Saturday, September 18, 2021

Language & Phrasebook in Jamaica

North AmericaJamaicaLanguage & Phrasebook in Jamaica

Jamaicans speak native Jamaican Creole, also known as Patois (pronounced “patwa”). Its pronunciation and vocabulary are quite different from English, although it is based on English. Although it is not official, a large part of the population uses slang such as “Everyting is irie”, which means “Everything is good”.

Although all Jamaicans can speak English, which is also the official language, they often have a very strong accent and foreigners may therefore have difficulty understanding them. Some Jamaicans speak a little of other popular languages, such as Spanish.

You will usually hear Jamaicans say “Waah gwan?”, “Waah appen?” or “what tah gwan”, the Creole variant of “What’s up?” or “What’s going on?”. More formal greetings are usually “good morning” or “good evening”.