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English Language in Jamaica

English is the Official Language of Jamaica. All sorts of formal compositions in Jamaica are done in English. The system of formal education also uses English as the standard language. Jamaican English is however
quite different from the Jamaican Creole also considered by the Jamaicans as a kind of English.

The influence of British English is the strongest on the standard English used in Jamaica. British Grammar is the standard grammar accepted by Jamaican English. The vocabulary also consists of British words and spellings.

The increasing association with American English has also influenced the English of Jamaica in recent times. Standard American words and specially spellings have been adopted in the vocabulary of Jamaican English.

Standard Jamaican English is not similar to English Patois, the spoken language of Jamaica. The strong cultural blend in Jamaica has resulted in the formation of Patois which is a dialect, a mixture of English with other European as well as Caribbean languages. Jamaican English is, on the other hand, a proper language based on the grammar and vocabulary of Standard British English. English of Jamaica has adopted certain local words but it is distinctively dissimilar from the dialect Patois.

The decolonization of Jamaica and the improving contacts with the outside world have given the Jamaicans a sense of pride of their strong cultural roots. The regional influence can be observed in the formal usage of English in Jamaica Words and phrases belonging to the spoken language are finding a place in the Jamaican English vocabulary.


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