in Language

As it is always implied, the origin of any language must be related to the origin of its people.

The Efiks are originally oriental and so is their language and so they often claim, EFIK EDI MBAKARA" ie "The Efiks are white men”. Little wonder why the use of English names is common among its people.

In the same vein, the origin of the Efik language is related to the origin of the Efik people

The literary important of Efik Language dates back to the earliest attempt at written records when the Efiks started a form of secret writting "NSIBIDI" known only to its highest tittles holders.

By the 18th century, successful records has been achieved in writing of the language.

The early missionaries put in a lot in the development of Efik orthography Language and Literature. Some of such popular missionaries include Rev. Hope Waddell, Rev. Hugh Godie and Edgerley.

Others including the Efiks were Mr. E.M. Falk, Prof Westermam, Mr. Gaskin, rev. Maegregor Pritchard, Okon Efiong, Ballantyne, father Meehan, Dr. Henshaw, Mr Westgarth, chief Ekpengong, Messrs Essien Archibong, Amaku, and Ayo. Mr E.E Nkanga the author of the popular"Mutanda Oyom Namondo' played a great unforgettable role .

THE ORIENT, late Rev. Hugh Goldie (Missionary) had made some useful tentative suggestions as to the philosophical affinites of the Efik by drawing attention to the similarity between it and the semitic language and also its relationship with the Syro-Arabic and the Hebrew language.

All the languge families: sernific, Hebrews and Syro-Arabic herein referred to belong to one parent family, since semite (semitic) embraces any of the groups or races that include the Hebrew, Arabs, Phoenicians and Assyrians. "

For example the English word “Take” in Efik is pronounced as “Da” while in Asia (Sanskirt) it is pronounced as “Ada”. Also the English word “Self/Body” in Efik and Asian language is pronounced as “Idem”.Thus showing some similarities between Oriental and Efik language.

Efik Language shares almost the same alphabet with English except C,J,Q,V,X and Z. The vowels include A.E. I. O. U.

It would also be worthy to mention that In 1860, it was one of the first three Nigerian languages to be codified with its own orthography and grammar.

Also, In 1862, Efik language was the first Nigerian language used in translating the Holy bible (New Testament).

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This article was published on 2010/01/26