A VIDEO of a language learner speaking basic Yoruba, one of the many languages spoken in Nigeria, in a clothing store has gone viral, and the shocked reaction of the store owners and workers has entertained millions.
In the video shared to TikTok, content creator Xiaomanyc, real name Arieh Smith, visited a traditional Nigerian clothing store, and began by speaking only English.
‘Where are all these clothes from?’ he asked in English. ‘Nigeria,’ responded the lady.
The English speaking didn’t last long, and he soon busted out his growing Yoruba speaking skills. ‘Do you speak Yoruba?’ he asked, causing everyone in the store to instantly look over.
The camera zoomed into the shocked faces of those in the shop, as one man even spun his head around to look, before shaking his hand.
‘I speak some Yoruba,’ he responded.
According to Smith, the tonal aspect of the Yoruba language is what interested him to learn it. ‘It’s an amazing challenge to learn to speak and reminds me a lot of Mandarin Chinese,’ he wrote in a caption.
‘I decided to go and find some Nigerians to practise with and…we had a good time,’ he added.
After discovering he speaks Yoruba, the shop workers engaged in small talk with him before announcing that they need to take a video to capture it. The man pulled out his phone and took footage of Smith speaking the language.
‘I never seen anything like this,’ said the man. ‘You make me so proud.’
The woman also shook the hand of the content creator, before he attempted to haggle the price of the clothing, though unsuccessfully.
According to a Newsweek report, Smith speaks Mandarin and a handful of other Chinese dialects, and focuses his social media channels on exactly that. He is known on the internet for his videos surprising people with their native languages, but usually features Mandarin speakers. Often, he acts clueless at the beginning, before busting out his fluent Mandarin skills while ordering or mid-conversation.
His experience in the Nigerian clothing store has particularly struck a chord with internet users, gaining over 6 million views in just a day, Newsweek reported.
‘They seemed so genuinely surprised and happy. This was so sweet,’ wrote one TikTok user.
‘This is why you should speak a little bit of the language wherever you go, see how easy it is to make people happy,’ wrote another.
A YouTube video shared by the content creator showed more clips from his experience trying out Yoruba on unsuspecting native speakers. In the video, the woman in the shop chooses a Yoruba name for him, selecting Oluwafemi, which she explained means ‘God loves me,’ and helps him out by teaching him some numbers.
Later in the video, he visited a Nigerian grocery store and restaurant where he bought and tried out traditional dishes. Although the reactions weren’t as memorable as in the clothing store, the workers were still equally shocked and pleased with his attempt to learn the language.