Jamaica‘s New Lingos
I am a proud citizen of this wonderful island nestled among the turquoise sea and the distant land of Cuba. Well, we are a bit close to Cuba, not really on its outskirt; check your map for reference. Well let me not stray from the topic my dear readers, back to the point I was trying to make. For starters, Jamaica has a wonderful brogue, interesting sayings and Jamaicans also have this uncanny way of making a trail of words seem effortlessly cool and a bit outlandish. Yes we are the “hub” for vibrant expressions and a plethora of other phrases. Mark you, several words have evolved drastically and there is this revolution for self expression that I had never seen before.
Jamaican Colloquialisms Over The Years
Jamaicans are known for their patois and very unique way of labeling people, places or things. Some of the slang words that have been created over the years, have been adopted and utilized by other cultures inappropriately. Primarily, because they are not aware of the correct meanings associated with the words. Affluent Jamaicans rarely talk about the connotations of the words because the meanings are usually derogatory in nature or associated with lack of education and class. Some of the words we may have been privy to over the years are as follows...
Patois, things Jamaican and the big picture
Recently, I applied for a consulting position with a DC contractor bidding for a competitive US government grant and needing 48 professionals in support of the application. The requirements included: (1) applicants must have lived in the United States for the past five years, (2) have at least a bachelor's degree, (3) be based in either Washington, DC, or South Florida, and (4) must speak and understand Jamaican patois.
Conversation: Greetings - Learn to Speak Jamaican Patois Video Series
Learn how to speak Jamaican patios/patwa by knowing how to "Greet" someone in patois/patwa in our video series "Speak Jamaican Patois".
Conversation: Gratitude and Apologies - Learn to Speak Jamaican Patois
Learn how to speak Jamaican patios/patwa by learning words of "Gratitude & Apologies" in patois/ patwa in our video series "Speak Jamaican Patois".
Male Introductions - Learn to Speak Jamaican Patois
Learn how to speak Jamaican patios/patwa by learning "Male Introductions" in patois/ patwa in our video series "Speak Jamaican Patois".
Basic Introductions - Learn to Speak Jamaican Patois
Learn how to speak Jamaican patios/patwa by learning basic "Introductions" in patois/ patwa in our video series "Speak Jamaican Patois".
Relaunch of our Jamaican Patois Dictionary
We are please to announce the relaunch of Jamaican Patois/Patwa Dictionary. We have added more words, a search and audio clips. Check it out today?
Updated: The Jamaican Alphabet - De Jamaican Halphabet
We have updated "The Jamaican Alphabet - De Jamaican Halphabet" article. We added video/sound clips to the article. Now you can see and hear each letter the pronunciations. Enjoy!!!
Patwa in the Classroom: A Not So Far-fetched, Counter-intuitive Solution to Improving Literacy in English
There is an education crisis in this country. The Gleaner recently reported that ‘over 40 per cent of the students at grade four fail to master the critical components of literacy and numeracy.’ Surely this situation is not tenable; it must be rectified with the most ambitious overhaul of primary education that we can conceive, and unknowingly, the single biggest change we need is not so far-fetched- the utilization of Jamaican Creole in the classroom.
Ivy League College Recognizes Jamaican Creole as a Language
All students at Dartmouth College, in New Hampshire, must study a foreign language, unless they are bi or multilingual. By the time I matriculated in 2008, I was assured by research into the status of Creole languages, and the linguistic properties of Jamaican Creole in particular, that I was bilingual, and so by right, should be given exemption from the institution’s foreign-language requirement.
Navigating Nicaragua in Jamaican Creole
Last December I visited Nicaragua with little more than the basic Spanish I had learnt up to grade 9. While waiting to collect my luggage in Managua, I was pleasantly surprised to see the members of the Dancehall group T.O.K. I walked over to them, introduced myself, then asked, “a wa unu a du a Nikaragwa?”
Language Discrimination and Classism Linked in Jamaica
I never liked speaking Patwa. It just sounded so, crude. By the time I was in grade ten I stopped using the ‘dialect’ altogether. My siblings often complained that ‘[mi] lov gwaan laik [mi] kyaahn chat Patwa.’ I scoffed at them, smugly retorting that we were all educated in the English language and were free to use it.
I am now convinced that Jamaican Patois is a Language!!!
For most of my life I never thought of Jamaican patois/patwa as a language. Like many Jamaicans, patois/patwa to me was either “talking bad” or “a dialect”. When I started in Jamaicans.com 1995, we had sound clips of patois/patwa and a patois/patwa dictionary. I was providing information on patois but I never thought of patois/patwa as a language.
Interview: Professor Hubert Devonish, Advocate for Jamaican Patois as a Language
Professor Hubert Devonish of the Universtiry of the West Indies has been one of the strongest advocates fighting for Jamaican Patois as a Language. He has created a writing and spelling system for Jamaican Patois. This month we have conversation with him about Jamaican Patois as a Language.
Socio-historical Background of Patwa in Jamaica
Now a wey disya langwij come fram: · I would like to say that Patwa developed under the auspices of colonialism and conquest; (much like the rest of the world). But out of a contact situation between languages that were mutually unintelligible. During period of slavery the Africans were forbidden to speak their native tongues but not only that they were deliberately mixed up on the plantations to hinder communication (to plan rebellion or plotting to run away).
Who seh wi chat patwa (patois)?
Ras Dennis Jabari Reynolds author of the
Jabari Authentic Jamaican Dictionary of the Jamic Language argues that we do not we do not speak broken English, or patois, we speak Jamic.
Patois Sound Clips
Patois Sound Clips. You will need to download the Real Audio Player to listen the clips live.
Jamaicanize your vocabulary with our Jamaica Glossary of some popular phrases!
15 Reasons why Jamaican Patois is a Language ?
Jamaican educator and linguist Karl Folkes gives 15 points on why Jamaican Patois is a language.
Is Jamaica Patois a Language ?
Jamaican educator and linguist Karl Folkes gives his perspective why the language referred to as "Patois/Patwa" should be officially labeled as "Jamaican Creole", or even better as simply "Jamaican".
USA Translation To Jamaican
Learn how you would say some American expressions in Jamaican Patois (Patwah). It includes popular expression like "What's for lunch?".
USA Translation To Jamaican
Learn how you would say some American expressions in Jamaican Patois.
15 Reasons Why Jamaican "Patois" is a Language!
Jamaican educator and linguist, Karl Folkes, writes a new article with 15 reasons why "Patois" is a language...More
Whey de I a sey? Learn to Speak Jamaican with conversational sentences.
Jamaican Acronyms Shorthand & Emoticons
Learn the Jamaicanized version of the Internet "shorthand". It was developed by our Jamaicans.com Community Forum
members since 1995 and have been used on our bulletin board for years