søndag 22. mai 2011

Jamaican Creole

Jamaican Creole is something we associate with reggae, dreads and a specific type of brownies. At least some of us do.
Jamaican Creole also known as Jamaican Patois is a language mainly developed from English, with some re-grammar and with the influence of some West-African vocabulary. The language is a mix between African Creole and Anglo-American English.

The language was developed in the 17th century when slaves from the western parts of Africa were exposed to English by their colonists with Irish, Scottish and British background. This is the origin of the Jamaican Creole and distinguishes the language.

The Jamaican Creole’ characteristics come from the West- African influence, and can be recognized by the pronunciation of the vowels. They pronounce the vowels very clearly and put pressure on them. Underneath the blog entry is a song by Bob Marley, the most known Jamaican reggae artist. In his song you can hear the characteristic pronunciation for Jamaican Creole.

The Jamaican Creole is an oral language and they write standard British English due to the colonists that brought their language with them in the 17th century as earlier mentioned. You can picture yourself a British person speaking contra a Jamaican person speaking. Knowing that their written language is exactly alike is hard to image when the pronunciation is so different. The Patois (Jamaican Creole) is a part of the Jamaican culture and history, and I believe that the language through the reggae has given the country a public face.

I think that we need varieties of English to keep developing the language, and the Jamaican Creole is a great contribution to this development.