Tag Archives: accents

A Blank Slate

I can’t think of any Cajun French lessons to pass on to you today. The only thing I can really come up with is Swamp People because I was talking with my nephew about it over the weekend.

I really enjoy the show although I do spend a good bit of time cringing. Some of the things said, or done, during the show are outright exaggerations, but that makes for good television. The one thing I get a kick out of, but that irritates me, are the subtitles.

Are they really so hard to understand? Most of the time I have to look away from the television so I can concentrate on what they’re saying, rather than read what they’re saying. Does that make sense? If I read the subtitles, I can’t really gauge their emotions. Then again, looking away from the television means I miss something.

Then we had to talk about who our favorites are. My nephew and I both agree that Mitch and Glen are downright hilarious, but if I had to pick an absolute favorite, it’d be Troy. Second to him would be Liz because what woman wouldn’t admire another who had the courage and know-how to go out catching alligators? I mean, that’s just awesome.

But then we went back to talking about the subtitles. It seems I’m not the only one from here who has a problem with them.

I’ll put the question to y’all. If you watch Swamp People, do you have to read the subtitles to understand any of the hunters when they’re speaking?

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Cajun Woman

So yeah, I’m from South Louisiana (which, for those of you who weren’t aware, is the portion of the state south of I-10). They don’t have the same accent we do here. I don’t know if many people realize, but there are pockets of different accents all over the southern half of the State and they grow thicker the further south you go.

Now, my mom had a very thick Cajun accent when she was a child. She forced herself to get rid of it because she heard herself referred to as a ‘coonass’. She was horrified and from then on, worked to get rid of the accent. As a result, my sister, brother, and I don’t have accents unless we slip.

Slipping into a Cajun, or coonass, accent happens when I’m either surprised, talking with someone with a thick accent, or tongue-tied. Now it’s, confession time. When I talk to a very attractive man, Cajun Woman (you were wondering how I was going to bring the title into this, huh?) comes out. Cajun Woman is not a superhero. No, Cajun Woman is who I become when I have to talk to a very attractive male and my accent emerges.

How does it emerge, you might ask. Well, if you’ve never heard a Cajun accent, then it’s hard to explain. Don’t think of any movies surrounding New Orleans (that’s a different accent and horribly wrong). The Waterboy is only slightly correct, but also oh so wrong. No, a Cajun accent is flat. Instead of saying ‘this’ it’s ‘dis’. Instead of ‘that’ it’s ‘dat’ (who dat? anyone?). ‘Both’ becomes ‘boat’. As in ‘both of ya’ll’ becomes ‘boat-a-ya’ll’. The other words I can’t even begin to explain.

So here I am with an attractive man in front of me asking me about a boat. I get flustered. Then I bust out with the Cajun accent. Gah! I might have thrown ‘mais’ in a few times, pretty sure I did. Mais. He wasn’t impressed and I was embarrassed. Not that I broke into what’s a natural accent for me, but because I let a man fluster me that badly. I mean, really folks! He wasn’t that cute. Maybe he was putting off some serious pheromones. Hm, that might be the reason.

Anyway! Do any of you have an accent you try to smother? Have you ever found yourself so flustered by a man that you become either tongue-tied, or lose all trace of thought?

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