Friday, January 8, 2010

PSL -Patois as a Second Language?????

“Patois is any language that is considered nonstandard, although the term is not formally defined in linguistics. It can refer to pidgins, creoles, dialects, and other forms of native or local speech, but not commonly to jargon or slang, which are vocabulary-based forms of cant. Class distinctions are embedded in the term, drawn between those who speak patois and those who speak the standard or dominant language.”


Did you understand THAT???


Did it SEEM like another language??????




A Jamaican dialect.

I hear people say ALL THE TIME that they CAN’T understand reggae music.

They can FEEL it …they just cant understand the words.

Like this:


Sometimes you CAN understand it.



The more you listen to reggae music …

the easier it is.

I could tell you EVERY WORD of this song.

(If your interested..leave a comment LOL)

BUT…that is because we listen to REGGAE music.




The kids have GROWN up listening to REGGAE music.

We add in some blues and JAZZ.


Its pretty much the main STAPLE around here…musically.


When I was about 8 months pregnant with Zeek, Jay and I went to see our friend DJ….

He was spinning TECHO music (so I already had a pretty good idea that we weren't staying long.)


When we got there we said HELLO and stood off to the side.

About 5 minutes in…Zeek started FREAKING OUT.

In the WOMB.

He was kicking me and moving around soooooo much that I was in PAIN!!!!



Needless to say….we left.

I took it as a sign.



The other day I was cooking dinner and Shasha was sitting at the kitchen table coloring .

We were listening to music when she asked me SOMETHING about the song that was on.

She wanted to know WHY they were saying something.

What she was asking wasn’t as important to me at the moment as the fact that SHE could UNDERSTAND the words.

I asked her…”Shasha- can you UNDERSTAND what he is saying?”

She looked at me TOTALLY CONFUSED and said, “Yes, why?”

It was so EYE-OPENING.

I started laughing and thought , “I wonder if PATOIS can count as our 2nd language?”


Probably not…sadly enough.


Love and Light…….



An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

That is absolutely excellent! And, I nominated you for an award at

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Anton said...

If you can understand Reggae music it is just a first step. If you can understand Dancehall music then it is a second step. But both a not strictly Jamaican patois and are often mixed with quite a few English expressions. In Kingston, we speak a mixture of patois and English.

Suprisingly, the Marley clip above is mostly Jamaican English and little patois.

Real Patois, which is often spoken exclusively in country areas of Jamaica and to some extent in the ghettos of Kingston is considered another language by linguists. But, due to the continuing prejudice and classism passed down to us from British colonial rule, the government has been reluctant to give it language status, although, we now have half the bible in medium-level kingstonian patwa.