Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is Oyibo land - Accents

I saw my My Fair Lady over the weekend and It inspired my first post on “This is Oyiboland” series; Accents!

Some Nigerians coming to the UK or those visiting or already living here spend so much time and effort twisting their tongues and vocal chords to sound more English than the English. Then you come here and find out that half of the people you meet have the most atrocious local accents. The joke is on you, lol!
If you are like me, you probably wonder like Professor Higgins … Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?”
Stand corrected:  The highly praised posh English accent we usually admire on the BBC news popularly known as the Queen’s English is not spoken everywhere. Welcome to the 35 regional dialects/accents one can find in England.
If you are lucky to be in the South, London (not East London though), Oxford, you would be surrounded by 'regular' accented English speakers because the Queen's accent originated from there. But you should also note that where you were educated determines how posh one sounds. Brits who attended public schools sound more posh than those who went to the local comprehensive. Also the more blue your blood is, the posh-er you’ll sound.
But as you move North, your ears will become assaulted by accents with unpleasant twangs that even you with your broad African accent would sneer at. And the bullets? (grammatical errors) you would think you are in the grammar war zone.

Watching local stations becomes a futile exercise cause its unlikely you'll understand what is being said. Shopping - a comedy of errors trying to understand and make yourself be understood. Interestingly those regional (I have to add ‘unschooled’) ones are the most impatient when it comes to listening and understanding you and your accent. Imagine that?!

In recent times, in the spirit of integration and erosion of class distinction, other accents have now become accepted in the mainstream especially in media like the BBC. E.g. Cockney, Brummie, Welsh and other accents influenced by them. Even celebrity sportsmen and stand up comedians wear their regional accents like a badge of honor nowadays. Love them or hate them…..
So for all ye British wannabes, it might just do you good to stick to your unique and lovely indigenous accent and be proud of it.

This guy speaking English in 24 accents could help you understand what I am saying…the Nigerian accent was last…was that an Ibo man’s accent?


  1. laughing in Brummie accent! lol nice post!

  2. lol...certainly an Igbo accent, that Nigerian one...the Indian one is funny too.

  3. @Sisi Yemmie - lol, Brummie na die! Hope you know its the least liked accent in England by popular vote...lol.
    @Anoda phase - Yes, the indian accent is. Reminds me of the comedy "Mind your language".

  4. I'm fascinated by people who do accents particularly when they are so good. He try oh.

    Thanks for the Easter greeting on my blog. Hope you had a good one too. The Nigerian senate has called for a review of the NYSC. You can read more about it in my latest post. Have a good week - I know say we don reach middle already.

  5. Hahahahahahahhaha..... very funny post.

    Our people sabi put on accents.... no be small.

  6. Whoi! This was a helluva fun.. The guy is tew good. That Indian and Chinese accent ehn? Even the Australian one and the redneck.. correct!
    As for the naija, I think It sounded more Yoruba than Ibo

  7. haha yea i heard there are different british accents and the posher u are, the cooler your accent is lol. Abeg jor i'm going to rock my naija accent till the death of me :p

  8. Hey I was thinking of this a few weeks back-- there was a lady on youtube with 21 different accents.. really funny! (esp the Birmingham-- brummie? one)

  9. I was in Scotland for three year and my word, you're so right. This post got me laughing too, and that Fair Lady skit, lol. It's easier to keep your Nigerian accent in UK, our English already has British undertones, but this US must not corrupt me.

  10. I agree with you Ginger Sister. By the way, that last video, that guy is awesome! I've seen a lady do the same before in 7 accents. haha

    - LDP

  11. Great post Ginger
    I always wonder why some Naija people try to form efizzy by using fake accents when speaking.

    If you speak slowly and clearly, people understand.

    As for regional accents - I struggle to understand some - Scottish and Brummie especially.

  12. I love the lilting musical accents of Jamaica more than any other vocal sound in the world. I don't always know what they are saying, but who cares when they say it so beautifully!

  13. LOL!!! I love this post Ginger! Honestly, more people should read this. hehehe

    btw i loved My Fair Lady- 'the rain in spain falls mainly in the plain' lol

    and thanks for your email


  14. This guy is absolutely amazing!


  15. For the most part, I don't see it as forming if you've been in the west for a while and your accent has become more British or American or whatever it is where you're. The other bit that I think pisses people off is when CLEARLY the Nigerian accent is still there and the person(s) is/are trying hard to make it sound more western even at the expense of looking stupid. Imagine someone calling Potato "Por-Rah-ro" in the quest to sound more "American" surely the natives ain't calling it that so chill and say Potato



Related Posts with Thumbnails