Category Archives: Jamaica

Jamaican Patwa Influences

By now you’ve heard about Jamaican Patois. The language used by Jamaicans.

Jamaican Patois or “Patwa” is the language that is used by most Jamaicans in non-professional everyday conversation. It’s a strange language at that because it has so many loan words from many different languages and at the same type sounds similar to Jamaican English. The Language if it can be called that can be traced back to the way in which Jamaica got started as a country. Because of the diversity throughout history there have been many different people with different cultures being in Jamaica.

The First People That was to influence Jamaican Patwa as we know it today would be the Arawak or the Taino Native Americans. These indigenous tribes were the peace loving People that were living in Jamaica and a few other Caribbean Islands before the arrival of the Europeans. There are a few words that they use that can be found in modern Day Jamaican Patwa.

Then As time went on the Spanish came and made the Island of Jamaica their Colony and for a while all seemed well. They imported Africans and those Africans added to the production of the country. The Spanish added words to the Jamaican Patois language and so did the Africans. In fact the Africans had arguably the most influence on the language itself. The many different tribes that came here added a different word. For example the Jamaican Patois Word for  eat which is nyam can be traced back to the African language called Wolof. The Spanish had the word pickney which is a small child. This can be traced back to the word pequeno  which is small in Spanish.

After the British conquered the island, They themselves brought their English language and with that, more influence on the Jamaican patois language. The British brought with them Irish indentured servants and that’s why sometimes people say that Jamaicans have an almost Irish way of speaking English. The British and the Irish started bringing over indentured servants after the slave trade stopped and so that is why you can find many Indians, chinese, Lebanese and even continental Europeans today in the country. Each of them brought their culture and mixed in with the local Jamaican culture and they each also brought their language and it was mixed into Jamaican patois.

So whenever you hear Jamaican patois, either from a Jamaican on the street or through reggae or dancehall music. Try to find where the words they are saying originated from. I think you might be surprised! Please drop me a comment to tell me what you thought of this article.

6 Reggae Singers You can Understand

If You are Into Reggae Music like many people, one of your biggest complaints is that you simple CANNOT understand most of what the singers are saying. So I’ve decided to Talk about 6 Reggae Artists that you’ll love to listen to but you can actually understand them! Lets get started.

Sizzla

He goes by the name Sizzla Kalonji and is quite a devout Rasta. His real name is Miguel Collins and he was born in Kingston. This man is one of the most adored Jamaican Rastafarian performers. He makes a lot of beautiful melodies and sings about a variety of social and economic issues. He’s a joy to behold. This is a sample of one of his more popular tracks. Let me know in the comments what you think!

Sean Paul

Most People would know Sean Paul. He’s one of the most popular Jamaicans in the world and also one of our best performers. He does a lot of collaborations with foreign Artists so his songs are usually in Jamaican English and also. You will find that you’ll love the one he sings and dances. Give him a try!

Damian Marley

This is the man! “JR” Gong. This is the man who is supposed to take over the reigns from his father as the Reggae superstar. Damian Marley has a few good tracks that are sung in Understandable Jamaican Patois . One of my favorite tracks of his is welcome to Jamrock which when it was released was quite popular in the world. You will not be disappointed when you listen to this wonderful musician!

Capleton

Sue Dem! Capleton is probably one of the most famous Rastafarians in Jamaica. He’s dramatically known as the “Fireman” because his concerts usually have a lot of effects involving fire. He’s one of the old style reggae singers that have not yet moved to the more “youth friendly” Dancehall Music. Capleton is not well known to most people who would listen to reggae music outside of Jamaica. You should check out his Video below and if you like him Find more of his music online.

Bob Marley

This is the man. Tuff Gong Robert Nesta Bob Marley. He’s one of a kind. A legend in the Reggae music space. He continues to live on today through his song and is one of the most magical people to have walked on this earth. He has many classics and if you’re here you probably know bob marley quite well. I cannot recommend him and his music enough and if you find something you like, You should post a comment about it!

Jah Cure

Last but certainly not least is JAH Cure. Another one of the proud Rasta Reggae singers He’s a different voice with his music. There is not much to say about Jah Cure i’ll let his music do the talking for him. Let me know what you think.


There you have it. 6 Jamaican Performers and a few songs you’ll be able to understand. Be sure to like, this post and drop a comment to let me know what you thought about it.

7 Things You’ll Love In Jamaica

There are many things you could potentially do while you’re in Jamaica. I’ve come up with just 7 things though that I think you’d like when you go there.

Food

 Ackee & Salt Fish

recipes-ackeesaltfish_is This is the national Dish of Jamaica. It is made by Cooking The Fruit from the Ackee Tree. You first cook this to make it pure then you make it with Salt Fish (Salted Cod). This is a Delicious Meal that can be had with cooked bananas for breakfast, Or Even eaten with Rice Or Fried Dumplings. It is something that you must taste if you visit Jamaica.

Bun & cheese

easter bun sandwich closeup

 

Spiced Bun With Cheese. Known Affectionately As “Bun n Cheese”. This meal is usually Had During the easter holidays and simply consists of the Soft & Juicy Spiced Bun with New Zealand or Jamaican Made Cheese. Even if you Do not go there for Easter you should consider getting this to eat!

Rice & Peas

recipe_rice_peas

 

This is probably the most popular Thing to have for Jamaicans. Rice With Kidney Beans. Also known to Jamaicans as Rice n Peas. This delicious meal is made from Rice with coconut Milk and The red kidney beans. You’ll love it.

Bammy

bammy

Bammy is one of those old school Jamaican meals. It is made from Cassava. Its something that you should try while you’re there. You will love it. Jamaicans especially like to eat their Bammy with fried fish!

Beef Patty

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This is one of the most popular Jamaican Export. The beef patty is quite popular in Jamaica as lunch and is usually had with orange Juice. This is one of the most delicious things you’ll ever taste.

Jerk Chicken

jamaica-jerk-chicken-2

When People think of Jamaica they see bob marley, Reggae music and JERK CHICKEN. This is one of the most tasty ways you can cook chicken. It is basically grilled chicken over a nice home made grill with the perfect blend of herbs and spices to make your taste buds go WOW.

Music

Reggae

bob_marley

Being in Jamaica, You’ll hear a lot of new wonderful Reggae Music that you’ve never heard before. As you know this is the most popular export of Jamaica. Bob Marley may be the most popular Jamaican Reggae musician there are many more Jamaicans Singing in the native Patwa and even the more understandable “Jamaican English”. When you’re here you must prepare for the amazing artistes that you’ll listen to.

Dancehall

 

Dancehall_thumb1

If you like dancing then this is the kind of music for you. This music is like reggae but fast paced and made for dancing. It is the modern version of Bob Marley’s type of singing. You will enjoy this one.

Jamaican Patwa

This is the most common language you’ll hear when you are in Jamaica. It is spoken by the locals and its a combination of many african languages, Native indian languages and even English languages. If you’re going to jamaica then you should probably look on the section where the talk about jamaican patois to english translations.

Beaches

 7 Mile Beach

7-mile-beach

7 Mile beach is one of the most beautiful and most popular beaches in Jamaica. I don’t think i need to say anymore when i’m talking about it. The picture speaks for itself right? Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Ocho Rios

beaches-ocho-rios-resort

Then there is Ocho Rios This is place is just as beautiful. It has many attractions including the famed Dunns River Falls. The natural beauty is sure to stun anyone and Once you are there you will see what i mean.

Kingston

jamaica-beaches

Kingston is the capital and it is one of the most beautiful places to see but it is one of the lesser known places by tourists. When you go there you’ll know.

Montego Bay

Port_de_montego_bay

Montego bay has the 2nd major airport in Jamaica (After the airport in kingston). This is the place to go if you want to enjoy beaches and nature but at the same time you want to shop in style. Montego bay will be a place, you never forget.

Places to See

 Bob Marley

statues_marley

 

This is the statue of Bob Marley Located in Kingston. While there are many of them to be seen all over Jamaica. It may be worth your wild to go there and visit the museum and see it all in person.

 

Lovers Leap

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Lovers Leap is one of St Elizabeths most prized attractions. Just look at the view. I would sit here and tell you the back story of why this place is called lovers leap but i will show you why here.

People

The People are warm and friendly and ever so nice. You will never have a problem getting around because asking people will always yield a warm smile and they will be happy to help. You will find people selling things, people swimming, dancing, singing. You will get to meet with a lot of interesting people and i’m sure you’ll like it.

Nature

Montego Bay

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My personal favorite is Montego Bay. It is just a beautiful sight to be seen when you go there. Just look at that picture. Wow amazing isnt it?

Blue Mountains

blue_mountains

 

The last is the blue mountains where the famed blue mountain coffee comes from. There is not much to be said about it.

These are a few things and a few words about them. I would appreciate a comment of what you thought or if you went to Jamaica what experience was your favorite.

Common Jamaican Patois Sayings

Jamaicans are usually saying proverbs. Which are things that generally apply in lots of different situations. Today we’ll go over some Jamaican Patois Proverbs that are usually handed through the generations. Take these little “wisdoms” lightly and apply them in your life, when you see fit.

 

Here are a Colletion of Common/ Uncommon Jamaican Sayings! I Hope you enjoy them:

I’ll Say the Patois Expression and then repeat the same Standard English expression after.

  • Mi old, but mi nuh cold [Do not underestimate the value of the elderly]
  • What a fi yu, cyaan be un fi yu [What is yours will always be yours]
  • Who born fi heng cyaan drown [You can’t control destiny]
  • Play wid puppy, puppy lick yu mout [Familiarity breeds contempt]
  • Every hoe have dem stik a bush [There’s someone out there for everyone]
  • If fish deh a river bottom an tell yu seh alligator have gum boil, believe him! [Listen to the voice of experience]
  • Sorry fi mawga dog, mawga dog wi tun round bite you [Sometimes it is those whom we help who are the least grateful]
  • Dawg a sweat an long hair hide it [All that glitters is not gold]
  • Jamaican Saying: ole fia stick easy fi ketch. [Meaning: easy to get something that you once had it before.]
  • Talk and taste your tongue [Think before you speak].
  • Young bud nuh know storm [Experience teaches wisdom]
  • Johncrow always tink im picney pretty [Parent always think there children are beautiful]
  • heng pan nail [Looking tired]
  • Man nuh dead nuh call dem duppy [Never underestimate people]
  • What sweet nanny goat ago run eeh belly [That that appear too good, can hurt you]
  • Fire deh a mus-mus tail him tink a cool breeze [You may be heading for trouble and don’t even realize it]
  • Di higher monkey climb, di more him expose himself [The higher your status, the more your vulnerabilities are exposed]
  • When trouble ketch yu pickney shut fit yu [Any port in a storm]
  • One, one coco full basket [Do not expect to achieve success overnight, take it slowly]
  • Chicken merry; hawk deh [is] near [Be careful when things are going too good for you as its always possible that danger is around the corner]
  • Every hoe ha dem tick a bush [There’s that perfect someone for everyone]
  • Good fowl a go a market sensei fowl pick up themself deh follow back a dem [Person with class being copied by ghetto individual.]
  • Every mikkle mek a mukkle [Every little bit counts]
  • De olda de moon, de brigher it shines [The older a person is, the wiser]
  • Rock stone a river bottom cyaan know sun hot [He who feels it knows it]
  • Gi mi sponge fi go dry up sea [Giving one an impossible task to do.]
  • When puss belly full im seh rat batty bitter [People forget where they come from]
  • Wanti wanti can’t get it, getti getti no want it [The grass isn’t always greener on the other side.]
  • Puss and dawg nuh have di same luck [Some people are luckier than others]
  • Every dawg has his day and every puss his 4 o’clock [Today for me, tomorrow for you]
  • Cockroach nuh business inna fowl fight [Don’t get involved in this that don’t concerns you]
  • Ole fire stick easy fi ketch [It’s easy to rekindle an old romance]
  • how watah walk go a punkin belly [How thing happen, what will happen (usually used as a threat)]
  • Jamaican Saying: “ride & wistle” [Meaning: Be able to do more than one thing at a time,eg, talk & work]
  • Mi throw mi corn, but me no call no fowl [A statement is made, the guilty party will pick it up]
  • Yuh tink a one day monkey want wife? [Do think you won’t need my help in the future? Never forget those who help you]
  • Chicken merry, hawk deh near.[ Be careful when things are going too good for you as its always possible that danger is around the corner.]
  • See and Blind, Hear and Deaf [Sometimes you need to give a deaf ear, and turn a blind eye to things in order to not get involved]
  • Wanti, wanti, cyan getti, getti, getti nuh want it [Count your blessings and do not take what you have for granted- others may just be hoping they had what you have]
  • Hog picney sey momma momma how yuh mouth so long, momma sey by & by yuh wi si [Children questioning parents why certain things happen, mother’s reply wait & you will see]
  • Cock mouth kill cock [Watch your mouth, it can get in the great trouble!]
  • Hog say, ‘de first dutty water mi ketch, mi wash’. [Make use of the first opportunities that comes your way]
  • One eye man a king in blind man country. [No matter how bad your situation seems, there is always another for whom things are worse]
  • Duppy know who fi frighten [Bullies pick on those who can defend themselves the least]

And There You have it! A collection of Jamaican Patwa Phrases That are common and not so common. I hope you enjoyed them and I hope you apply them to Your Life!

How to learn Jamaican Patwa

IF you want to know how to learn Jamaican patwa you’ve come to the right place. The langauge is not that widely spoken so there are not many resources out there compared to other languages but here is a set of beginning jamaican patois language learning videos.


This is the 2nd Video for you to learn jamaican patwa

This is the 2nd Video in the How to speak jamaican patwa series

IF you want to learn more patois then this is also for you this is the 3rd video

HEre is the 4th video. Now you can learn how to speak jamaican patwa in one central place.

This is the 5th video to learn how to speak jamaican patwa. Hope you enjoy it!

JAmaican Patois Lessons and this is the 6th video. Hopefully it does a lot for you.

The 7th Video in the series for you if you want to learn how to speak jamaican patwa well. HEre is something for you.

The final Video int he series for nwo with patwa lesson 8 hope you like it.

If you liked these videos and would like to learn more jamaican patois then The Jamaican Patois course is now open for you to get. It has more content than these videos and will have you speaking patois like you were a native jamaican.

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