Nigerians and their “Foreign Accent Syndrome”

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Click for Full Image Size This article was written by Nike (Dee Prodigal Daughter), she describes her experience with Nigerians with ‘FUNE’.

Words cannot describe how ashamed I was when she opened her mouth, the accent that proceeded there from was nothing to write home about. This was a Nigerian lady who had only been in the U.S. for 3months!! Do we really know what it sounds like when someone with a THICK Nigerian accent (be it Igbo, Yoruba or Hausa), tries to form American accent? That’s recipe for disaster.

Ok. Let me press pause right there. This article is not about Nigerians that grew up or were born in the U.S. and neither is it about ALL Nigerians that live in the U.S. (I say U.S. a lot because that’s where I’m most familiar.)

This article is about Nigerians with a thick Nigerian accent who feel the need to impress by attempting to switch their Nigerian accent for an American (or British or Whatever) accent. Listen, it just does not work!!! It does not sound good and you end up making a fool of yourself. Either back in Nigeria, or here in the States (or Wherever).

I have to admit that when I initially got into the U.S (as a grown up), I thought it was required of me to speak with an American accent. Well, guess what? They could not understand a freaking word I said!!!! I had to repeat myself over and over and over. You can imagine how tiring that would be. But each time I spoke like myself, natural and all, I was comfortable, at ease and the conversations flowed a lot better than when I tried too hard.

Ok. Pause again. It is only natural, that when you are in the mist of Americans all the time, you’ll pick up some words here and there. You will even sound different sometimes. But it’s not like your entire vocabulary will turn upside down!!

Furthermore, some Nigerian artistes are guilty of this offense. I mean, is it me or are there some certain artistes that just feel the need to “hype” up their persona and English when granting interviews within and most especially outside Nigeria? That’s simply infuriating to watch. It stresses me out and it just does not feel right.

If you are able to pick up the foreign accent and speak it well, then good for you. But if not, it does not make you any less American (or foreign) than you already are.

I remember when I was in Nigeria some months back. The first few days were filled with me sounding American-ish. But 2 weeks into my trip, I was sounding as Nigerian as ever, and proudly so. That I’ve been in America for so long does not mean I must have an accent. And trust me, Nigerians know when you are faking it. They can tell.

In 2011, Nigerian accent was ranked as the 5th Sexiest in the WORLD!!! Think I’m lying?

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zoete | 8/4/2012 2:46:33 AMI'm so glad that someone told you guys the truth. Don't try to impress people by faking a foreign accents because you guys are africans and we foreigners also now when you guys are faking it. So don't try to be a wannebe it just doesn't work hahaahahah Reply this thread
Crystal | 8/4/2012 3:13:49 AM | Dnt mind these fake ppl, 4 d artistes, Rita n Ini are most definitely guilty!
Someone Somewhere | 8/4/2012 4:23:33 AM | Oge Okoye,Ini EdO guilty of fake accent,Tonto Sometimes Oge,s own is very annoying,even Ini,that we know was from a village
Sly | 8/4/2012 3:31:37 AM | When you are in Rome....... So you know anyone in the US or UK speaking as if they live in 9ja? No freaking way!
Crystal | 8/4/2012 6:50:07 AM | Happy weekend dearies!. Sly u dnt hav 2 behave lyk a Roman overnite if u're in Rome, d attitude wil blend in naturally, @Someone, I even 4got Oge...lol
Sly | 8/4/2012 6:56:27 AM | Abi o,Crystal, thanx for asking after me. Don't mind nfc jare. Have a great weekend.
Someone Somewhere | 8/4/2012 8:04:34 AM | Crystal dear am fine,yes ooo Oge Okoye,s own is Irritating,happy weekend
Sly | 8/4/2012 6:50:35 AM | It is called " Phone" carved from the word " Phonetics" NOT "FUNE" Get some education. Second base jare.
Adamu Garba® | 8/4/2012 8:22:47 AM | Hey Sly Mann
Did u spot our Genny Nnaji at the London Olympics?
Watching Serena Williams beat Maria Sharapova(Russia)for GOLD?
NBC(TV) Cameras zoomed in on Genny a couple times!!
Our Genny STAR was spotted in the HUGE Crowd wowwww!!
Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhh Bbyyyyyyyy!!
Crystal | 8/4/2012 8:52:09 AM | Are u serious! wow, a gold fish truly cant hide. *smiling heartily*
Someone Somewhere | 8/4/2012 9:41:40 AM | Woowwwwwww Genny was spooted,super star for life,queen Genny
Lalaland | 8/4/2012 1:44:12 PM | Una bushness is embarrassing!! So fhucking what if the old skeletor genefhuckinve was shown on No Body Cares (NBC) TV? That is if the old cow was shown sef! Aha! Una fhucking fhuckers know how many pepo are in the olympic park in london watching the games (me and lolo included)! Stewpid ediots! It aint NO biggie!! EVERYONE is at the olympic park watching the games here in London sef! Its only bush ediots like you fhuckers na think say it is a biggie! Mtchew!
Lalaland | 8/4/2012 1:57:31 PM | In high order:
Over size nose Yul edochie
Bleached Ton-dont-give-a-fhuck-to
Skeletor genefhuckingve
Albino yam legs monalisa
Ugly oge k-legged-okoye
Chika-k-legged-fatbumpy nose ike
Red puffy FAT swollen mike ezernouye
Dirty looking chaka
All the marketeers that manage get small part
Rotten teeth old mama uche fat jumbo
Retired old looking bimbo akintola
Relic joke silva
Jim Robin Hood Iyke
Fhuckthalon chidi chikere
Nse GAPPY DRAGON TEETH Ikem or whatever the name be sef....

Many more to come....

yeye | 8/4/2012 2:18:09 PM | Laland, have you heard this director-turned-actor, Ugezu J. Ugezu? His accent is like Igbo meets Yoruba meets big big english. And his facials just makes everything worse. He always reduces me to the point of pure disgust.
nwane | 8/4/2012 3:03:43 PM | Steph Okereke is the flag bearer of fakers club and can be a disaster!
Stephanie O attempted the Ameri-British accent but failed miserably now she has resorted to well spoken Nigerian English which is 100% better she is almost par with Genevieve. Im surprised that Emeka Ike has been in the game this long and still kills us with his Ameri-british mispronounced accent . Sometimes I wish the directors will stop being stingy and retake some scenes .
Van Vicker (yes i know he's Ghanian)Jim Iyke, Mona Lisa, Stephanie etc have weird accents which spoils their acting.
Sly | 8/4/2012 11:24:46 AM | Yes o,i saw Queen Jenny,looking as cute as a diamond. But i didn't see our mutual "friend" Basketmouth- aka Lala,anywhere ( he claims he's been in UK since a week),even though he's been digging dishes at the Nigeria house -dirty dishes used by Queen Jenny & Co.Hahahahaha!! Have yourself a fine weekend,my good friend jare.
kesco | 8/4/2012 1:17:51 PM | They should concentrate on good grammar instead of forcing or straining themselves to sound like Americans.
Many don't even know American accents range by region within the USA. I cannot stop laughing. I watch NTA all the time and I know few presenters that do this. Very funny!
ANNA | 8/4/2012 6:35:31 PM | ADAMU NOR BE UNA GENNY DEM SAY DEY SPOT FOR NEWYORK OYA HOW DEM TAKE SPOT HER NA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAH MALLAM U DEY FAST O U STILL DEY LIE KAI NO BE LONDON DEM DO OLYMPICS GOAT!!
she is a fool | 8/4/2012 3:07:50 AMShe want to b funetic nija gals are too fake Reply this thread
That naija boy! | 8/4/2012 3:40:58 AMU know men! Yeah men! When i was in america men...men men men...lol! Reply this thread
Scarlett. | 8/4/2012 3:52:46 AMJeez! There's nothing more irritating than that 'Fune'. Most people that indulge in that, have not even crossed the borders. They feel that automatically they would be thought of as civilised when they speak like that. Well it's disgusting jare.....A lot of nollywood artistes are guilty of this; Tonto, Oge, Mike, Ini, chika and even up-coming acts. Lawd have mercy! I just feel irritated when I see them trying so hard... Reply this thread
MADAM | 8/4/2012 7:02:57 AMInitially i wanted to just be me, which i am proud of anytime T Juntion J, but each time i speak, i am always left in the cold like them saying "i didn't understand a word of what you said" i will laugh and tell myself well "na me need una" hence i will twist my tongue and say it how they will understand me.
Reply this thread
shante | 8/4/2012 9:17:53 AMWho rank nigeria 5th sexiest accent pls dont liar Reply this thread
the wonderful wizard of oz | 8/4/2012 12:52:59 PM | From ur cynical tone and name i can judge ur not nigerian nd hate anything we stand for. And yes, it was ranked by CNN. U can check it out for urself. Nd by d way, i think some1 should tell u ur name sounds like a diabolic ritual.
ganger | 8/4/2012 11:12:25 AMonly a Nigerian will travel to Dubai and came back with American accent...fake pple Reply this thread
gidi4lyf | 8/4/2012 12:49:54 PMahe speaks phonee wid american, british and canadian accent same time in every sentence. very annoying Reply this thread
rasaq | 8/4/2012 2:45:59 PM | u guys should stop talking about stephnie okereke cos she read english language.
Rich kid | 8/4/2012 2:54:27 PM | wow!Stephanie okereke read english!How she graduated has to b d 11th wonder of the world,because her spoken english is abysmal at best.steph is the ring leader-the kingpin of fake accents.she's not such a brilliant actress too.
***and i'm being lenient***
kkk | 8/4/2012 1:02:09 PMare we talking of diction or just ratling in a fake american ascent like Jim Iyke and most other actors/actresses mentioned here. many people in Nigeria can actually speak good english, I mean good english not fake phonetics.
I think Olu and Joke Jacobs, Pete Edochie,Bimbo, Lanre Balogun, Bob Manuel and a few others are quite sound. Mercy Johnson diction is good as well Reply this thread
Chissy | 8/4/2012 1:07:44 PMWhat's with the fake American accents on Naija radio and television. It's so silly and cringy! I don't know why that crap still persist in these day and age! They need to check themselves, man! Because that s**t is silly!
some of those presenters have never even step out of Naija o! Reply this thread
Annie | 8/4/2012 1:23:36 PM | Lmao!!! This is why Gbemi from Beat Fm is one of my favorite, the girl keeps it real with her Naija accent unlike that Oreka who sounds as if she's missing her tongue.That heifer makes me cringe whenever I hear her talk, Olisa too is a weist, fake accent,
Gbemi and Freeze are my best radio presenters,

Its annoying cos sometimes i have to turn off my radio whenever I hear some of these fake ppl talking on my radio

RBX | 8/4/2012 5:53:31 PM | i turn off my radio every single time darling, it hurts so much that ou people have such a strange complex. "Foreign is good" is Naija's motto. I've been in many African countries and in the west and only Nigeria seems to have this problem. I think a pre-requisite for working there is to be able to fake an accent. They even employ actual foreigners like Dan Foster who no actually try to change their own accent to be more naija cos they know the right thing.
kwami | 8/4/2012 1:10:56 PMFunny part - a large proportion of these fakes haven't even been out of Nigeria. WHy people cant be themselves baffles me
As some posts above said , some of them have not even been to Murtala Muhammed Airport or any international airport much less been out of Nigeria. And even if they have been out of Nigeria, they may have only visited Cameroon or Ghana. Reply this thread
abdul | 8/4/2012 1:29:24 PMBecause they are having Igbotic accent, Ekiti/Ijesha/Oyo Accent or Hausa Accent. The best way to hide their accent to use American Accent so dont blame them.I even know an Anglican Reverend with a fake British accent Reply this thread
fuji boy | 8/4/2012 1:30:26 PMWassup my niggaz? What's popping, y'all? I just had to join this discussion mehn. U know what I mean, mehn. I just came back from the hospiru and ma doctor advised me to drink plenty of warra cos ma body fluid is low, mehn. By the way, I gots work to do, I berra start. My dear BABE, what is popping, mehn? Reply this thread
ice | 8/4/2012 2:19:32 PM | u funny die..u made me laff so much.
profesor | 8/4/2012 1:38:50 PM^^ Lemme chip in here. I call them Nigerian Englishes. Here are some typical examples:

“Are you hearing me?”
“What is it by your time?”
“Can you hear that smell?”
“I've returned it back”
“Reverse back”
“Please help me to shift”
“It's a serious something”
“She gave birth to a male son” ----- A MALE SON?
“Keep space for me”
“Raise up your hand”
“Give me small more”
“Come and start going”
“Let's be going first”
“I will soon slap you now”
“They've taken light”
“I came to your office and met your absence”
“Just face your front”
“Go and buy me cold minerals”
“Yesterday night”
“She and her mother don't resemble”
“Off your phone”
“I'm finding my pen”
“Come and be going”
“Why are you siding her?”

Reply this thread
jj | 8/4/2012 1:43:44 PM | you are wicked o!
Lalaland | 8/4/2012 1:51:01 PM | Aha you got it right! That is what nollysheitwood so called fake actresses are saying! Stephanie BIG horse face Okereke is the queen of fake american accent wey no get head or tail!Lemme add one sef...."let me wear it for you" Mtchew!
yeye | 8/4/2012 2:12:19 PMHanks Accent sounds phony to me,
but he seems to speak that way all the time, does that mean its real? duno.
I hear he spent time or grew up in the U.S. That guy's accent is just a big ball of confusion. It's Ajegunle meets Ghetto-American, meets Igbo meets----. I don't understand the dude sha.
Reply this thread
ss | 8/4/2012 2:21:59 PMfunny topic - i think its even worse when u are not even sure what accent they are trying to form. Anybodi listen to amokachi speak will do more than cringe, and cos he is faking it he struggles to make his point whenever he is on TV. Reply this thread
rasaq | 8/4/2012 2:35:54 PMAbeg leave them. How do u xpect them 2 get to Hollywood level if they don't start wit polishing their accent Reply this thread
nwane | 8/4/2012 2:43:39 PMhas anyone noticed the way our beauty queens behave? once they win a crown, they start faking british accents. abi na miracle that comes with the crown? Reply this thread
jrfr | 8/4/2012 3:23:02 PMStephanie Okereke, she needs to loose that accents that have no origin. Dakore isn't bad either, but Joke tops them Reply this thread
M ward | 8/4/2012 4:34:03 PMWicked those comments from profesor, can't stop laughing , gosh how do someone become so funny, Oh lord can't stop laughing :))))))))))

Just a couple to add to that prof, i often hear these

I don't want again.
I am coming ( when they are actually walking away)

Oh dear bless you prof, you made my evening. Can't stop thinking about these lines and how you remembered to put them togethet

Reply this thread
Moi Moi | 8/4/2012 9:35:12 PMHow about these three irritating words that are used frequently like
"I'm ganna see you soon or are you ganna come?
"You berra wait for me"
"There is a parry next weekend" Reply this thread
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