Thursday, October 21, 2010

Conversational Trini.

As mentioned, I'm Trinidadian. Once or twice in past entries made reference to my local dialect – which I refer to as “Trini-talk” & even dropped a phrase or two. So I decided it would be a good idea to introduce you to the colourful way in which we of Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) speak. I also decided that, before I got started, I would, first, give a brief history on the land I call home & how our dialect came to be. You know. Be all professional & stuff. Then I realized... I didn't know the history. Well, not so much that I didn't know it as I kinda... well... forgot. Don't gimme that look! I'm not particularly proud of me, either. Besides, it's not like I have actually had to make formal use of such knowledge. But, I decided not to obsess over my ignorance & focus on the matter at hand. Professionalism! That's right! I wasn't going to half-ass this one. I'm a man on a mission. So I pulled out the old history books googled Trinidad & Tobago's history (Dude, really. Like I kept my history books). After reading up only a few minutes I could no longer fight the overwhelming urge to go take a nap. When I woke up I realized that this was more work – and more boring – than I expected.

So here's what I can tell you in the least sleep inducing way possible & if you hang around till the end (or skip the middle - that could work too, I guess) there's a free sample:

Columbus came & brought the Spanish. They brought in African slaves after they all but drove the local natives to extinction. France later took control & now the poor slaves, on top of all their worries had to learn French. French, for Pete's sake! There was a little tug-o-war between France & Britain before the British eventually won & took over. Meanwhile, the Africans watched as yet another change in management took place & they were like, “Seriously! Dude we were just getting the hang of French. French, for Pete's sake! You know what, screw it! We'll just mix it in with the rest.” Soon enough slavery was abolished & Chinese immigrants & East-Indian indentured labourers were brought in to fill the work force. Over time, many other races & cultures joined the stew & all their languages were mixed in as well.

That's it. Done. (Maybe this wasn't such a good idea, after all...)

Anyhow, there you have it. That's how our local dialect here in T&T got it's start... more or less... Here's that sample:

Trini: Ah drink two smirnoff an meh head feelin' nice.
Translation: I'm a little tipsy from those two smirnoffs.

Trini: Oh goooooood! Like Vinny wife put down ah nex bess cook dey, boy!
Translation: Oh my! Vinny's wife seems to have, yet again, prepared an excellent meal. (She's a good cook. What can I say?)

Trini: Ah get hit wit ah serious macajuel syndrome after dah lunch.
Translation: Lunch today made me really lethargic.

Trini: Dah gyul dey. She could real bubble. Buh de odda one could real flex.
Translation: ??????????????! (Wait... What?...)

Trini: Aye, boy, come fas nah. Yuh stickin.
Translation: Dude, hurry up. You're taking too long.

Trini: Doh study she. Is so she stop.
Translation: Forget her. That's just how she is.

Now you see what I have to deal with. If you'll excuse me, it's time for another nap.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the translation, I could never have guessed it, hopefully this will never be a question on Jeopardy!

    p.s. Newest follower - followed you through Didactic Pirate


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