Enclosed are four different Yoruba words and their English translations:
Ogún = Twenty
These four words are visually the same, save for the visible accent marks, but they’re phonetically and denotatively different. Consequently, without the visible accent marks, these words are totally indistinguishable if used in a sentence, making Yoruba very difficult to read. Similar examples abound in the Yoruba language, in its written form.
The difficulty one experiences in reading and understanding Yoruba words without the accent marks speaks neither to any form of defect in the Yoruba language per se nor to any defect in the Latin script adapted for its transcription.
However, if written scripts are generally adapted to visually represent sounds, it’s safe to conclude that Latin script is not robust enough for the transcription of the Yoruba language.
And based on this reason, I think Yorubas should develop an indigenous Yoruba script to transcribe their own language.
by Ifa Dare