Author: Shanté Dehaney
Linguistic Background (Shanté)
I only speak English, but my family is from Jamaica. Growing up I spoke with a Jamaican accent which is called patois. Most Americans call it “broken English”, but I didn’t speak in a clear English accent until I started going to school. I think of patois more as dialect than another language because of the way we speak, we have different saying for things that people wouldn’t understand but it’s English. I still have my accent and it comes sometimes when I say certain words. It especially comes out when I’m talking really fast or when I’m angry. When I’m home or talking to my mom my accent comes out more and fluently. I also have a New York accent which people from other states automatically recognize whenever you speak to them. Their favorite thing to say is “Oh, you’re from New York”. Us New Yorkers have a very distinct accent and dialect which can also be our slang. That’s the only way I think it affects me because will know where I’m from when I speak.