Jamaican Patwa/ Patois Jamaican
by Nemonie Cassells
Out of Many, One People…that is our Jamaican motto, and it is simply stating that our “land of wood and water” is made up of people whose ancestors come from many different race and cultural backgrounds.
Some of us Jamaicans have ancestors tracing back to the nomadic race of brown skinned Asians, known as the Arawaks, who first arrived on the Island. (Read history of Jamaica here)
Some came from the Africans who were brought here as slaves. Some came from more modern Asians who came here to work after slavery was “abolished”, and of course, there are descendants here from European background as well.
Whichever ethnic background we may come from ( And believe me when I say, the bloodlines have been mixed over the many years), we are all one people under the warm island sun! Jamaica land we love!
With all the factors stated above, no wonder we have the best of everything that we have available to use… I’m talking about; Food, Entertainment, Sports and Language!
Now even though our first language is English, our creole; patois, is what we are most recognized for! Our dialect, I’ve been told many times, is the best in the Caribbean!
And people just love to hear us speak, to hear our accent and the words we use, even if they don’t understand a lick of what we are saying.
Many believe our patois is broken English, but they are actually incorrect in this. Our patois is actually made up of not only English, but some of the West African languages and a little Spanish too (Ironically the word “patois” is french)!
With so many language influencing our tongue, it is quite interesting to listen to, even if not learned.
Today I am going to teach you patois by revealing the patois word for your English. When you’re done here, you should be able to enjoy a nice conversation with your Jamaican friends and family without feeling left out!
Practice those and in no time, you'll be able to hold good conversation with a true “Yardie” in patois.
Your Welcome!! :-)
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