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Help with Jamaican Patwa Forum

by C
(France)

QUESTION: Hello, This is not really a suggestion for a forum topic but actually a call for help.

I am a literary translator and need help with putting a few line of Jamaican patwa into my book.

I would be truly grateful should anyone be able to help me with this problem.

Sincerely,
c.

ANSWER: by Wellesley November 22, 2012

Hello C, thanks for asking. Your question has just turned on a bright light bulb in my head!

I'm going to dedicate this forum post exclusively to answer or translate Jamaican patois.

I'm going to invite you (and others needing help to translate Jamaian patios) to post your question or sentence to translate via the comment button here - right now.

I will do my best to answer asap. I'm also positive my Jamaican fan base will be more than willing to assist so share it it now.

See Also: Jamaican Language & Jamaican Poetry

Regards,
Wellesley

P.S. This Q&A will also be posted on our popular facebook fan page so I am inviting you to follow the responses from my fans over there as well. Our address is http://facebook.com/myislandjamaica


Comments for Help with Jamaican Patwa Forum

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Aug 09, 2019
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Understanding Linton Kwesi Johnson better
by: Mrs A

Hi,

I'm an English teacher in France and I am right now working on a Year 0 unit entitled Music Migrations which focuses on the Carribean culture/music.

I really want to work on the first verses of Linton Kwesi Johnson's song/poem Bass Culture but so far I'm struggling to get to the proper meaning/ English translation of some of the lines, I was then hoping to get some help here :)

Here are the lines:

1) Whey bar black blood

2) An is a whole heappa

Thank you so much!

Editor's Note
"An is a whole heappa" means "a lot of" in English, not sure of the other one, sounds like it unclear.

Mar 12, 2013
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translation
by: Anonymous

Creating Business Opportunities

Dec 03, 2012
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Jamaica sayings...cock mouth kill cock
by: Paula

What does cock mouth kill cock mean?

Editor's Note
Hi Paula,

This Jamaican proverb really means to be careful of what you say, it could be to your own undoing.

Basically, watch your mouth, what you say.

Nov 30, 2012
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lies
by: Anonymous

It is hard to believe that you are telling the truth now when you told me you would lie forever to keep us in your life.

A lie may take care of the present, but it has no future

Worse than telling a lie is spending the rest of your life staying true to a lie

Nov 30, 2012
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You Are Welcome C!
by: Wellesley

Glad I could have helped.

This forum is now officially open to anyone who wants a 'Jamaican interpretation' :-) of the English language or any in fact, any language :-)

They'll simply post their question using the comment link below and I (or one of my ardent Jamaican enthusiasts) will reply with the translation via the same comment link.

That's it!


Nov 27, 2012
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Wellesley,
by: C

Many, many, many thanks!

I'll pass on this very positive experience, Wellesley!
Bonne continuation, as we say in Fance!
C.

Nov 26, 2012
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second part of first song!:)
by: C.

Dear Wellesley,

Sorry to bother you again -- but I just noticed you must have forgotten to translate the second part of the first song:

Yes, yes my child
Gotta work to get your bread
Yes, yes my child
Gotta work to get your bread

If you could spare a little more of your time, I'd so greatly appreciate, this is so perfect, I'm excited!!

Thanks -- C.




Wellesley's Feedback

Yes, I did miss it C.
Ok, let's go.


Yes, yes mi chile
mi haffi wuk fi get yuh bread
Yes, yes mi chile
mi haffi wuk fi get yuh bread


I hope that helps C.

Nov 26, 2012
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!thank you ever so much
by: C.

I can't tell you how thankful I am for you translation, Wellesey!! I might be back asking for more help before I finish this book.
Thanks again,
Best wishes
C.

Nov 23, 2012
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Jamaican Patwa
by: C.

Thank you David,I suppose I could try it but in general machine translation leaves much to be desired, and this needs perfection, therefore human translation. I will neverhteless check it out. Thanks again.

Nov 23, 2012
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Translating from Mauritian creole to Jamaican Patwa
by: C.

Dear Wellesley,

Thank you so much for your response. I'm not sure whether I was completely clear regarding my query. As I said, I am a literary translator. I am translating a book from French to English in which the author includes two stanzas of two different songs in Mauritian French-based Creole.

I believe the best way to render these stanzas would be to translate them into Jamaican English-based Patwa.

I attempted to translate the first stanza into Jamaican Patwa but am sure it needs correcting. The second stanza I have just translated into straight forward English. You'll find them below:

I. Lines of first song (my attempt at Jamaican Patwa)
Mi go down a Tanier river
See a ol gramma
Mi say what shi doin deh
Shi say mi ai fishin mullet

Aye, aye chile
Gotta wuk a get you bread
Aye, aye chile
Gotta wuk a get you bread

I.A. Lines of first song in straightforward English
I went down to the Tanier river
Saw an old grandmother
I asked her what she doing there
She said to me I'm fishing mullet

Yes, yes my child
Gotta work to get your bread
Yes, yes my child
Gotta work to get your bread


II. Lines of second song:

Boy, boy lend me your rifle
See, a bird ready to take flight
If I get so lucky to kill the bird
I'll make the money for my journey
Going and coming!

I will be so grateful if you or anyone else would be able to put these lines into Jamaican Patwa!!
All best,
C.



Wellesley's Feedback

Hi C. This would be my Jamaican patios interpretation of the first song

Mi guh dung a Tanier riva
Mi si a ole grandmada
Mi ax har weh shi a do deh
She tell me seh shi a fish mullet



II. Lines of second song:

Boy, boy lend me your rifle
See, a bird ready to take flight
If I get so lucky to kill the bird
I'll make the money for my journey
Going and coming!

Hi C. This would be my Jamaican patios interpretation of the second song

Bway, Bway, len mi yuh rifle
Si waah bud deh, ready fi fly
If mi lucky fi kill di bud
Mi wi mek di money fi my trip
Fi go and fi cum back.


Nov 23, 2012
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Jamaican Patois
by: David Dossett

There is a Jamaican patois app for iPhone. It's called "I know Jamaican" It's free, so worth a shot. https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iknow-jamaican-clean/id402149513?mt=8

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