Language and Interaction in the Chinese Community in Cameroon: A Sociolinguistic Profile


Jocelyne Kenne

Research Area:


The present study aims at analyzing the sociolinguistic profile of Chinese community in Cameroon. In fact, the number of Chinese migrants in Africa has been growing. In Cameroon, their presence is noticeable in various sectors like in teaching, the medicine, and the agricultural sector. Some of these migrants also work in stores and in construction. It is my purpose to highlight how and in which languages the Chinese communicate in a country of almost 300 languages. The research will center on two Cameroonian cities: Douala and Bamenda which are chosen firstly because of the considerable presence of Chinese migrants in these cities and secondly because of the major languages spoken in the two areas: French in Douala and English in Bamenda. Through observations, questionnaires and audio recordings, I will interrogate (i) the level of interaction in the Chinese community in Cameroon (ii) the linguistic outcomes that occur during such interactions (iii) the variance in the Chinese linguistic profile according to the geographical area they occupy, that is, Francophone and Anglophone. The research is intended to be a contribution to the field of Sino-African studies and will also serve as a comparison for the study of Chinese migrants in other African countries.