I remembered growing up in the south western part of Nigeria precisely Lagos state of Nigeria. I remembered being six years old and trying to understand three languages at the same time, that was my native; Igbo, the language of the west, Yoruba and then the universal or diluted type of English called pidgin.
Mind you, I still needed to understand Nigeria's lingua franca which was the English language. I was born in the village and at age 2 to 5 I was exposed to my grandmother and grandfather and this was how I inadvertently began to understand my native language.
It was easier for me to understand how to speak the southwestern's Yoruba and also easier to understand the diluted English called pidgin.
However accent is always a problem when understanding and speaking a language. Originally when we are born, we learn diverse accent from being exposed to people with different accents, the accent one is originally embedded with, is the accent they get from speaking their mother's tongue.
You learn accents by listening; It can be inadvertently learnt or it can be intentionally learnt. The mind is bendable at a young age and we originally speak what we hear, this means what we hear is what we have learnt but as we grow older we learn to speak by not only listening to the people around us but intentionally choosing to learn.
This means that young children learns accents inadvertently while older people can learn intentionally.
Now accent is always an issue. Someone who is always a Yoruba or Igbo or an Hausa would generally be given away in their accent if they want to speak in other languages that is originally not their mother's tongue. This is also exactly the same with other sub south-eastern tribes like akwa ibom.
Their accent is always embedded if they try to speak pidgin or English or even other Nigerian language and this is the same with people from the north (not always the case). Even after spending 20 years in Lagos I still find it difficult to have the Yoruba accent even if I can speak the language very well. Lagos is like an epicenter of all the tribes in Nigeria and you can learn a lot of languages.
We often differentiate people just by listening to their accents and not the way they actually dressed or looks, you can easily tell where a person (tribe or ethnic group) is from just by listening to their accents.
And this is how we differentiate people in a multicultural city such as Lagos State. Some people have mastered the arts of having more than one accents and this is a result of a continuous listening and learning process.
Sometimes another thing that differentiates people is their ethnic or tribal birthmarks.
The igbos, Yorubas and the hausas are the main people that have a customized style of ethnic tribal birthmarks. Sometimes it's always evident in the style of food I mean we all consume the same type of food in Nigeria. (almost) but there are diverse ways to actually cook them and this diverse ways simply represents tribe and ethnics.
In conclusion, I grew up learning a lot of languages and even when I can perfectly speak the English language which is not a mother's tongue, we often find many customised way through which will uniquely make it ours through the Nigerian accent.
the main reason why I spoke about accent is because accent isn't just a sound through which a language is populary pronounced by.
Sometimes an accents helps to convey the core relevance of a language
and when you particularly cannot say a language with the accent it is known with, it seems like it takes away some particular kind of it's richness and renders it ordinary. I value the importance of accents while listening to a language and that is why I can categorically say I have only learnt the pidgin accents which it's richness is often synonymous to the south-southern people of Warri in Nigeria.
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My name is @Josediccus, a young Nigerian student who is a Vlogger, A Psychologist, Poet And Sports Writer/Analyst. I'm using my contents as a process to create shared meaning as well as create expressions through which people on/off hive can relate. I believe content is a process to be enjoyed and relished and I'm up for any collaborations in my field stated above. Cheers
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