If you are going to fake an accent, at least be convincing
So I bumped into an old friend sometime and much as I was happy to see her, I couldn’t help but notice that she spoke with what I can only assume was a British accent gone horribly wrong. Asking where she had disappeared to, she spoke without a twitch, ‘Namibia.’
I would like to make some Namibian friends and find out if they all speak with seriously lame British accents. And how do you go to Namibia and come back speaking like a retarded Englishman anyway?
I have noticed that in this country, the best way to attract attention to yourself is to speak English in a public place – like a salon or in a taxi. I was in a salon once, my phone rang and when I spoke, everyone looked at me as though I were speaking Xhosa! I’d like to think I sounded like the Queen but trust that my true African roots failed me. Yet still they looked!
But some people have taken seeking attention too far. In a bus once, the chick seated next to me received a phone call and man did she talk. Talking is okay, it is her right, but it was the way she talked that made me want to throw her through the bus window – had it not been unlawful, I probably would have!
She kept putting r’s where they didn’t belong. “Hi, warts urp? Yearh, I’m in the burs burt I will call you when I’m there.” Really??? I don’t know what she thought she was doing but it sounded so wrong, I actually wished I was deaf!
The stares she got from other people must have misguided her into thinking she sounded like she invented the English language because she made it a point not to shut up! And it is on days such as these that you forget to carry your ear phones!
People, just some advice, whether you want it or not – if you are going to fake an accent, for the sake of other people’s sanity, please oh please do it well. If you can’t, then just drop the whole idea. Don’t worry, no one will blame you for talking like an African because you are in fact an African!
Be yourself. Speak like you. People will like and respect you much better. Some people speak the way they usually do then choose to change the accent in the presence of a white person or someone with a real accent. That is even more annoying. Practice heavily before you come boring people’s ears with r’s and using silly little words like ‘innit’ where they don’t even belong!
Contact email: rachelgaruka[at]yahoo.co.uk