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English Accent, Trini Emphasis

Picture courtesy Mark Lyndersay

My name is Shane Collens and, when they hear my Queen’s English, BBC Radio accent, people don’t believe I was born in Trinidad.

My accent is more South Ken than Southend.

I’m fourth-generation Trinidadian and have lived here for 40 years. I was born in Henry Pierre Street, my father in Dere Street. My great-grandfather, the English implant, was posted here as Inspector of Schools which, today, would be the Minister of Education.

I’m from Cascade and have never wanted to live anywhere else. I have a view from the hillside. I can walk to Hi-Lo and the Savannah. I even walk Downtown. I love the exercise and, if you take the car, it takes as long to park as to walk.

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