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What is Nigerian accent?

Answer

Nigeria Accents are a natural part of spoken languages formed based on the way Nigerian people pronounce their vowels and consonants for particular words. It is a distinctive way of pronouncing a language, especially one associated with a particular country, area, or social class.

Contrary to popular belief, Nigeria does not have a specific accent. Different tribes in Nigeria have their own accents. Thus, a Nigerian’s accent is dependents on the part of Nigeria a person is from. The way we speak is influenced by our indigenous language and our environment.

According to Worldatlas, Nigeria is number 18 in the world’s most diverse ethnic groups in the world with over 520 spoken languages. Many ethnic groups in Nigeria exist within its geographical limits, and many of them have territories that cross several different countries.

With such a very large distribution of ethnic groups with diverse cultures, it is expected to have different accents which are notable when speaking English; the Official Nigerian Language.

The Igbo accent is different from the Yoruba or Hausa accent and what I’ve noticed is that anyone who speaks a Nigerian language tends to have that accent pop up when speaking other languages like English.

Considering that all of us speak in distinctive ways, it is reasonable to assume that there are endless types of accents in the world, or even inside a country or region. Let’s think of Nigeria, for instance. English might be the most commonly used language, but we all agree that the way Igbo people will speak English is different from the way Hausa will speak it.

A simple word like CHAMPION can be pronounced in as many ethnic groups as there are in Nigeria.

  • SAMPION – A Yoruba from Ibadan
  • YAMPION – A Calabar
  • CHAFION – An HAUSA

When speaking a foreign language, our accent is influenced by the structure and sounds of our native language, which is why it is usually more noticeable.

We all have an accent, whether we realize it or not. In fact, many of us even have a few different accents, depending on our linguistic repertoire. Accents are inevitable.

Sources cited:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/how-think-neandertal/202012/why-do-people-have-accents

https://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/why-do-some-people-have-accent

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