Problem and Solution 1

From The New York Times of April 22, 2014, about Barack Obama’s relative:

“On a recent morning in Kenya, she sat in a bright orange dress and blue head scarf on the veranda of the Obama homestead. Recovering from a bout of malaria and rubbing the left knee that she blamed for keeping her from attending Mr. Obama’s second inauguration, she said in the Luo dialect that language barriers impeded communication between her and the president.”

Dear New York Times,
Luo is NOT a dialect. Luo is a language. (That sentence would work if you said ‘a’ Luo dialect instead of ‘the’ Luo dialect) In general, people in sub-Saharan Africa speak languages. Those languages, in turn, have many dialects. For example: 30 million people speak Igbo. Igbo has many dialects. Some are charming and some are not.

Solution: Stop referring to African languages as dialects. Stop it now. (At least you didn’t say ‘tongue,’ Thank God)