Kids' Guide to Jamaica

Speaking Jamaican


The official language of Jamaica is English, spoken in proper fashion with a Jamaican accent. But the language of everyday is patois (Pat-wa). This musical dialect is a combination of English, Spanish, Portuguese, African phrases and a good dose of Jamaican slang. Spoken in a sing-song style, the result is as exotic as any foreign language. Jamaican patois is a fascinating use of the language. Below are a Jamaican patois phrases you can use to make friends and get you “Speaking Jamaican”. To learn more about “Patois” please see our online dictionary

Mi Fren = My Friend

Ketch yuh Layta = Catch you Later

Nyam = Eat

Ow ole yuh is? = How old are you?

Whey yuh a sey = How is it going?

Whey yuh name? = What is you name?

Ax = Ask

Bwoy = Boy

Gal = Girl

Ello dere = Hello there

Fada = Father

Mada = Mother

Likkle = Little

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