Languages of Madagascar

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Languages of Madagascar
Official language(s)Malagasy, French
Main foreign language(s)English
 
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Languages of Madagascar
Official language(s)Malagasy, French
Main foreign language(s)English
Signs in French in Antananarivo.

The Malagasy language of Malayo-Polynesian origin, is generally spoken throughout the island. The official languages of Madagascar are Malagasy and French. Madagascar is a Francophone country, and French is spoken among the educated population of this former French colony.

In the first Constitution of 1958, Malagasy and French were named the official languages of the Malagasy Republic.[1]

No official languages were recorded in the Constitution of 1992. Instead, Malagasy was named the national language; however, many sources still claimed that Malagasy and French were official languages, as they were de facto. In April 2000, a citizen brought a legal case on the grounds that the publication of official documents in the French language only was unconstitutional. The High Constitutional Court observed in its decision[2] that, in the absence of a language law, French still had the character of an official language.

In the Constitution of 2007, Malagasy remains the national language while official languages are reintroduced: Malagasy, French, and English. The motivation for the inclusion of English is partly to improve relations with the neighboring countries where English is used and to encourage foreign direct investment.[3] English was removed as an official language from the constitution approved by voters in the November referendum 2010. These results are not recognized by the political opposition or the international community, who cite lack of transparency and inclusiveness in the organization of the election by the High Transitional Authority.[4]

References

  1. ^ "Le malgache et le français sont les langues officielles de la République Malgache." Constitution, Titre I, Art. 2; Constitutional Law 14 October 1958.
  2. ^ Haute Cour Constitutionnelle De Madagascar, Décision n°03-HCC/D2 Du 12 avril 2000
  3. ^ Madagascar adopts English as official language, ClickAfrique.com, 10 April 2007.
  4. ^ "Madagascar: La Crise a un Tournant Critique?". International Crisis Group. http://www.crisisgroup.org/~/media/Files/africa/southern-africa/madagascar/166%20Madagascar%20a%20un%20tournant%20critique.ashx. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 

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