Speaking through the nose

Hi.

I never thought I spoke through my nose until I came back to Nigeria. I’ve had people telling me that I speak and it sounds like “wih wih wih”. The funniest was on a Sunday. I went to a church service on the law school campus and I was asked to read a bible passage. Afterwards the pastor said that I read too fast and I was talking through my nose. Lol! Speaking through the nose for me = different intonation. Either that or I do actually speak through my nose.

I think there are four types of people who “speak throughthe nose”. The first are those that were born and bred abroad. The second are those who have been away from their country of origin and have lived abroad for a long period of time. The third are those who have been there for a short period of time and somehow come back with an accent. The fourth are those that mimic the accent from watching films and tv shows and listening to music. The third is especially funny.

I have had the most random responses:

    “This girl de blow too much grammar”. (This girl is speaking too much grammar).

    “What?”

    A guy turned to his friend. “What did she say?”

    *Weird look*

    “Americanah!”

    “This is not America! Speak like a Nigerian!”

    *Blank face*

    (Little child) “I want to go to America and speak like her!”

    Laughter

    “You have to learn how to speak like a Nigerian!”

Several people have told me that I need to learn my language. I know my language and I do understand it. Just need to speak it more. I know where my village is, have been to it a lot since I was eleven. It doesn’t stop scenarios like this from happening:

    Guy: Hello. What is your name?”
    Me: Answer
    Guy: Where do you come from?
    Me: Answer
    Guy: What is the name of your town?”
    Me: You won’t know it. Next you’ll be asking me about my local government area.
    Guy: I’m Igbo and I’m also from your state.
    Me: I tell him the name of my village and add my local government area.
    Guy: Do you speak your language?
    Me: Not so much. I do understand though.
    Guy: You need to learn how to speak your language.
    Me: I’m already aware of that. I have been trying.
    Guy: The way you’re pronouncing the name of your village, it has no meaning.
    Me: You should be lucky I know the name of my village. I don’t need you to tell me how to speak.

My accent gives people the license to tell me that I need to know my country. Moving back and wanting to live in my country of origin is not enough. It is what it is.

Till next time.

NaijaBrit88

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6 thoughts on “Speaking through the nose

  1. Why do Nigerians hate foreign accents? If you sound foreign, they say you’re a fake. Even here in the UK, I still can’t win. Last week, two girls on the bus giggled aloud as I spoke on the phone – apparently I sound too posh for a South Londoner. Seriously, people should understand that it’s not how we speak that’s important, it’s WHAT we speak.

    • I think it’s because it’s different from what they know. Some, no offence, I think it’s down to a complex. I simply asked someone to pass me something and his response was, “Little girl, I don’t know how they do in America but this is Nigeria!”.

      I understand what you mean and I agree. I grew up in East London but I don’t have the typical East London accent. Doesn’t matter how you speak everyone will have something to say.

  2. Looool. You should be glad you have not been told that you only speak the way you do because you probably went to drop someone at the Muritala Muhammed International Airport and not because you actually grew up abroad.

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