Ja makin' me crazy

Feb 11, 2011 10:55:56 AM / by Rachel Reardon

On vacation, I thought I was leaving behind my Mango friends and going to have a break from language learning. I love languages. I always want to know what folks are saying if I hear a foreign tongue. Lucky for me...I learned about a whole new language while on vacation. One of the crew members on my cruise last week was Jamaican. He was in charge of many of the activities on board. I heard him speak all week and he was easily understood, then I witnessed him speaking to a co-worker and didn't understand but a few words. I was excited because I thought it sounded like creole and he confirmed it. But what I didn't know was that there is such a language called Jamaican. Yep, I know...crazy!

Per wikipedia: "Jamaican Patois, known locally as Patois (Patwa) or Jamaican, and called Jamaican Creole by linguists, is an English-lexified creole language with West African influences spoken primarily in Jamaica and the Jamaican diaspora. It is not to be confused with Jamaican English nor with the Rastafarian use of English. The language developed in the 17th century, when slaves from West and Central Africa were exposed to, learned and nativized the vernacular and dialectal forms of English spoken by their masters: British English, Scots and Hiberno English."

Just goes to show that even a language loving gal like myself can learn a few things everyday! So cool.

What languages have you encountered that you didn't even know existed?

Topics: Language Learning and Culture, Mango News

Rachel Reardon

Written by Rachel Reardon

Rachel works with some of the coolest marketers, designers, and writers around to help Mango look and sound its best. She loves bold colors, old books, the Montréal metro, and Star Trek. She has conflicting feelings about the Oxford comma.

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