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Trinispeak buh not Trini read?

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October 19, 2013 by Fensic

All I have tuh say on de spectacle dat is electioneerin’ in T&T, I done say. Fuh who tired ah de commesse an’ nonstop bacchanal, it go be over just now. Sunday done, it done. Doh get too relaxed wid de lil break cause dis is just de openin’ act fuh de 2015 elections.

Kamla, Rowley, Jack, Ramlogan? Land Rovers dat get tief in England an’ end up all de way in T&T? Who say what about who? Police files in de hands ah people it shouldn’t be in? Misdirection by de press only focusin’ on fluff? Tink, “Sunday night”. De only ting ah go add is ah just cyar wrap mih head arong de idea dat boldface boldface, political parties puttin’ up potential felons tuh run fuh political office. Must be me an’ mih naïve self tinking dis is de fuss time dis happenin’.

Torking about tings related tuh England, ah remember de first time somebody did tell mih dey like de blog buh dat sometimes dey had tuh take dey time an’ read tings over because Trinispeak tough tuh read.

I eh go lie, when ah did hear dat de fuss ting dat cross mih mind was dem Trinis who does put dey nose up in de air an’ say dat Trinspeak is bad English. I totally totally doh subscribe tuh dat group ah Trins an how dey does tink. By “bad English” ah guess dey really mean not standard English. By not “standard English” ah assumin’ dey mean British English. Not American English, Canadian English, Australian English or anybody else English. It cyar be de English de queen does tork cause when I hear she, it does sound tuh me like she was cork an’ did take Senna fuh it so any emotion in she words go cause ah “accident”.

Ah quickly realize de people who was torking about de blog was Trinis who leave T&T when dey was small so whatever Trinispeak dey was learnin’ tuh tork eh get season good before dey leave Trinbago. So ah just put what dey say in de back ah mih head an’ keep movin’.

Recently somebody else tell mih de same ting. Dey Trinispeak was well seasoned an’ dey damn smart so ah was faced wid havin’ tuh understand exactly what dey was tellin’ mih an’ why dey was in de position dey was in.

Like ah say someplace else, I love mih Trinispeak. Ah cyar describe why too good buh when ah hear it ah does realize nobody in dis whole world could communicate like we. De same word could mean different ting dependin’ on de context. Ah remember some ah de early works ah Vidia Naipaul, or as most people does call him, V.S. Naipaul. Ah could remember laughin’ mih head orf readin’ de House For Mr. Biswas. Den it have Paul Keens-Douglas, storyteller extraordinaire. Buh let mih stop dey cause ah mixin’ up two tings.

It have de spoken Trinispeak dat Keens-Douglas has mastered in he story tellin’ an’ it have de writin’ ah de same Trinispeak. Readin’ what geh write is de problem or ah should say, de challenge.

Trinispeak eh unstructured as ah tink some people would like tuh believe. Eef it was Trinis wouldn’t be able tuh tork tuh one anudder. De issue is dat it eh have ah written history. It eh have no set ah rules like ‘i before e, except after c’ an’ all dem kind ah ting related tuh de Standard English we used tuh get licks tuh learn about in school.

Wid no formalization ah how words geh spell, people pretty much free tuh write tings how dey feel it sound. Dat is what I does do. De same ting I write here udder people does write differently. Ah tink me an’ dem does write de words phonetically. Eef somebody phonetic spellin’ orf too much den nobody eh go know what de arse dey sayin’. De principal goal ah speech is tuh communicate yuh torts tuh udder people so eef yuh spit out ah whole set ah dotishness nobody eh go understand. ‘Ent’ is ‘ent’, ‘dem’ is ‘dem’, ‘udders’ is ‘udders’. Ent?

I used tuh write Trinispeak showin’ exactly where ah letter geh dropped from ah word. So fuh example ah wid say someting like, “de boy went by de parlor tuh buy de t’ings he mudder send he tuh buy”. Ah stop cause dat was hard wuk.

Trinispeak is more dan dropped letters an’ ‘th’ gettin’ pronounce like ah ‘d’ in some instances an’ like ah ‘t’ in udders. Trinispeak is also about all dem words from we history. Ah wonder eef dem words is part ah what people havin’ trouble wid?

So mih argument as tuh why it have Trinis who cyar read Trinispeak good or widout havin’ tuh read what ah say over is because dey not used tuh seein’ it on paper or whatever else people does read tings from dese days.

Every Caribbean country have it version ah “Trinispeak”. Nah, ah eh go say it so. Every Caribbean country have it own way its people does tork. Ah doh follow dem too close nah buh ah tink ah see where in Jamaica dey torking about writin’ de Bible in “Jah-speak”. Nobody doh write mih no nasty note fuh callin’ it “Jah-speak” cause me eh know what tuh call what dey does tork dey. “Jamaican Creole” perhaps? De point ah tryin’ tuh make is dat dey attemptin’ tuh capture dey dialect so dat it could go orn an’ orn.

While I all fuh Trinispeak, ah have mih boundaries. Yuh cyar be fluent in only Trinispeak—Standard English is still mandatory. Yuh have tuh master dat. Is like cussin’; yuh cyar cuss until yuh prove it have udder words in yuh vocabulary. De onlyest way tuh do dat is tuh use dem.

So where all dat leave me an’ usin’ Trinispeak, de dialect in Trinispeak, de blog?

Nutten eh changin’. Trinispeak in Trinispeak eh goin’ ah damn place. Is lime we limin’, ent? We eh pitchin’ so nobody eh have marbles in de mout rong here.

Fuh dem who nose up in de air over Trinispeak, check out, “Dictionary of the English/Creole of Trinidad and Tobago”. Yuh cyar miss it fuh two reasons. One, it in de national colors an’ second is one big arse book. Ah Canadian educator name Lise Winer put dis gem tuhgedder. Eef ah remember correctly it take she someting like 30 years tuh do dat. Den it have “Cote ci Cote la” by John Mendes. Dat too is a very good book tuh browse wid de set ah Trini words an’ expressions in it. He just put out ah new edition.

Wow! Look how far ah reach wid dis one. I tink dat nice too bard. In good conscience ah cyar call who do understand dat, dotish.

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