Everybody in Nigeria can speak pidgin English and it is not farfetched that big corporations will be looking to translate documents, videos, or audios in order to reach a wider audience in Nigeria.
The Origins of Nigerian Pidgin English
In the seventeenth century, Nigerians and Portuguese traders used Nigerian Pidgin English (NPE) as a common language for trade. Due to migrant Nigerians, it is broken English similar to Patois and Creole that is spoken along the coast of West Africa. In contrast to English, this lingua franca lasted in Nigeria after the missionaries left and is now the language that is most commonly spoken there. The Portuguese words “sabi” (to know) and “pikin” (kid) are still prevalent in the NPE.
NPE is viewed as a distorted form of English that the illiterate use, despite the fact that everyone in Nigeria speaks it extensively and from a young age. Both literate and illiterate people in the nation can speak and understand Ping, though it is primarily used in informal settings and English is the official language and the primary language of instruction. Examples of literate people in the nation include the president, politicians running for office, lawyers, and doctors.
Versions of the Nigerian pidgin in English
Although the Nigerian pidgin English has been adopted by all and sundry, there are still some distinct versions of the language depending on who is speaking it.
Warri is a town in an oil producing state of Nigeria and some believe that it has the best version of Pidgin English. Others still argue that they love how the Edo people speak pidgin English.
But pidgin English is not owned by any ethnic group, and there is not a “best” way of speaking pidgin, only a correct way of speaking the language.
Industries that normally look for people with Nigerian English language skills
1. Overseas medical centers
Nigerians are always in the habit of flying off to foreign countries for even the smallest medical conditions, and this has made us a top target for countries seeking medical tourists. India, the UK, and Turkey are a few of the countries that expect to receive Nigerian patients.
Over time, medical facilities want Nigerians to feel at ease, which is why they need to translate documents in Pindi and even advertise their businesses in Pindi.
But of course, there are some Nigerians who can’t relate in English anyway or who find the English versions of the host countries too tricky and who will feel more at home seeing or hearing things in pidgin English.
2. Manufacturers (product manuals)
Chinese and western manufacturers are always looking to enter the Nigerian market. While their product manuals are written in English, a lot of them still find the need to employ language experts in Ping who can further translate their documents.
All this is done to appeal to the Nigerian audience.
3. Foreign media companies
The BBC and Voice of America (VOA) are two giant organizations that have pidgin on their menu. These companies, however, are more likely to hire experts for their editorial needs, so if your education and experience in the language are not sound, they are not likely to employ you.
4. Speech and language processing companies
A prime example of this is Google, the search engine, which has a Nigerian English version. Surely, it is Nigerians who work for such companies to translate search queries into Nigerian pidgin.
There are also speech-to-text applications for Nigerian pidgin, and I assure you that it is only a matter of time before it is used as a voice in Google Maps.
Natural language processing companies also like to test the efficacy of their software against a variety of software and will be keen to see how their software will perform against the Nigerian pidgin.
Where to find pidgin English jobs for Nigerians
A company called Appen offers a variety of work-from-home opportunities. Most of the time, these jobs involve evaluating what search engines and social media platforms have to offer or training AI.
Human input is included in Appen’s AI/Machine Learning model to enhance the quality of data, goods, and technologies for its customers. Global leaders in technology, including Microsoft, Apple, Google, and Facebook, as well as businesses from other sectors and the government, are among the clients.
The independent agents that work for Appen are given a 6-month contract by the business. Depending on how well the contractor does, the company may or may not automatically renew the contract for another period of the same length.
Language and internet analyst jobs are two of the jobs where you can apply your English language skills.
One of the best places to find appen jobs is on LinkedIn, so optimize your LinkedIn profile for language jobs. And by the way, Appen is not limited to only pidgin as the three major languages of Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba are all on Appen.
Right now, this is the most realistic place of finding pidgin English jobs for Nigerians.
On the online marketplace known as Fiverr, users can charge $5 for each of their goods or services. Fiverr connects customers and sellers from across the world. Five dollars per task may not sound like much, but if you know what to do, those modest sales can quickly build up to hundreds of thousands of naira.
No matter your expertise or skill level, you have something to offer Fiverr’s worldwide marketplace for outsourced services. The services that are offered include, among others, translations, hilarious films, graphic design, social networking, and business promotion. On Fiverr, these services are referred to as “GIGS.”
Visit the Fiverr website and simply set up a gig offering to help anyone with a PingGin English need.
One of the biggest, if not the biggest, freelance outsourcing marketplaces is Freelancer.com, where businesses (clients) and workers (independent contractors) can connect. It is a digital marketplace where bright and skilled freelancers can advertise their skills to potential clients. Sydney, Australia is home to Freelancer.com’s corporate headquarters.
I have personally enjoyed some good success on freelancer.com, and I encourage you to create a language portfolio and stay online to bid for jobs.