Speaking Patwa

Speaking Patwa comes naturally to those who were born and lived in Jamaica. Jamaican babies absorb the Jamaican language because they are surrounded by it. It is spoken by their mothers. They hear it when the radio is turned on. They hear people speaking Patwa when the television plays or when the neighbors visit. Their ears become immersed in the sounds of Patois. Likewise, if someone wants to begin speaking Patwa or begin learning Patois or any foreign language, for that matter, he/she too should surround himself with the language. Learning a language is often accomplished through repetition and frequent use. In other words, Jamaican Patois is a language skill which can be learned through continued use, practice and by speaking it.

If you travel abroad to Canada, the United States, or to the United Kingdom there are not many cities, within those countries, where you will not hear Jamaican Patois being spoken. There are over a million Jamaicans living abroad. Subsequently, many of those Jamaicans have settled down and have had children; so there are now many thousands of first generation and second generation descendants of those Jamaicans born in those foreign countries. The influence and awareness of Jamaican culture and language has begun and has continued to increase as a result. In many of these cities abroad you can now find radio stations, restaurants, social events and even television programs which cater to Jamaican tastes and where speaking Patwa is the norm.