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5 Reasons Jamaican Culture Is the Most Popular Per Capita

Jamaican Patois becoming the youth language of choice in larger countries

In some parts of England and Toronto Canada, a dialect heavy with Jamaican and Afro-Caribbean inflections is being spoken by a significant portion of the youth population. British linguists are calling it “multicultural youth English,” or MYE.  Jamaican Creole, or JamC , what the academics are now calling the patois native to Jamaica, has become the dialect employed not just by the children of Jamaican immigrants, but also by second-generation West Indians of other national origins (i.e. of Trinidadian, Grenadian, Guyanese, etc. parentage) and simultaneously by Black youth of various African heritage. For British-born, urban Black people, JamC became a code used as a marker of Black identity with sociolinguistic functions similar to African-American vernacular English in the United States.

Soon after, even young white people of local, English origins started adopting JamC into their linguistic practices. Reportedly, many of those urban British-born adolescents who showed the highest levels of JamC competence had no Afro-Caribbean family background at all. The same phenomenon is being observed among the youth in Canada, primarily in the city of Toronto, which has a large Jamaican population.

Paul Kerswill,  a professor of Lancaster University, has  studied MYE—and says it is no passing fad. ‘There is evidence that this new type of English is spreading outside London around the big urban centers of England—some young people in Birmingham and Manchester use local versions of it, for example, says Kerswill. He added: “It is already in many people’s ordinary speech and will stay with them into adulthood.”Many experts also project  the Jamaican-influenced dialect will usurp some traditional regional dialects, such as Cockney in London, within the next 20 years.


What people are saying

45 thoughts on “5 Reasons Jamaican Culture Is the Most Popular Per Capita

  1. Barbara Burke says:

    Proud to be "yardie."

  2. Uriah Lewis says:

    This is amazing and should be published yeahaaaa.

  3. Wi likkl but wi tallawah

  4. Caroline Stanley says:

    Yawd to de worl

  5. Yet we Jamaicans are ashamed of using our Language. I might live long enough to see us hugging it up after people in foreign take it, do what they want to do with it and then give it back to us. Then we will all be proud,..(what a people)
    …remember reggae music….sorry lot we are!!!!

  6. Danielle Wright says:


  7. Iman dehdeh wid y'u…no stop sehso fi years!

  8. Evol Beckford says:

    Students of Carib Studies need to read this…likkle facts to spice up their essays.

  9. No one is ashamed Clive B Johnson. You have to be able to communicate to the rest of the world. Imagine me going to Paris not knowing one word in French.

  10. Jadian Evans says:

    I don't mean any offence, to anyone. I'm so passionate about this so please bear with me.

    I am West Indian, and yet I don't feel that the above post re the spread of the dialect this is something to celebrate. 'Yardie' culture is a destructive force and sometimes seen as a negative culture. 'Yardie' culture is not to be confused with being Jamaican, they are different and distinct.

    Though there may be only anecdotal evidence the attitudes behind it seem to be in large part behind the reasons for so much trouble in the community.

    I am no example of perfect grammar by any means BUT being proud of poor diction and or ghettoised pronunciations should NEVER be anything we are proud of or rejoice in—EVER.

    Much love

  11. One bone to pick with the article. It's not Reggae music that is a global movement, it's JAMAICAN music. There is a subtle difference. It's not the Reggae genre per se, since Rocksteady and Ska preceded Reggae, and those two musics arguably had a much larger impact on world music than Reggae. Rather, it's the sound from Jamaican studios and sound systems that stands alone to this day. As a music producer, I've long been fascinated with that unique drum and bass sound that only Jamaican producers and musicians seem to be able to duplicate. I often wonder what's there (I've been several times) that makes it so (is it the water?)

  12. biggest little county in the world!!!! proud to be Jamaican

  13. Kim Ellings says:

    I remember at Ardenne getting in trouble for speaking patois and thinking to myself how weird it was because everyone in Australia loves how Jamaicans speak!

  14. Ditto Jamaica flavor and English is our official language. While patoise is loved by most countries we need to be understood when we speak. We are in NO way sorry.. What is sorry is to think we can force our language on everyone else. Agreed pstoise will get me nothing in Patis. Jamaica to de werl!!!!!!!

  15. Georgi Reid says:

    What are the 5 reasons again?

  16. Keren Brown says:

    Born in the Uk to Jamaican parents but my dad said I'm more Jamaican than the Jamaicans. Me no how fi switch an blend.

  17. Macximus Verilimus Verbimimus says:


  18. No Clive B. Growing in Jamaica they taught you to be ashamed of the dialect.

  19. Cynthia Pearson says:

    What some of us are concerned about is how some Jamaicans confuse the patois they speak with the little English they know. There needs to be a way in which the speakers can differentiate the two, not confusing, expressions, like "a true she bright., she boasy" to "it is through she is bright, she is boastful". Speakers ought to know that " a true" should be translated as "it is because…". More practice in differentiating the two languages will come through reading books and listening to good speakers of English.

  20. Positive vibes. Proud of my ancestry.

  21. Keith Noel says:

    A small correction. It is misleading to spell the word 'true'. it derives from the word 'through'. So, the English 'translation' of the expression " a tru she bright' is "it is through her 'brightness' " which is the same as 'it is because of' but the 'etymology' is different.

  22. Cynthia Pearson says:

    Thanks for this clarification, sir.

  23. Switch an blend…i love that

  24. I was born in London to Jamaican parents. We moved to Jamaica when I was 7 years old. That was1965. I became free that year. Jamaica showed me who I was and what Icould become. Kiwi Neva stop chat pat Wah, Noam Jamaican food or love reggae music! Mi a yardie through an through. JahBless

  25. Clive Hewitt says:

    Yes you are correct, whilst growing up in Jamaica we were discouraged not to speak patois. I guess our parents thought the old colonial structures would still prevail and that to get ahead in life ment that you should speak the queens English flawlessly.

  26. C'mon Son says:

    It's a pleasure to ….

  27. Amsu Anpu says:

    PROUD to be a Jamaican..Fi Reallll!!!
    No other culture (without forced colonialism) in Earth's history has had such an influence on the world. Yardies big up unu self…bluh-bluh-bluh!!!

  28. Sharlet De Blauwe says:

    Big up we self yardie ppl

  29. Tariq Ahmed says:

    King of Reaggae Bob Marley:
    Get up stand up stand up for your right
    Preacher man, don't tell me, (pastors)
    Heaven is under the earth.
    I know you don't know
    What life is really worth. (Life is to strive to God's will, do good don't do bad. not Jesus died for our sins you are responsible for your own sins)
    It's not all that glitters is gold;
    Half the story has never been told: (After Jesus half of the story haven't been told Last Prophet)
    So now you see the light, eh!
    Stand up for your rights. come on!
    Most people think,
    Great god will come from the skies,
    Take away everything
    And make everybody feel high.
    But if you know what life is worth,
    You will look for yours on earth: (Your deeds matters on earth doing good)
    And now you see the light,
    You stand up for your rights. jah!
    We sick an' tired of-a your ism schism game – (Priests playing us purposely)
    Dyin' 'n' goin' to heaven in-a Jesus' name, (Nobody will go to heaven in Jesus' name)
    Lord, We know when we understand:
    Almighty God is a Living Man. (God can't die on a cross He's the Eternal Masculine of power)
    You can fool some people sometimes,
    But you can't fool all the people all the time.
    So now we see the light (what you gonna do?),
    We gonna stand up for our rights!

  30. Jones Errol says:


  31. Jones Errol says:


  32. Jones Errol says:


  33. I wonder if without the Rastafari Movement could the other four Influences carry the Island to the level of world popularity it has today?, Or would it just be like all the other post slavery islands ,void of any true afrikan desire to be truly Afrikan. With the commercialization of the movement and white exploitation of Rasta culture,Jamaica is becoming another marginalized Exploited tourist Island, void of the desire for the Afrikan identity that made us great.Holy Imaniwell I, Dja Ra-S-Tafari

  34. I wonder if without the Rastafari Movement could the other four Influences carry the Island to the level of world popularity it has today?, Or would it just be like all the other post slavery islands ,void of any true afrikan desire to be truly Afrikan. With the commercialization of the movement and white exploitation of Rasta culture,Jamaica is becoming another marginalized Exploited tourist Island, void of the desire for the Afrikan identity that made us great.Holy Imaniwell I, Dja Ra-S-Tafari

  35. Keith Noel Well said sir. A proper understanding of English allows for a correct translation of our beloved Patois. Amazing how lacking that is.

  36. Proud of my Roots,although born in the UK raised by old fashioned Jamaican parents,

  37. If only most of the Jamaican people would recognize this and change their bad behaviour.

  38. Georgena Christie says:

    True Clive I know quite a few who's ashamed to use patois.

  39. How can I not be proud of my roots and culture. Am so proud of the place of my Birth ( Xaymaca ). May the Blessings continue Through the mercies of the creator , Abba Father. Amen.

  40. Patwa is a recognised language , since the 1800s , so we should all be proud to speak it. Anyway Mi Ah Guh Jamaka ina march an Guh lap up More ah Dii languaaaaage. Am sure the whole world want to be like jamaicans. Nuh Weh Nuh Betta Dan Yaaaaaaaad .

  41. Keren Brown says:

    In the UK posh English people use the words big up and bling bling and nuff as part of every day English language. Also most people love rice and peas and curry mutton. Due to strong Jamaican influence the irony of if all. Likkle but Tallwah.

  42. Likkle but wi tallawah!!!! Beyond proud to be Jamaican. Beautiful Island, amazing culture, wonderful people. Love the fact that we can take a little and make the most. Will forever bleed Black, Green and Gold!!!

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