Translate English to Patois
Patois is the name of the dialect spoken by the vast majority of Jamaicans. Translating English to Patois can be daunting if you do not have access to a Jamaican Patois dictionary or if you do not know any native speakers of the dialect. The following things should be taken into consideration when translating English to Patois.
One important thing to remember is that the language spoken in Jamaica is a dialect. Many Jamaican words were in fact derived from Standard English. However, despite this, there many Jamaican words that are African in origin, Spanish or borrowed from other languages. It is interesting to note that although many Jamaican words were derived from Standard English, when the Jamaican dialect is spoken, at a moderate or fast rate, it becomes unintelligible to those who have no previous knowledge of the dialect. In other words, the Jamaican dialect is not easily understood by those who are not familiar with it.
Another factor which makes the Jamaican dialect sound foreign is the fact that many non-English words have been incorporated into the dialect. These foreign words are called ‘loanwords’ and these words were borrowed from various African languages, the Spanish language among other languages.
As stated, many of the words in the Jamaican dialect are in fact English. Therefore, when someone asks a Jamaican to translate a word to Jamaican, more often than not the questioner might be surprised to learn that the Jamaican word is the same or very similar to the word in Standard English. Moreover, the only difference between some English words and the Jamaican version of those words is in their pronunciation. Of course there are exceptions to this.
An additional consideration that should be remembered when translating English to Patois is the fact that there are different Jamaican accents and different styles of speaking in Jamaica.
In some areas of Jamaica the accent is deeper and different vocabulary may be used to define the same word. This is in spite of the fact that Jamaica is a relatively small country. Even among Jamaicans these differences in speaking and in accents are recognized.
Translating English to Patois can be daunting if you do not have access to a Jamaican Patois dictionary or if you do not know any native speakers of the dialect. This article presented some facts about the Jamaican dialect. The article also presented some of key points that should be taken in consideration when trying to translate English to Jamaican Patois.
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