Friday, April 1, 2011

Latin, Anglophone, Lusaphone, Francophone, Dutch circle?

One of the commonest question I keep coming across is whether Brazilians, Haitians, Martinicans, Cape Verdeans are latinos, being that they speak a latin derived or related language. One must understand that there is 5 spheres of linguistic cluster when you deal with people of afro-descent anglophone(english), francophone(french), lusaphone(portuguese), spanish sphere(latino), and dutch sphere.

From my experience and observation, those who speak a common language tend to have greater connection and interaction with one another. Being from the Caribbean, I see this first hand. Someone from Martinique has greater interaction with someone from Senegal, Mali, and Congo, than with someone from Jamaica, same with Haitians, because of the French language.

Same with Brazil, which might be more connected to lusaphone africa-- Cape Verde, Angola, Mozambique than other spanish speaking South American countries. Brazilians understand spanish, most spanish speakers don't understand Brazilian Portuguese. This could be more spanish speaking countries border Brazil than the other way round.

The Dutch might be the exception, because the culture is a polyglot culture. People who speak Dutch could easily blend among the spanish culture, english, and possible lusaphone culture because their creole papiamento, is predominantly Portuguese and have great commonality with Cape Verdean and African criolos.

Even so, they interact more with each other Aruba, Curacao, Bonaire, and Suriname, greater interaction, than say with Trinidad or Cuba. They might be able to understand Afrikaaner in South Africa, which they might consider, bad Dutch, like bad English, ethnocentrism. Actually, one of my lady friends referred to it as such.

From my observation, I consider Brazilians more lusaphone than latin or Haitians more francophone than latin.

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