***Unedited Blog Entry***
Ever since leaving Saint Lucia in 2003, I've came across many ethnic groups from all around the world which have encourage me to be heard with my Saint Lucian accent by anyone who can hear me speak. This was my partial way of displaying pride and standing out among the rest. Although I've tried my best to maintain my native accent in Western Canada (or in any foreign country) but, recently a close friend made me realize that I was no longer sounding like a Saint Lucian. I thought to myself, Really? That day I almost had a heart attack. Gason, dat is pure papicho. How is me uh? (Saint Lucian Slang).
If I no longer sound like a Saint Lucian, then what or who do I sound like? Do I sound like an American? A place where I spent almost 6 years of my life. Or, do I sound like a Canadian where I am currently living for over 2 years? Maybe, I sound like an AmeriLucian or a CanaLucian. Again, How is me uh?
According to Google, an accent is a distinctive mode of pronunciation of a language, especially one associated with a particular nation, locality or social class.
I asked myself, a distinctive mode of pronunciation of a language? Hmm, so in that case, I've probably lost my Saint Lucian accent anytime in the many years I've been away from my birthplace. I cannot recall the first day it left me because today, I still hear myself sounding like a Saint Lucian. But hearing myself speak doesn't necessarily defines how someone else hears me out. The question is: when was I no longer sounding Saint Lucian? Perhaps, it was the first time an American told me that I need to learn how to speak English. Oh yes, that is a possibility.
Poor English or heavy accent? In my early years of migrating to a new country, my accent was a barrier to effective communication. And it was not due to the way I spoke my primary language (English) but it was the way I pronounced certain words. Still, that shouldn't have given these harsh citizens any rights to display their ignorance to foreigners like myself. They too, have accents. Having an accent never means that you cannot speak English. Furthermore, to prevent communication conflicts, I had to assimilate out of my comfort zone, into a universal dialect where my words can be understood by all nations.
But still I ask myself, Do I Still Sound like a Saint Lucian? Leave your comment below.