Aside

My ‘ehn?’ problem

Before I left Nigeria and moved here, when someone says something to me and I do not get what they say, my basic responses were “excuse me”, “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that”, “Pardon me”, “sorry?”, “what?” (Yes, I know this last one isn’t very polite). And I used to change and switch them up often.

Anyway, about 6 months ago, I heard myself, and it was a sad, sad day… that day… when I heard myself say “ehn?” when I wanted someone to repeat something they had said to me, I’m not even sure when it started exactly, but it’s probably because they don’t speak English here and I found out early on that if I say one English word, I had to spend time explaining it or trying anyway… so I would guess that this particular problem started at about the same time as I started to make sentences like “Jane, you know, yes? Yesterday, I see, in market” LMAO *sigh*

It’s both funny and sad.

Anyway, my spoken English isn’t in any danger.
I do have this ‘ehn?’ problem that I would like to kick though, I find it so annoying.
And I always hear myself after I’ve said it. I was thinking yesterday that I could try pinching myself every time I say it, then maybe, soon the memory of the pain from that will remind me to not make that totally annoying sound.

What do y’all think? I’m desperate, I need some serious help. I need to kick this problem.

Help me please!!!

Adeola Matemilola

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9 thoughts on “My ‘ehn?’ problem

  1. annonymous says:

    I think it’s okay, its very Nigerian and I think you should be proud of it. If the British have kicked the use of “innit” I don’t it would have ever grown to have that level of swag it has nowadays.

    Our “ehn” is proudly Nigerian…part of our communicating construct and you should be cool with it.

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