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ESOP NDITO EFIK EFUT YE QUA Warri, Delta State, Nigeria

Origin of Efik Language

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As it is always implied, the origin of any language must be related to the origin of its people.

 

In the same vein, the origin of the Efik language is related to the origin of the Efik people-THE ORIENT. late Rev. Hugh Goldie (Missionary) had made some useful tentative suggestions as to the philosophical affinites of the Efik by drawing attention to the similarity between it and the semitic language and also its relationship with the Syro-Arabic and the Hebrew language. ALL the language families: sernific, Hebrews and Syro-Arabic herein referred to belong to one parent family, since semite (semitic) embraces any of the groups or races that include the Hebrew, Arabs, Phoenicians and Assyrians. The Efiks are originally orriental and so is their language and so they often claim, EFIK EDI MBAKARA" ie "The Efiks are Whiteman"

 

Below is a list of words and names to show the similarities between some oriental words and Names with those of the Efiks.

 

EFIK & ASIAN WORDS - SIMILARITIES

ENGLISH 

EFIK 

ASIAN

REMARKS

Bush 

Take

Place

Water 

Love

Hollow

Husband

Axe

Self/Body

Sorround 

Go 

Bend 

Eye 

Ikot

Da

  Ebiet 

Mmon 

Ima

Aba

Ebe

Ekuri

 Idem

kuk

Ka

Nuk

Enyin 

kots

Ada 

Beth

May

Mai 

Babah

  Bei

Kur

 Idem

Hug

 Ga 

Nuk(angle)

Ayin

Hebrew

Sanskirt

  Hebrew

Egyptian

Egyptian

Hebrew

Hebrew

Hebrew&Sanskirt

 Latin

Hebrew

Sanskirt

Hebrew; Nook (Goth)

Phoenician

                                                                 


(More are there as recorded by Goldie and Akak).

EFIK & ASIAN NAMES - SIMILARITIES

ASIAN

EFIK 

REFERENCES - OLDTESTAMENT(BIBLE)

Adaiah 

Adah 

Ahira

Abiah

Abishua  

Ain

Anem

Canaan

Aphik 

 Agag

 Ard

Etam

Adam

Attai

Ephraim 

Adiaha

Ada

Ayira 

Abia 

Edisua/Adisua

Ani

Andem/Ndem 

Canaan(Calabar)

Efik 

Akak 

 Arit, Ared, Aret

Itam

Adam/Edem

Attai

Ephraim 

1 Ch. 6:41

Gen. 36:2

Num. 10:27

1 chr. 7:8; 1chr.6:28

1chr. 6:50

Num. 34:11

1chr.6:73

Genesis 36:6

Judges 1:31

1 sam. 15:32

Joshua 12:14

1 chr. 4:32

Gen. 2:19

1chr 2;35,36

Jer. 31:6

 

EFIK LANGUAGE

THE ORTHOGRAPHY

 

By Elder Prince Ofion Akak (Co-ordinator of Efik Language Programmes)

HISTORY

The literary important of Efik Language dates back to the earliest attempt at written records when the Efiks started a form of secret writing "NSIBIDI" known only to its highest tittles holders.

 

By the 18th century, successful records has been achieved in writing of the language.
The early missionaries put in a lot in the development of Efik orthography Language and Literature. Some of such popular missionaries include Rev. Hope Waddell, Rev. Hugh Godie and Edgerley. Others including the Efiks were Mr. E.M. Falk, Prof Westermam, Mr. Gaskin, Rev. Maegregor Pritchard, Okon Efiong, Ballantyne, Father Meehan, Dr. Henshaw, Mr Westgarth, chief Ekpengong, Messrs Essien Archibong, Amaku, and Ayo. Mr E.E Nkanga the author of the popular"Mutanda Oyom Namondo' played a great unforgettable role . The Efik Language shares almost the same alphabet with English except C, J, Q, V, X and Z. The vowels include A. E. I. O. U.

 

HISTORICAL FACTS: By way of briefity, I hereby highlight the following important historical facts: 1. In 1812, Efik was one of the earliest language with the original orthography devised by Efik son, King Eyo Nsa Honesty.

 

In 1860, it was one of the first three Nigerian languages to be codified with its own orthograph and grammar

 

In 1862, Efik language was the first Nigerian language used in translating the Holy bible (New Testament).

 

In 1868, it was used to complete the translations of Old Testament.

 

The two first Efik Priest who assisted Rev. Hugh Goldie and other missionaries for the translations include: Rev. Essien Ukpabio in Greek Town An Rev. Asukwo Ekanem In Mbiabo Ikot Offiong

 

Thus as early as that, Efik language had become a vital vehicle for the dissemination of Education, Religion, Trade and Commerce in the region of Akwa Ibom State, Cross River State and even beyond to Cameroon and equatorial Guinea from 1880 - 1950 Efik had popular Newspapers and these included UNWANA, OBODOM, OBUPKONG etc.

 

Efik has produced many literary men and women who surfaced with pride in African Literary world

 

In 1933 an English Post- graduate student, Miss Ida Ward got her D. Litt degree in Efik Language. Prof. Okon Esien a fomer H.O.D, Linguistics, University of Calabar also bagged his Phd in Efik Language from the University of Edinburgh, late Obong Akpanyung an Efik language specialist and Author also studied and specialized in Efik language from school of Oriental and Africa studies, London. the Efik language has for long gotten international status as a Research and Phd subject since 1930s

 

In 1938, at the literary contest by the International institute of African languages, London, E. N. Amaku's popular Efik literature Abasi Ekpenyong toppled the list for the first prize award.

 

In 1962, E. A. Edyang's popular SIDIBE (Efik drama - Romance) got the first prize during the Pan- African Drama Competition organized by an American University.

 

In 1970 again, Dr. E.N. Amaku's popular Drama, INYANG Abari Ndem fetched the author another first prize award.

 

In 1972, the University of Ibadan for his great contribution in Efik Pose, Drama, Pror of letters

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