts are being translated from Plain English into Nigerian Pidgin English.