Education: Insuperable Pidgin?

Half a century had passed since the white men first sounded the warning. "This Pidgin nonsense," cried the globetrotting Baron von Hesse-Wartegg,-should be replaced "by a sensible German language." But in spite of the baron—and all the efforts of imperial German officials —the natives of the New Guinea protectorate went right on speaking Pidgin, the language built up from years of dealing with white traders. By World War II, G.I.s were being taught to say: "Cut-im grass belong head belong me" ("I want a haircut"), and the 23rd Psalm was still going native in a wide variety of ways: e.g., Australia's...

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