We all love the music of the Jamaican people. Their famous music can be heard all throughout movies. The sound of their maracas, tambourines and steel drums can be heard from miles away and it gives them that unique island vibe. You immediately feel like dancing. However, that’s not what we’re going to be talking about. We’re going to talk about the people behind this beautiful music–the Jamaicans.
The Jamaicans have their own very distinct language called Jamaican Patois (Patwa/Patwah/Patois). This beautiful language has its origins in West Africa, drawing most of its words from the Akan language (meta-ethnicity people currently living in Ghana and Ivory Coast). Despite having its own distinct language, Jamaica’s official language is English. Since British English was introduced to Jamaica in the year 1655 a lot of British English spelling conventions have influenced the Jamaican Patois. British Standard English was combined with Standard Jamaican-English. Their accent is a combination of English, Spanish, Portuguese, African phrases and Jamaican slang. In all its beauty, the Jamaican language has its own lovely sing-song, exotic feel to it.
In Jamaican Patois, there is no subject-verb agreement or differentiation between subject and object. If you have a desire to learn their accent, perhaps even their language, then you need to adopt three words: “mon”, “dem” and “irie”. Something else to consider, there is no differentiation between the genders. For “he” or “she” you would say “I’m”. Their language, since they were slaves, would have come from other African dialects. Other minorities have, since then, integrated themselves into the Jamaican ancestry. Peoples such as the Europeans, East Indians, Middle Eastern and other minorities have integrated themselves into Jamaican ancestry, thus creating a mixed ancestry. 78.4% of these descendants all speak a combination of English & Patois (Patwa).
In the year 1655, as mentioned above, a lot of British English settlers came to the island of Jamaica and brought along with them their African slaves. These slaves would eventually become the Jamaican inhabitants we know and love. Along with these slaves came their British masters and along with them came their British influence on the original inhabitants of Jamaica. This influence, further propagated by English teachers, began to spread through high-school. In high society, Jamaicans speak British Standard. This leads to them getting higher-paying jobs and greater societal prestige. It’s not just Britain that has had an influence on Jamaica. American English has also had a major influence on the Jamaican English dialect.
All in all, I’d say nothing makes me cheerier than Jamaican music; their beautiful language and dialect do not fail to impress either. If you want to learn this amazing dialect, then click on the below link and give it a shot. I found it while I was digging into Jamaican Patois.
God bless all of you, my darling avidReaders. I apologize for taking so long to write. I promise to produce more articles as soon as things quieten down at work or I get a weekend to spare. Been a busy month. Keep well 😘