Trying to find a good Jamaican dictionary? Something that can help you translate a few of the words we use.... at least you won't be left clueless when we talk right?
Well, I suspect there have been many attempts to translate and publish such material, but they are just that, 'attempts'...many of the authors doesn't even fully understand the language themselves!
I have done some research for you though and was lucky to find at least 6 relatively good references, three of them I really like and I think should help you very well; The Websters Jamaican online Dictionary, a book called Understanding Jamaican Patois, and another, Jabari Authentic Jamaican Dictionary.
None of them can adequately capture all the expressions we use, but I believe they did a good job capturing or explaining some of the most popular terms and slangs.
The Jabari Jamaican Glossary for example, captures over 3000 clear and concise definitions of Jamaican words and phrases. Also included are pronunciation guides, variants, usage notes, parts of speech etc. I have a copy that I myself refer to quite often - I love it!
The Websters Jamaican online Dictionary alphabetically list hundreds of popular Jamaican creole or patois terms that you simply click on and get the English equivalent. By they way, do you know what 'fenkey fenkey' means? Check it out!
Emile Adams' Understanding Jamaican Patois is another great resource.
OK, now I've provided you with enough tools, go ahead and learn the language - it will be much easier than you may have guessed, plus the new knowledge will come in quite handy especially if you are coming here for a vacation!
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