Words by Tasha Brown—
The Jamaican accent is among the most badly imitated of all accents. As a reminder, here’s our Top 10 list of top actors like Denzel Washington and other Hollywood figures botching it beyond belief.
Maybe if there was as an actual Rosetta Stone Jamaica program, then people’s attempts at speaking patois wouldn’t be so bad. Come to think of it, Rosetta Stone wouldn’t make a difference. People would still make miserable attempts at sounding West Indian.
The accent picked up by Alex Carabano‘s in his “Rosetta Stone Jamaican” YouTube clip isn’t so bad, compared with some of the stars who’ve failed in their efforts at “sounding Jamaican.” The Brooklyn restaurant owner/comedian stars as a, let’s say, not exactly manly man who moves to New York’s Caribbean hub, Flatbush, Brooklyn, and just can’t fit in. He consults Rosetta Stone Jamaican, and its native speakers like “Delroy Ricketts,” and suddenly he’s playing dominoes, tightening locks at a barbershop and hollering lines like “Mi wan fi take ya, mi wan fi love ya, mi wan fi kiss and caress ya, but you don wan fi test this rocket launcher cause I man is a bed…room…BULLY” at women passersby. By video’s end, he’s a dancehall artist going by the name Sinnamon.
Regardless of your thoughts on Carabano’s success (or lack thereof) when it comes to the accent, the Rosetta Stone Jamaican YouTube video is hilarious, slightly resembling the “Stuff People Say….” parodies that flooded the internet waves last year. So don’t be surprised if the Rosetta Stone parodies catch on, with other islands following suit.