I know there are questions with similar titles, but I've checked and they aren't asking what I'm asking.
I've recently started working with a guy from Nigeria, and in our discussions I've found myself a bit uncertain about what he means by certain things. The biggest one that stands out is how he uses the word 'would'.
For example, if we're discussing an issue and we're both uncertain about how to proceed, he might say the following: "I would ask John how to proceed."
Now to me, raised American but living in England, that sounds most like a suggestion: it's a suggestion to me to ask John.
But after clarifying with him, I'm certain that he actually meant, "I will ask John". When he says "I would do x", he is not making a suggestion, he is telling me what he is going to do.
What precedent does this use of the word 'would' have? Is it an archaic form that has continued use in certain parts of the world? Is it unique to certain African English-speaking countries? I'm curious about the source of it.
Not sure if I've tagged the question correctly. Please let me know if there are more suitable tags.