Perhaps one of the most difficult things to do in Jamaican Patois is to ask for directions then follow them according to what a local instructs you. This is especially true in the rural areas of the island. Unless your roots are from the island and you are able to follow directions without street names as reference points but rather using landmarks – you might just be better off using GPS as much as possible. They are usually very descriptive when giving directions and may even use their fingers to point the way to go.
Here is a blend of questions/phrases used when asking for direction as well as common examples of directions given by Jamaicans. I have also added a few disclaimers.
Wich paat me fine d bus tap? – Where can I find the bus stop?
Yuh kno wich paat me can fine maas Johnson shap? – Do you know where I can find Mr. Johson’s shop?
Turn lef afta yuh go ova di bridge den falla d road strate – Go over the bridge, then turn left and continue on the main road.
It deh pan ur rite han side – It (wherever you want to go) is on your right hand side
Roun di kaanah / roun di ben – Around the corner
When given this directional phrase, do not literally go around the corner expecting to see the place or thing you asked about. Often times the place or thing is a ways from the corner.
Dung di road / dung deh suh – Down by the road / down there
Usually this is accompanied by pointing finger indicating which road is being referred to. Again if you asked about a place or thing be prepared to go down the road sometimes before getting to where or what you are looking for.
Seet deh pon di hill – There it is on the hill
Usually this hill is not too close to where you are located.
It deh jus afta yuh pass d big church pon di corna – It is located just after you have gone past the big church on the corner
This is an example of how Jamaicans use landmarks in giving directions.
Photo – Deposit Photos