Jamaican Language

by admin on August 23, 2011

The Jamaican language or rather the official language in Jamaica is Standard English. But, Jamaicans also speak Patois which is a dialect. Some people spell the word “Patois” as “Patwa.”

Here are some Jamaican Patois words and phrases:

tan suh bak – laid back / relaxed

ketch e – catch it

Example: ketch e ball nuh – catch the ball, why don’t you. In this example there is no exact translation for “nuh” and it’s used to show insistence or being irritated. Speaking of which, “nuh” can also have different meanings. The word “nuh” can be used to negate a sentence. And some examples would be: “mi nuh kno” which means “I don’t know.”

Using “nuh” to show impatience or irritation. Examples include:

gwaan nuh! – go on! (nuh shows irritation or impatience depending on the context)

wait fi mi nuh! – wait for me! (again “nuh” can show impatience or irritation depending on the context)

Using “nuh” to negate a sentence. Examples include:

eem nuh si e – he does not see it

shi nuh guh deh – she does not go there

nuh duh dat! – don’t do that!

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