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This study attempts to look at the metamorphoses of West African languages into written status and subsequently the acquisition of translation skills by West Africans during the spread of Islam and Christianity. With the trans-Saharan and Atlantic contacts, literacy spread in the sub-region and native languages became written, facilitating the translation of the Bible and the Qur’an into local languages, especially with Roman script. Africans who participated in the translations of the Scriptures became skillful translators and experts in both English and regional languages. This study concludes that the enthusiasm and dedication of the missionaries who developed local languages should be emulated to further enrich African languages to a competitive and international standard.
Journal of Translation