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Jamaican Slangs

The dominant language in Jamaica is English. But almost all the Jamaicans are bi-lingual. Jamaican slang is an amalgamation of English and African languages. The Jamaican slang which is the native
language is called "patois" and is spoken all over Jamaica by almost all the Jamaicans. Patois also includes the influences of the language of the original Arawak people. The Jamaican slang is a delightful language pleasing to the ear. But it is very confusing.

Jamaican slang-patois comes from the word "Patwa". It also has other names like Afro-Jamaican, Jamaican or Creole. "Ungrammatical English" is the most recent name that Jamaican slang has gained. Jamaica from the ancient times has been the melting pot of different cultures from all over the world. People from different countries have landed on the Jamaican soil and have settled down and have become Jamaicans over the ages. Thus Jamaica has a rich cultural heritage that is reflected in the native Jamaican language-Patois. Also colonization has left its mark on the native language of Jamaica and Jamaican slang contains English ingredients.

Jamaican Slang is often referred to as "Bad" or "Broken English" and is the local language of Jamaica. The Jamaican slang is known as "English-lexicon" and came into being when the African slaves began using a base form of English as means of communication. It has become what came to be known as Jamaican slang which is considered an inferior form of English. Though the Language retains the characteristics of the languages that have made it up, it also has its own features. The old-fashioned expressions and turn of phrase is called "Bungo talk".

The local patois is a very flexible language and is widely used by the Jamaicans. Though English forms the official language of Jamaica the Jamaican slang still retains its African flavor.


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