Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 132

Full Length Research Paper

Error analysis in billboard advertisements written in Afan Oromo in Jimma town

Guta Legese
  • Guta Legese
  • Department of English Language and Literature, Jimma University, Ethiopia.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 20 July 2015
  •  Accepted: 29 February 2016
  •  Published: 31 July 2016


The main objective of the study is to analyze the errors in billboard advertisements written in Afan Oromo in Jimma town. There are many writing problems on most of the billboards in the town. However, the data collection for this study focused only on the errors that totally changed the meaning of the words and phrases and affected communication. In order to achieve the main objective, three specific objectives related to the types of errors in the writings of the billboards, the extent to which the errors affect communication, and the negative impacts of the errors on the development of the language were formulated. The data for the study were collected through observation. The collected data were analyzed qualitatively. The result of the study shows that letters are misspelled in most words of the advertisements as a result of which the word meaning is changed to an unintended one, in most phrases or sentences in which double adjectives were used, the adjectives were disordered and the sentences or phrases became meaningless, and some phrases or sentences are directly translated from Amahric to Afan Oromo which is not correct because Afan Oromo has its own rule. The errors have no specific purpose or they were not to attract attention of the consumers to the product.  Generally, it is possible to say that the errors are high in magnitude because they not only affect communication but also they have negative impact on development of the language (Afan Oromo). Hence, Jimma University, specifically, Afan Oromo Department, should work cooperatively with the culture and tourism office of the town and other concerned bodies to mitigate the writing problems observed in the town because teaching the language (Afan Oromo) alone cannot develop the language, but it requires a perpetual follow up of how people are using the language.

Key words: Bill board advertisement, Afan Oromo, error, professionals, adjective, phrase, morpheme, derived adjectives, intended meaning, diverted meaning, inscribers, anonymity.