- I have a Nigerian accent, not the 'concentrated' type that can be associated with a particular tribe but the bland 'Abuja-bred' type.
and I reply with the "It's Nigerian" line.
Sometimes, people ask "Where are you from? You have an accent", once I speak.
I reply, "I'm Nigerian. You have an accent too. Where are you from?"
My last response is only used to make someone aware that not because I don't speak like you means I have a strange accent. It seems the word, accent, now means a different way of speaking. Everyone has an accent, simply a manner of pronunciation. If I am to choose, I do not want adulterate my Nigerian accent and give in to the supposed American 'easy-on-the-ears' way of speaking.
When I went home, ie Budapest, last week, I was booking a cab, with an agency in the USA, via phone and my folks told me that I was using an American accent. Just in one year! I knew it was not American cos even some Americans do not understand me at first hearing, when I speak unconsciously with my Nigerian accent. My folks probably meant my way of speaking had changed.
After taking a self-check, I have come to the conclusion that when I'm communicating with non-Nigerian folks, I speak differently, consciously, dropping the Nigerian non-English phonetic sounds, and pronounce all words plainly. For instance, if you call my office phone, I will talk to you with a very plain English accent but I blow pidgin with my Nigerian accent, when on my mobile.
That plain accent has been labeled "American" by my Nigerian folks and "British" by some Americans. If I am to choose any top five preferred accents to have, the American accent will not even be included. I am far from interested in the American or some European country's accent.
This accent thing can become a 'phonetic war'. For example, when I speak French, I debate using the plain accent or Nigerian.
I just want to be understood faster.