In this week's language profile we're taking a brief look at Jamaican Creole English, also known by the names Jamaican Patois, Patois, or Jamaican. Given its name, it should come as no surprise that it is a creole spoken in Jamaica with strong connections to English.
If you've read our previous language profiles, then you may recall our discussion of creoles back when we looked at Haitian Creole. Basically, a creole is a language that develops from a pidgin, which is a form of communication that is created to bridge the gap between groups that don't share a language. Once the pidgin has native speakers, it can officially become a creole like Jamaican Creole English.
|Jamaica, the island home of Jamaican Creole English.|
The language is rarely written in Jamaica, which is why British English is generally used for written language. However, there have been efforts to standardize a written form of Jamaican Creole English. Recently, a project has worked to increase its prestige by translating the Bible into the language. We certainly hope the efforts are successful!