#learn-patois · 1 year ago

Cannot speak patois !

Hey, I am from the UK. My mum is Jamaican and so am I however, in order to assimilate to English culture my grandparents would not let my mum speak patois. I feel like I am having an identity crisis, being black but only speaking standard English. I would like to learn the language in hopes of being able to connect to my culture. **Does anyone have any resources to do so? My family is really small and none of them speak it :(?** Books, courses, musical artists \[except the obvious ofc bob marley, popcaan, vybz kartel lol\]? Do you think it is worth learning it? Thank you.


Random question, did your grandparents decision work? Would you say their children had an easier time with assimilation and that it brought more socio-economic success? Always curious to learn whether what we give up is worth or paid back by what we get in return


As someone with a Jamaican parent all I can suggest is time and exposure to what you want to learn.

I’m not mega fluent in speaking it but can understand it pretty well.

I’m 32 now so I’m pretty well versed by my own standard however wouldn’t probably be anywhere near the level of a natural born Jamaican of the same age.

Also to understand patois is ok, don’t force yourself to speak it because it’s likely it will be easily spotted as forced.

You’ll start picking up little twang’s and you’ll grow more comfortable.


> Do you think it is worth learning it.

“Identity crisis-izm” is normal so no. Better learn something useful like Chinese, C/C++ or How to make/fix shit.

The cultural stuff will fall in and out of place as you go. Most of it is just marketing anyways.


Lol dis is hilarious cuz this was me like 8 or 9 months ago But theres this channel on youtube called Matt vs. Japan that taught me about the basics of Language Acquisition and i said wait cant i apply this to Patois? As im an American born n raise for 11 yrs then moved to canada 10 yrs ago yute with jamaican parents. And i wanted to start speaking as well becuz of some tings weh did hapm inna mi life at the time so i applied what i learned from his videos to Patois and its been going swimmingly tbh. So my dad doesnt really speak patois as he left yaad from when he was young but my mom took frequent trips over the yrs so she speaks patois w family n ting. All that to say ive heard a fair bit of patois all my life, from mom, family get togethers, baby sitters, friends, etc, so when i started to immerse with Jamaican content on youtube i could already understand like 95 percent of wah gwan, the holes in my knowledge were wit things like what do ppl who arent older ppl would say in scenario x y z, parables, cultural happenings, n musical artists etc. But already understanding so much i would just watch jamaican content for like at least 2-3 p much everyday for the last 8 months and when i tell you that shit has literally worked like magic. Like i still have a bit to go before i feel comfortable speaking i can tell my understandings of cultural references, musical artistes, whats going on atm within the culture has just skyrocketed, it literally makes me so happy to think about. Now if you dont already understand a good portion of patois i would again strongly advise you watch Matt vs. Japans youtube channnel for specifics for how to build ur comprehension. and if you need anymore pointers you can dm me and ill legit tell you whatever you have questions about n whether or not i can answer it or where you can go to find ur answer.


No….i worked in PC society jamaica (or what passes for coporate) already and thats the only time ive needed it. You cant talk potwa in churches or to ur friends. Atlot of jamaicans speak a mixture of 2.

And even when u go to corporate higher ups will speak potwa to each other but reprimand u for speaking it. Often it is framed as dunce or “u chat bad eeh”

All im saying u can learn word and phrases but u wont be fluent unless u live. God forbid u visit and u try talking potwa and when the local dude speaks it back u give a bkank stare and quietly ask him to repeat as he laughs and give u the standard english.

Go learn a skill or how to curry or something more useful.


Jamaican living in Jamaica here.


It’s worth it to learn 100%. Just that in my opinion, all the resources in the world won’t help you if you’re not actively practicing it with someone willing to speak it with you. Patois is primarily an oral language (it doesn’t have a set written form) so your brain will implode with too many books and courses. I personally love teaching people the language, I love it and I’m proud of it.