Jamaican Patois phrasebook

Sourced from Wikivoyage. Text is available under the CC-by-SA 3.0 license.

Jamaican Creole, or "Patois" (Jumiekan Kryuol or Jumiekan Patwa), is an English-based creole spoken in Jamaica and the diaspora, and has become a lingua franca in the Bocas del Toro and Limón provinces in Panama and Costa Rica respectively. Although it is not considered an official language due to its social implications, it is the language used by inhabitants in daily life, and to a limited extent, the government. It is considered the most distinctive form of creole spoken in the Caribbean region. A fairly easy language to learn, the fact that it is English-based makes it easier for English speakers to grasp adequate grammar to get around. However, the wide vocabulary stemming from the ever-changing vernacular and its local twists makes it quite difficult, if not nearly impossible, for non-native speakers to fully comprehend the language. It is heavily based on English, but there are significant traces of West African vocabularies and those of earlier immigrants. While being a spoken language, written forms can be in any form, as long as the meaning is accurately conveyed.


Pronunciation guide

Phrase list