Although Jamaican English is the official language in Jamaica, Jamaican Patois is the most widely spoken language in the country. Jamaican English is the official language used in the media, commerce, religions, and the government. The Jamaican English has been influenced by British English and American English. The Creole language is a perfect blend of various West African languages with British English. Jamaican Patois also borrowed from Spanish, Aboriginal, Irish and Scottish languages.
17.1% of the Jamaicans can converse only in the Jamaica Standard English while 36.5% of Jamaicans can only converse in Jamaican Patois. Over 88% of the population are bilingual and have a working knowledge of both Jamaica Standard English and Patois. Some of the minority languages of Jamaica include Arawakan language and Spanish. Arawakan is the native language of the Taino population who were the initial settlers of the Island
Some unique phrases to Jamaica include the word "nyam" to refer to "eating, and "wicked" to mean "cool", or "excellent".
A tiny portion of the Aboriginal population also known as the Taino group can trace their ancestry to the initial settlers of Jamaica. The Tainos converse in Arawakan which had significant influence on Jamaican patois language. Another minority language used in Jamaica is the Kromanti language. Kromanti is similar to the language used by the Akan group in West Africa. This language is quite different from Jamaican Patois and is used by the Maroons living in Moore town which is located in Eastern Jamaica.
This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018
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