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In “No Static at All” (12/7), Felix Gillette says he was unable to understand Ethiopian Cultural TV because it was in “an African dialect.”
Africans speak languages, like you and me. The African continent contains Europe’s linguistic variety many times over. These languages have rich vocabularies and complex grammars and are just as functional and expressive as the queen’s English. The show you mention was probably in Amharic, which is spoken by more than 20 million people.
It’s hard to believe that this sort of reflexive, ignorant, colonial-era condescension is still able to slip past your editors.