Fresh Water Yankee accent comic by Andrina James in sweet T&T for Sweet TnT Magazine, Culturama Publishing Company, for news in Trinidad, in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, with positive how to photography.
Illustration: Andrina James

This freshwater yankee accent

By Annisa Phillip. There are some accents that can be classified as the easiest to imitate. The top three are British accent, American accent and Jamaican accent… well maybe this is true for English speakers. I believe that Bajan may fall right in fourth place, I could be wrong but this is my assumption. Now, there are others but these I believe to hold the top rating on the easiest-to-imitate scale or the most-commonly-imitated scale.

I’m sure that many of us or someone we know at some time or another threw on a British accent. If not British, then definitely an American and you know the one, the water-down-yankee-come-from-afar or maybe just some fella trying to impress a lady. And of course you must try to pull off a Jamaican, just because you can and not because you need to. My latest experience strangely was a random “fresh water yankee” male trying to make my friends and I feel uncomfortable – his mission was accomplished by the way.

These accents have made for interesting discussions among my friends, the “American” having a conversation with the “British” who is friends with the “Jamaican”. Topics range from the nonsensical to controversial current issues. I have even heard some Punjabi thrown into a few of these conversations, obviously to spice things up (there was a pun in there).

Now, have you ever heard someone try on a Trini accent? I have heard a few, and in my not so humble opinion, I’m yet to hear someone actually pull it off. The ones I’ve heard sound forced and too brutal to a Trini’s ear. Some may even try to fly by with a Jamaican twang in attempting to imitate us. Clearly in my experience no one can sound like a Trini except a Trini. Maybe it’s simply because a Trini accent is too sweet for any non-native tongue. It is a thing of beauty, indicative of our diverse history and maybe too fast for some foreigners but a Trini accent is second to none.

February 2015 – Issue 14    www.sweettntmagazine.com


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