Ubang is a unique village in Nigeria, where men and women speak different languages
They say that women are aliens from Venus, and men are from Mars. Nowhere is this more obvious than in Ubang – a unique peasant community in Nigeria, where men and women communicate in different languages. Despite the cardinal differences in the vocabulary, representatives of different sexes understand each other perfectly. Learn more about the unusual language tradition from our material.
It is difficult to understand how girls and boys who grow up together in the same village can speak different languages. However, this is exactly what happens in Ubang. It is not known for certain in what ratio the words in the female and male languages differ, but there are many sentences that sound completely different from the mouths of men and women.
For example, for the word "clothing", men use the word "nki", and women use "ariga"; "kitchi" means "tree" in the language of men, and women call it "okweng". As you can see, this is not just a difference in pronunciation, but completely different words.
The male and female languages in the tribe have existed since time immemorial. Some words in the lexicon of different genders coincide, but there are also radically different ones. Despite this, men and women understand each other perfectly, because girls and boys grow up together, and their parents teach them both languages. From the age of ten, boys begin to speak the male language. When this happens, it is considered that the boy becomes a man.
No one knows exactly how and why bilingualism appeared in Ubang. Most locals adhere to the religious theory that God created Adam and Eve by giving them different languages. He wanted to give two languages to each ethnic group, but then he realized that there were not enough languages for all. He managed to give different languages only to the people of Ubang, making this village unlike the rest of the settlements of the world.
Some anthropologists suggest that the two languages arose as a result of a dual sexual culture in which men and women live separate lives and rarely contact each other. However, this tradition is common in many parts of Africa, and there are no two different languages for men and women.
Today, when English words are increasingly entering the vocabulary of young people in Nigeria, the unique Ubang languages are under threat of extinction. Neither the male nor the female form of the language has a written expression, so their preservation depends only on the oral transmission of the vocabulary from generation to generation.
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Keywords: Culture | Africa | Peoples | Inhabitants | Tribe | Nigeria | Village | Women | World | Tradition | Everyday life | Men | Anthropology | Language | Uniqueness | Difference | Ethnicity | Communication | Languages