When you read someone’s blog, do you ever wonder what they sound like? I don’t usually, but if I ever talk to them in person, sometimes I find that I’m surprised by how they sound. I guess even though I wasn’t thinking about it, I had created a picture in my head of what someone who writes a certain way would sound like.
Well I guess I should let you know that I don’t sound Nigerian, or even African when I talk. Apparently when we moved to Canada from Nigeria after three years of living in Naija, I had a bit of an accent: I pronounced “chicken” shicken, I said saLAD instead of SAlad (ie I put the accent on the wrong part of the word). I can’t remember my other English mistakes but I know I had a number of them because I was put in English as a Second Language classes when we arrived here. I also used to say words like “boot” instead of trunk and parlor instead of “living room”. But over twenty years of living in North America has resulted in me sounding more North American than Nigerian.
So, are you curious to hear what I sound like? Good. If not, I’ll admit I recorded this 100% for my own amusement. What you will find at the link is me reading this entry up to this point.
I’ve always liked my voice (even though I sound like I live to enunciate) but I wish I had a bit of a Naija accent. When I speak Yoruba I think I sound pretty authentic, but the laughs of those listening to me makes me think I have some work to do. Oh, and I don’t always get the intonation right, so instead of saying “egg” I say “teeth” or “you people” in Yoruba.
Anyways, when I joined a Nigerian forum and got to know some of the people there, we started having these phone conferences and it was during those conferences that I was introduced to some very hot (male) Yoruba accents and I have to tell you: the Nigerian accent can hold its own among the sexy accents in the world, but maybe this is because most Naija men I’ve talked to have nice deep voices and who doesn’t like a deep voice on a man? I’ve talked to Naija guys based in the UK and they generally have delicious accents, and it’s cool to hear the switch between sounding like the Queen one moment, then sounding very Nigerian the next (sadly things never progressed to TMIND status or beyond).
I sound totally oyinbo when I speak Yoruba, and I’m not brave enough to even try speaking Pidgin because I have zero exposure to it: my parents never spoke it at home. I can recognize some Pidgin if the speaker talks very slowly, but that’s about it. Can you see now why I need to marry a Naijaman? Once I move out I won’t have mummy and daddy to remind me what a correct Naija accent sounds like!
So, have you ever spoken with someone you became friends with online and been surprised by their accent? What are your feelings generally about the Nigerian accent?