Friday, November 23, 2007

Nang slang

"Don't be prang; be nang. And use slang. Bang bang" as the lyrics to my latest release on BaldNinjaRecordings go. Not really*

But "nang slang"- one of the names given to the youth slang influenced by Bangladeshi young people in east London - is covered in real depth in this programme from the BBC Asian Network. If you can get past the first couple of minutes of rather self-conscious attempts at uber-hipness, it's a really good programme, with guest appearances by Tony Thorne (who'll be one of the speakers at our English Language Workshops for teachers in June) and Sue Fox (who spoke about her research into this dialect at our last student conference) among others.

Thanks to my bredren Tony C, aka MC Fruityloops, for this link.

Useful for:
ENA5 - Language Change & Varieties

*I have to say this because I told one class last year that the linguist Pamela Fishman was half man half fish and several students believed me.


Anonymous said...

There is a major inconsistency with this article. This slang is NOT influenced by the bangladeshi community but heavily influenced by carribean communities.

We are all very aware of the very large south asian communities in many of the carribean countries Guyana and Trinidad especially, also including Jamaica. It is these communities Black and Asian alike that the origins of this new found slang sit with. Bangledeshi phrases have also been incorperated and there is no denial here but the slang is made up mostly of west indian words and phrases.

Dan said...

I don't think anyone doubts the influence of Caribbean culture - especially Jamaican - on youth slang, but there does seem to be trend towards Bangladeshis in East London having an impact on the slang and dialects spoken by other young people from different ethnic groups.

Sue Fox's research in Tower Hamlets suggests that there's been a phonological impact, with the Bangladeshi accent affecting White British pronunciation in some areas.

Another increasing influence is of course black American slang - channelled via hip hop usually - and this is now superceding the Caribbean influence among young black teenagers in my opinion.