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Monday, June 01, 2015


Our accents makes it easier to know where an individual comes from. Some accents are considered sexy, some melodious, while some are made mockery of. The first time, I heard the accent of a Trinidad and Tobago lady's, I didn't want her to stop talking, because it was like she was singing the words out. My accent is Edo-ish, especially when I am speaking in pidgin. Though, I have been here for 3 years, I have not acquired American accent. Forget the 'gonna, 'wanna' and 'ain't' words that I sometimes write in my posts, I was just being a tease. I don't say the words. An Indian man, immediately knew where I came from, when I entered his cab and  he heard me talking on the phone. 


Yesterday, my accent was liked once more, but, some also disliked my accent. The people who liked my accent were whites, while the few that disliked my accent were blacks! My accent has also removed the stereotype tag on me. I went to a beauty shop owned by a Chinese, looking for  2 similar ponytails, I stood staring at the counter for a while, because I could not find 2 that were same. The manager walked up to me to asked what the problem was, I explained to him, he also searched, there was none, so he left me. I eventually, took 2 different ponytails. I knew why he came, he thought, I was up to no good! 

I love the British accent most. It took me a while to grasp the AA accent. In all fairness, the whites are more patient to listen to other accents, and politely ask to repeat yourself if they can't understand . Unlike, some blacks who will snicker. Even, amongst ourselves, we make mockery of each other accents. I remember, the first month, I arrived, a Nigerian said 'I just got off the boat!' When he heard me speak. My brother was teasing me last time we spoke, why was I still talking like a 9ja? Because, he earlier on  spoke with his nieces and nephews, and their accents were different from mine, especially my 4th child. We laughed and I told him, that my Edo accent, is so concentrated, that it will need plenty of 'water' to dilute it!

In all, I believe accents makes everyone unique.

Happy new month to you all!  


Clara said...

Good morning!
Me, my accent is all over the place! I speak French and German with a British accent, British English with Nigerian undertones abi Nigerian with British undertones sef, and Yoruba sometimes like an Ibo person. The funny thing is my accents become thicker or weaker depending on the people I'm talking to. Put me amongst Nigerians for one day for instance, and I will have lost most of my British accent! I think the brain is real cool with how it does all these language things.

@ilola said...

Lol. When it comes to accents, I don't even bother. I speak like a true Nigerian every country I find myself. How many do I want to fake naa?

I love British accent too, but even they have several accents, depending on what part of Britain you are from. The people from up north speak differently from the people from London, etc.

Parental Consent turns Deadly

sykik said...

Lol @ my Edo accent, is so concentrated, that it will need plenty of 'water' to dilute it!

Abeg, do you o don't need to fake anything. Not like some people who go to Dubai for a week and come back with British accent.

Toinlicious said...

If i had a British accent, i'd never shut up lol

Happy new month!

Nitty-Gritty said...

@Clara, ahahahaha, all join #waffi accent# my dear.

Nitty-Gritty said...

The real queens English accent o.

Nitty-Gritty said...

Ahahaha @ go to dubai

Nitty-Gritty said...

AHAHAHA @ never shut up. Yes ke!

J Ausserehl said...

I have an Indian classmate who makes me laugh when she talks. I'm not mocking her, (OK sometimes I do) the Thai girls in class too speak funny but like u say, its what sets us apart culturally.
Most accents I can immediately figure out where the person is from(yeah, I watch a lot of movies!) I actually find it cool that all these ppl who talk differently are learning one language and its easy to tell by speech who isn't German especially on the phone! Gorgeousness sometimes teases me when I talk German because I still find it hard stressing my tongue with words! Just last week, my teacher spent all of five mins teaching me how to pronounce "ich" I nearly went crazy! Lol
But yeah, kids pick up accents faster just like they do with languages!

Good Naija Girl said...

I love accents; I'm partial to the British accent as well. People from the Islands are said to speak with a "lilt", it's that lovely sing-song quality they have! :)

In order for an adult who grew up elsewhere to lose their accent, they have to deliberately try to, and it kind of makes me sad to think about why they would feel the need to lose their accent: is it lack of pride in their origins? A need to "fit in" with the society they live in? Some countries may put pressure on immigrants to adapt to their way of speaking but I don't like that.

One of our family friends has lived in Canada for over 40 years and she still has her British accent. My parents have lived in Northern America for more than half of their lives (30 years+) and they both have their accents, though of course the way they pronounce some words have adapted to the Canadian pronunciation: it's impossible to live somewhere and not adapt at least some pronunciation; I see this more as a "local dialect". A couple of my closest friends are immigrants from European countries, who came to Canada around age 13-14. They all still have a subtle accent—you can tell they are not born and raised in Canada. Because of this I'm always suspicious when someone who leaves Nigeria at age 20 returns at age 24 with a completely different accent.

It bothers me when I hear someone immediately say "pardon?" when speaking to someone with an accent, especially when the person has barely said two words. Sometimes (not always), it can be a subtle way of saying "You sound different from me and I am judging you for this", which can be a subtle form of racism. Thankfully this sort of thing is not so common; most who say "pardon?" genuinely did not understand. As a child I was very protective of my parents because of racists, so I think I can sense when someone truly doesn't understand what they're saying and when they're just trying to make them feel inferior for having a different accent.

Great topic!

Nitty-Gritty said...

I hail you and Clara for learning a new language...I don't have 'ears' for language...still cannot speak Yoruba! Yes, it is so easy for Kids!

Nitty-Gritty said...

A friend said whenever someone tells her excuse me or pardon me or I don't understand what you are saying, she also tells the person, she does not understand what she is saying either! That always makes them keep quiet!

I was in the bus one day, a black guy entered and mistakenly stepped on the foot of a lady, when the bus moved. He profusely apologized, instantly, I knew what part of Africa he was from,the lady and her friends were snickering, I was annoyed.

You know intuitively, those who don't understand from those who wants to make a mockery of you. Our accent is part of our identity, which we cannot lost.
Thanks for the compliment Jummy.