Cameroon English
Native speakers
17 million Anglophone Cameroonian (2011)[1]
Early forms
Latin (English alphabet)
Unified English Braille
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-1en
ISO 639-2eng
ISO 639-3eng
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Cameroon English is an English dialect spoken predominantly in Cameroon, mostly learned as a second language.[2] It shares some similarities with English varieties in neighbouring West Africa, as Cameroon lies at the west of Central Africa.[3] It is primarily spoken in the Northwest and Southwest regions of Cameroon.[4]

Northwest_Region_location in Cameroon

Southwest_Region_location in Cameroon

It is a postcolonial variety of English, long in use in the territory (Southern Cameroons, now split into Northwest and Southwest). Over the years, it has developed characteristic features, particularly in lexis but also in phonology and grammar. Those characteristics were once regarded as errors but are now increasingly accepted as distinctive Cameroonian contributions to the English language.

Phonological features

The phonemes /ɔː/, /ʌ/ and /ɒ/ tend to merge to /ɔː/, making "cot", "caught" and "cut" homophones.[2] Similarly, "lock" and "luck" are pronounced alike. And "white-collar worker" sometimes becomes "white-colour worker" in Cameroon.[5]


Characteristic turns of phrase in the country or local coinages:[5]

See also


  1. ^ Georg Wolf, Hans (2001). English in Cameroon. New York. ISBN 9783110170535.((cite book)): CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  2. ^ a b Pearce, Michael (10 September 2012). The Routledge Dictionary of English Language Studies. Routledge. p. 200. ISBN 978-1-134-26428-5.
  3. ^ Kouega (2007): "Cameroon is a Central African country whose variety of English shares a number of features with West African Englishes."
  4. ^ Anchimbe, Eric A. "Multilingual backgrounds and the identity issue in Cameroon." Anuario del Seminario de Filología Vasca" Julio de Urquijo" 39.2 (2011): 33-48.
  5. ^ a b Todd, Loreto (1982). Cameroon. Varieties of English Around the World. John Benjamins Publishing. p. 83. ISBN 90-272-8670-1.

Further reading