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Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
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Cruz i was the same way...in the states i practiced to use the th..but back here i am back to using the "t" or "d" sound in place of the "th" lots of dis (this) dat (that) deh (there) ting (thing) and so on...Melissa use to make fun of me when I did it.

When we first met awhile back and we had a restaurant, I wanted to install some booths..so I told her "we need to put some boots there in place of the tables" she said OK cool...a few minutes later one of the employees came and asked me what I wanted to do in place of the tables...i told them "put boots there" soon after another came and asked the same question then another and another...so I went into the kitchen to find Melissa with the employees lined up saying "go ask Chris what he wants to install"

We've been together ever since, BUT now she is the one out of water and I'm having fun at her expense...she won't do it but I'm waiting for a y'all to slip out of her mouth!

Chris

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Posted : June 27, 2008 5:09 pm
DL
 DL
(@DL)
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Also, a family friend of ours was in the State Dept, and was going to be stationed in Sierra Leone. He was actually able to take a language course on Creole. After a few months of that he sounded very believable. I wonder if we WASPs can get some training in Cruzan?

According to the Wikipedia page on Virgin Islands Creole (aka Crucian/Thomian/VI dialect),

"Unlike a standard language that can be learned, most Virgin Islanders feel that Virgin Islands Creole cannot be learned, but only acquired through having spent one's formative years in the Virgin Islands. Virgin Islands non-native residents who attempt to speak the dialect, even out of respect, are often met with disapproval."

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Posted : June 27, 2008 5:13 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
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Well, it must be universally natural because my WASP Virginian daughter, at tree (I mean three) used to sound like a new yorker with the phrase "look at da pretty burds on turdy turd street" (neither one of us sounds anything like New Yorkers).

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Posted : June 27, 2008 5:18 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

I kinda sorta agree that it can't really be learned, it's more acquired over time.

as for this..

Virgin Islands non-native residents who attempt to speak the dialect, even out of respect, are often met with disapproval."

I would say it's the time and place...We went to the bartender Olympics last week and one of the server competitors was trying SO hard to be/act/speak Crucian..it IRKED me. All my family and friends have been giving Melissa things to say and now sometimes at the end of her sentences she throws in a subtle "mon"..which we like and think is cool.

I guess what I'm saying is..if you try too hard and you try to force it out, where you lose your identity...i can see it being met with disapproval...but if you just let it subtly flow it's cool to me.

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Posted : June 27, 2008 5:26 pm
cruzkandy
(@cruzkandy)
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We've been together ever since, BUT now she is the one out of water and I'm having fun at her expense...she won't do it but I'm waiting for a y'all to slip out of her mouth!
Chris

It will soon, cause I find myself doing it once in a blue moon. Or she might surprise you and say "ayo", lol. Of course after much practice, lol.

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Posted : June 27, 2008 5:31 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
Advanced Member

Thanks DL, I would have guessed that about non-islanders trying to speak it "publicly". Don't you kind of cringe when you see a white person trying to sound black. It does come across as disrespectful because you doubt that the person actually knows the culture behind the language.

But, like in Nigeria, we would not practice our dialects in public... only with people who knew us, and only in fun... enjoying the differences.

As far as our family friend... it raises the question of why they would have gone out of the way to teach him. Hmmm... maybe in some cultures it is not seen as disrespectful. It might be that if you've learned it REALLY well that you're seen as (possibly) "local", or that you've obviously put a lot of thought into it, and therefore it doesn't come across as disrespectful.

But still, thank you very much for pointing that out.

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Posted : June 27, 2008 5:32 pm
cruzkandy
(@cruzkandy)
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I kinda sorta agree that it can't really be learned, it's more acquired over time.

as for this..

All my family and friends have been giving Melissa things to say and now sometimes at the end of her sentences she throws in a subtle "mon"..which we like and think is cool.
.

Even with that "mon" phrase! We as Crucians speak with a hard "a" pronunciation. So when we would say mon, it comes out as "man". Emphasis on the "a". So you can always tell when someone is trying very hard because they always end up say "mon" instead of "man", get what I mean?

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Posted : June 27, 2008 5:38 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

Don't you kind of cringe when you see a white person trying to sound black.

You nailed it on the head! One the same token...we met a couple from this board at the bartender olympics last week, and both of them had a "lil island talk/accent" thrown in here and there and you could tell they weren't forcing it, and it came naturally..That I thought was awesome!

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Posted : June 27, 2008 5:43 pm
dougtamjj
(@dougtamjj)
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Poor JJ, my 4 year old is all mixed up. A little southern, a little cruzian and a little hispanic.

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Posted : June 27, 2008 6:16 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
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Yep Cruz you are right...lots try to say it like it is written and it comes out all wrong!

mon-mahn

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Posted : June 27, 2008 6:23 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

If it's real and it's natural, it's always much more attractive. Some people just have a better ear and pick things up, without trying. I envy that. On the other hand, I detest fake accents. I find it condescending. Everyone occasionally says something like bahn here, or similar, and I think that's OK, in small doses, but when I see a white person trying to do the whole Crucian accent, well, that is not attractive.

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Posted : June 27, 2008 6:51 pm
morna
(@morna)
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I think he means Google Maps Street View. It is pretty cool but it's not available in all cities.

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Posted : June 27, 2008 6:58 pm
morna
(@morna)
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OOPPS, how did that happen? Wrong thread, sorry! :$)

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Posted : June 27, 2008 7:06 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
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I still would like to learn it, if for nothing else, I could understand it when heard.

So, if it were taught anywhere, I'd be interested. Otherwise it will be fun to just learn it as I hear it.

I decided to learn Spanish a few years ago. I took 3 years of french in junior high because my dad said we would be going overseas and french was an international language. Just my luck, I ended up in Spain and never found anyone that spoke French (sorry about mixing upper/lower case.. no disrespect, just confused and lazy). I got CDs that I'd pop in the car player when I was driving the hour to/from work every day. I was surprised how well it worked.

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Posted : June 27, 2008 7:11 pm
terry
(@terry)
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EngRMP, do you also cringe when you hear a black person trying to sound white?

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Posted : June 27, 2008 7:49 pm
SkysTheLimit
(@SkysTheLimit)
Trusted Member

And when they suck there teeth they are speaking VOLUMES without saying anything.

"I were tellin he when to reach and he suck his teeth at me. I say Wah? He suck them again so I get vex and punch he!. He vex back and that's how my face get mash up. " True account of a fight.
Reach = arrive
Vex = mad
He = him
Mash or mashed = damaged, hurt

tree dem = I need three of them.
When they say tree trees are they refering to 3 trees? 3 threes? Hmmm!

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Posted : June 27, 2008 7:50 pm
EngRMP
(@EngRMP)
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Hi Terry, yes, I got lazy thinking about all of the combinations... but, yes, anyone who tries to copy an accent somehow seems a bit out of place. A few caveats:

- obviously someone that speaks a completely different language (like Russian) who is trying to speak english is not seen as out of place (they might get puzzled looks, but for different reasons)

- I have a friend that I met in Spain. He was from California. He stayed in UK after I left Spain for two years. He then moved to Texas from the UK. I touched base with him over the phone at each different location and it was so odd because he had a "normal american" accent when I met him in SPain; then had a HEAVY brittish accent when I talked to him in UK; then a HEAVY texas accent after a few years there. He just really picked up accents easily... not on purpose...

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Posted : June 27, 2008 8:02 pm
cruzkandy
(@cruzkandy)
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Poor JJ, my 4 year old is all mixed up. A little southern, a little cruzian and a little hispanic.

If little JJ stays here long enough, he'll sound like he was born here. I would like to hear that mix though. It will be good for picking up the ladies. LOL!

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Posted : June 27, 2008 8:14 pm
cruzkandy
(@cruzkandy)
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tree dem = I need three of them.

don't forget the a' in the middle of that, tree a' dem.

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Posted : June 27, 2008 8:17 pm
Yearasta
(@Yearasta)
Trusted Member

Cruz..we could start ah class!

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Posted : June 27, 2008 8:44 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
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tree dem = I need three of them.

don't forget the a' in the middle of that, tree a' dem.

Definitely because 'tree dem' means trees!!

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Posted : June 27, 2008 9:14 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

"So, if it were taught anywhere, I'd be interested. Otherwise it will be fun to just learn it as I hear it."

It is taught at every playground from Pre-K on up -- Almost all the younger children can switch from the W.Indian accent to "propah" English at will. Teachers are generally discouraged from using heavily accented language in class.
One of my favorite overheard comments:
" If Ya vex me so bad, I gon mash you head up in tree haves wit a rock stone mehson"

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Posted : June 27, 2008 10:10 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

If you can find any of Arona Petersen's books they usually have reprints of a column she wrote for the Daily News for a long time -- great written dialect and political commentary.

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Posted : June 27, 2008 10:14 pm
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

I would suggest that anyone from the states be cautious trying to imitate the local jargon. It's kind of like me trying to speak hip-hop, I may have the words right, but wow, somehow it's just so WRONG.

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Posted : June 27, 2008 10:21 pm
chance12
(@chance12)
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Linda J
No one is trying to imitate anyone. Have you not read the full thread? Once again, everyone is just looking for information and wanting to learn things and you want to rain on the parade! If you can't be positive don't join in.

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Topic starter Posted : June 27, 2008 10:25 pm
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