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What is Patois?

Patois is recognized as the unofficial language spoken by Jamaican people. Although not recognized by most linguists as a standard language based on the fact that it is not standardized, it remains the preferred language among Jamaicans. The language itself is comprised of a mixture of borrowed words from other languages such as French, Portuguese, English and even early Arawak language.

Tourists visiting the island tend to find the language a bit confusing and comical, and usually pick up two words "Mon" and "Irie" that have somehow become affiliated with Jamaica all over the world.

Pronouns in Patois
  • I, Me - Mi
  • You (singular) - Yu
  • He, Him, She, It - Im - (Not specific to male, female or animal)
  • Her - Har
  • We, Us - Wi
  • You (plural) - Unu / Unuh
  • They, Them - Dem

NB. All patois pronouns have a short (i) sound

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