I have been in Jamaica for almost three years and I don’t catch and understand their so called “Patois” (or sometimes “Pattwa”) language yet, especially when they speak fast. As expected, I learned greeting word like “Wa Gwan” or Whatta Gwan, something like “what is going on” or “What’s up” and of course, a bad word like “Bumbaclot“. Please don’t ask me what does it mean. Google it if you are curious enough.
Fortunately, 99% of them understand and talk standard English, so I don’t have any problem working here.
Yesterday, I just heard a new word which is neither Patois nor English. It is the word that I have not learnt in medical school and I have never been heard throughout my experience working with them.
This old gentleman just said “Doc, me havin’ foothritis” (or footathritis, I don’t know how he spells)”. I was explaining about arthritis – joint pain and he said ” no doc, me called it foothritis”. I said ok and use footathritis whenever I am using arthritis throughout our conversation.
Words or the language don’t matter, it is COMMUNICATION and the mutual understanding that matters, don’t?
Learn some Jamaican words here – http://members.tripod.com/~Livi_d/language/patois_dictionary.htm;