Category Archives: English in Jamaica

Spelling Jamaican the Jamaican Way

This is a handout explaining the rules of spelling of Patois (patwa), the vernacular English creole spoken by most people in Jamaica. The Jamaican Language Unit of the University of the West Indies at Mona, Jamaica. Read the handout. This … Continue reading

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Jamaican Slang Glossary Words and Phrases

A glossary (explanation of the meaning) of words and phrases used in Jamaican Patois the vernacular English spoken in Jamaican and also used in reggae music and dub poetry. speakjamaican.com, no date. Read the glossary.

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English in Jamaica

This short articles explains how Jamaican English (also know as Patois) developed as a pidgin English (a mix of English and other languages) on the ships that took slaves from West Africa to Jamaica and then became the mother tongue … Continue reading

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Jamaican English

This article looks at Jamaican English, a variety of English used widely in education, the government, media, and official communication in Jamaica, that is grammatical similar to standard English. It compares it to Jamaican Patois, a Creole that is spoken … Continue reading

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Jamaica debates ‘Queen’s English’

Last month, Queen Elizabeth visited Jamaica as part of her Golden Jubilee world tour. Her visit coincided with renewed debate about whether standard English – sometimes known as “Queen’s English” – should remain the country’s only official language. The Guardian, March 22, … Continue reading

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Jamaican Patois

Jamaican Patois, known locally as Patois (Patwa) or Jamaican, and called Jamaican Creole by linguists, is an English-lexified creole language with West African influences spoken primarily in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora. It is not to be confused with Jamaican English nor with the Rastafarian use of English. The language developed in the 17th century, … Continue reading

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