Today I turned 46 years old, starting to feel the erosion of my skin.

"Personally speaking"(big emphasis here), why I am here became more a maintenance of English than trying to pass things such as GMAT thing to get the higher scholarship to such as young foreign(non native) people who are not living in the English zone(I hope you understand this meaning).

I do know perfectly that the motivation to the ESL differs from a person to a person.

Yet(again big emphasis here), I would like to know one thing.

Is this video, an interview with Kevin Garnett (the host is Isiah Rider, the former Kevin's teammate) worthwhile trying to listening to catch all what they say to whom whatever motivation an ELL has to learn English? (equally for all of them(emphasis here))

The reason is because it was very hard to comprehend when they spoke(Rider's was easier though), and Garnett was a NBA star but a high-school glad(or scout).

I appreciate any opinion. Big thanks for you all.

  • [correction: everything they are saying]
    – Lambie
    Oct 2, 2020 at 14:27

1 Answer 1


Both Isiah Rider and Kevin Garnett are speaking African American Vernacular English (AAVE). If you do a little research on this dialect, you'll see that it has some features that are quite different from Standard American English.

For example, around 3:58, Garnett says, "So he tryin' to get me off." This is called "copula dropping" or "zero copula" - in plainer speech, it means not including was/is ("So he was trying to get me off")- which is a common characteristic of AAVE.

At 4:10, Rider says, "Mike, he don't know the rules of the game, man," instead of the Standard American English, "Mike, he doesn't know the rules of the game." This use of don't instead of doesn't is also very common in AAVE.

Additionally, Garnett, who grew up in South Carolina, has a bit of a Southern accent. Around 4:17, Garnett says, "conversation" but it sounds more like, convuhsation. It's missing the [r], which is common to Southern American accents.

Rider is from California, so his accent is more similar to the General American accent you usually hear on TV.

Should you try to learn to understand these speakers perfectly? Depends on your very specific goals. There are more people who speak Standard American English than AAVE, but AAVE is pretty common. If you want to learn English in order to listen to people like Kevin Garnett speak informally, then yes, practice listening to AAVE.

  • Yeah, as you said and are perfectly correct, it "Depends on my very specific goal". which, personal I do have. >If you want to learn English in order to listen to people like Kevin Garnett speak informally, then yes, practice listening to AAVE. Probably I would not take so much time into AAVE. Thanks!
    – user17814
    Sep 30, 2020 at 4:15

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