The Language Barrier – OLUWAKOREDE AKINKUOLIE

Even the language confounds me *sigh* So being from a tribe, you know how to speak your language right? You also feel like you speak it well enough that they can’t attempt to sell you to strangers right? (Please tell me you get where I’m going with this). Ok last question, you speak your language with pride because you know you understand it and you feel like your accent is on fleek right? Well in my world, the answers to those questions are “Yes… actually no” “EHHHN they probably could” and “Nope”

See I keep coming back to going to university in the South (hint, part of my dad’s reason was to stop me from speaking as he calls it “Igbo-Yoruba”, what that means I will never know). But anyway, I bring the whole university thing up because I have come to a realisation about my ability to speak Yoruba recently that annoys and saddens me. Annoys me because, I speak like six languages and my own language just happens to be the one I have the worst accent in (or is that French *thinking* ughhhh never mind that’s beside the point). Anyway, you do not know pain until you say something in your own language and are either;

a- not understood cause the pronunciation is off.

b- laughed at because you literally said it wrong

or the worst one

c- asked to repeat it, then get laughed and then more people are called to come and laugh some more -__-

Believe me when I say that option c is truly the worst, the last person that did it, I let it slide simply because I knew it was playful bant but I was pained though, like really and truly. And before you dismiss my annoyance as an ajebo problem (first how dare you laugh at my pain). It’s not, it’s a legit issue (I should lower my pride and get lessons, easy fix yeah? Maybe, I guess who knows *shurgs*)

But anyway, I can admit (now) that my Yoruba is not the best. But I always consoled myself with the fact that I at least understood it perfectly.(I’m laughing that myself right now). Recent encounters and conversations have shown me that much like Jon Snow (if you don’t watch Game of Thrones you have my permission to google this reference) I know nothing. It’s one thing when your grandmum says a Yoruba proverb that goes over your head but its maddening when Yoruba slang throws you for a loop. It took me a month, A MONTH, to figure out what “ta gbo” meant. (and yes I translated it literally first which left me wondering why people kept saying I should sell a plate *sigh* I swear, I’m not stupid) But anyway, do you know a solution beyond be keeping my mouth shut (because it’s impossible, I’ve tried) to improve my Yoruba? I’m taking any and all suggestions (no promises that I’ll listen though, why am I so stubborn. Is that where my problem lies? Don’t answer that)

I think, I’m just gonna end this here before I depress myself (I hear therapists are expensive, also it’s apparently frowned upon in my culture, why is there a stigma on mental health anyway??) Let’s not get into that right now, I have to go back into the insane world of southern living. Still can’t figure it out *sigh* I’ll keep you posted though, maybe this week, I’ll luck out and stay unconfused for a change. (lol I don’t even believe that). Adios amigo.

~Koreey

 

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About PenAStory

PenAStory is a group of young individuals with a passion for literature who have decided to come together to write under one platform. We seek to educate, inform as well as entertain our readers. Also, because we are targeting young literature lovers, we would like to touch on other interests of their lives hence the relationship category and because we all need a bit of motivation in our lives, we decided inspiration won't be so bad
This entry was posted in A Yoruba Girl Lost In Translation, NON FICTION and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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