A likkle literary taste a mi Culcha!

Dis mawnin mi get one notification fi a Weekly Writing Challenge fi write a post inna mi native tongue, or fi expound pon one a wi talk. An mi deya a wonda how di I gwen write one post fi unnu undastan me completely. (Btw I hope unnuh understand me so far)

Mi did already write a one story or tree weh have mi Jamaican dialeck in it but a neva write di whole ting inna mi tongue cause, a whole heap a factors affect how we write we language an how people ago read it.

Unlike de English Language, dere is no set way fi spell certain words, we jus haffi write it base on how we tink it soun’. An di way a certain word or phrase soun’ depend pon which part a Jamaica you hail from.

A Kingstonian like miself wudda seh “Which part you come fram?” while smaddy from Westmoreland or ova the West, wudda seh suppm like “A weh you deh come fram?”

It funny, for me a try reason out we language when mi use fi tink de English Language was difficult wid dem whole heap a rules and exceptions and pronunciation and ting. But mi a get fi understand seh a so evrybaddy language set, especially di Jamaican Patwah.

When mi was likkla an a do Spanish inna High School, mi use fi tink Spanish was haard cause dem jus as complicated as English, an a nuff a we did feel so. An base pon mi likkle experience wid Spanish mi neva even try French, no sah!

A mad you waan mad me?!

Arite now, mi ago try bruk it dung fi you even furda.

Rule numba 1: we nuh pronounce di ending a most words. ER at the end of a word becomes ‘A’, T an D at de end of most words just get knock off all togedda. We nuh have time fi a pronounce dem ting deh. Lol, just kidding. But we nah pronounce dem.

If you go to di tap, you will see weh mi a seh wid dis Rule. Wonder becomes Wonda, Sound laus’ di D, as well as Understand.

Rule numba 2: any weh you see TH in a word automatically becomes D.

The, This, Them, Think all becomes De, Dis, Dem, and oh, here comes di firs’ exception: Think becomes Tink.

Rule numba 3: we like fi add a likkle extra to di word dem every now an den, fi no reason odda dan it just sound likkle betta.

Fi example: Inna (In), Deya (Here), Wudda (Would), Likkla (Smaller, Younger), and den dere is we eva famous phrase ‘Fool Fool’ as in, “You too fool-fool.” It just mean you extra fool! An dat a nuh good compliment.

One laas ting mi waan lef unnu wid, we have one acronym: DWL. Wheneva yuh see me or smaddy else seh DWL it jus mean we a Dead Wid Laaf, as in whateva you jus seh was so hilarious we literally a dead wid laugh, which is a good ting.

So add it to yuh evryday communications and spread de love.

An Bless up mi dupes!


  1. Thanks for the explanation. I enjoyed this a lot. If anyone’s having trouble reading, it’s easier to follow if you say it out loud (at least it was for me.) (And that was probably hilarious on its own for anyone who was watching – I tink.)


    • DWL you got it Cynthia! And you’re right, it’s easier to follow along if you read it aloud. Thanks for the suggestion I completely forgot to mention that 🙂


  2. I loved that… although I’m not sure I got more than 2 words from each sentence, it’s definitely a beautiful dialect to the ears however.


    • Thanks VeeKay. It really is a beautiful and complex dialect, and like I said, if you go to different parts of Jamaica you’ll hear a difference in the language which makes it even more interesting.

      I probably should record some of it for you guys. #FoodforThought!


  3. Stumbled upon this on Freshly Pressed and I love it! My family is Jamaican, so I’ve grown up speaking and understanding patois. This is great 🙂


  4. Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Your writing is invigorating and so deserving of being spotlighted on WordPress.
    You have an authentic voice that is rare on this forum. Keep up the good work..you have a fan in me and I will be following your blog closely. Bravo! Dennis http://www.dlmchale.com


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