The University of The Gambia, UTG, on Monday started a lecture on the Mandinka language.
The lecture was delivered by a veteran professor and guest lecturer Dennis Creissels. It focused on the Manding spoken in The Gambia, Middle Casamance, Guinea Bissau and Eastern Senegal.
The lecture was attended by university students, the former parliamentarian for Wuli West, Sidia Jatta, UTG vice chancellor Professor Muhamadou Kah, Dr Omar Jah of the UTG and other staff of the university and the Gambia College.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Sidia Jatta expressed delight in the visit of the professor from France, who came to share his experience and expertise with Gambians.
According to him, the guest lecturer has a wealth of experience and is very knowledgeable, adding that he taught him (Sidia Jatta) at one time.
Jatta went on to describe professor Creissel as someone who has done a lot of research, and this was an opportunity for the students to engage him.
Professor Muhamadou Kah thanked Sidia Jatta for linking professor Creissel to the UTG, and stressed the importance of knowing our indigenous languages, which he described as key.
The UTG vice chancellor went on to advise the students to take the lecture seriously, as it can yield dividends in their life. He said the Gambia has a young university, and having such a lecturer will greatly help some of the students to be inspired to become linguists.
He also urged the students to love their local languages, and be proud of them, and to make an effort to know more than one local language.
Professor Dennis Creisssel thanked the government of the Gambia for giving him the opportunity to come and share his ideas and expertise with the Gambian students, particularly those at the university.