“The Politics of Language” by Ngugi
wa Thiong’o describes the dual nature of Language: it being a means of communication
and a means of spreading culture. The two aspects go hand in hand Thiong’o also
discusses how colonialism can strip groups of people of their language, and in
a sense their identity. He describes how one language can be a common means of
communication for multiple groups of different origins but not necessarily a carrier
of each groups culture. This means when examining language, it can be both
broad and specific. He further breaks down the two aspects of language. Language
as communication has three parts: language of real life, speech, and the written
word. The language of real life is what allows individuals to form relations
with one another in labor. He is saying that working together allows for
cooperation, and in order for people to work together they must be able to communicate
with each other. By speech or spoken words he means the ability to express one’s
thoughts and state or articulation. Last the written word is just a visual form
of the spoken. Since communication and culture are indistinguishable, he argues
that it is the repeated communication among individuals and further generations
that evolve culture. The three aspects language as culture described are history,
image-forming agent, specific language. Culture is a product of history, which
is a recollection and of people’s communication. Image-forming agent is one’s
perception of reality and how they respond to it. And lastly specific language is
forming sounds that allows for mutual understanding between people, and this is
common among all groups of people. When describing communication and culture,
he relates them frequently to wealth, production or labor.

And
lastly Thiong’o discusses the damaging effects of colonialism on the African people.

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This seemed oddly placed as there was no prior mention of him discussing colonialism
or anything implying that he was. Colonialism is acquiring complete control
over a country and exploiting it. Controlling a country means to control every
aspect of their life, and that includes culture. As mentioned before culture
and communication are part of language, and when those holding power impose
their language, those ruled lose their original culture and communication. 

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