Languages in Jamaica

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Languages in Jamaica

Jamaicans speak Jamaican Creole natively, also known locally as Patois (pronounced "patwa"). Its pronunciation and vocabulary are significantly different from English, despite it being based on English. Despite not being official, some of the billboards and signage use phrases like "Eberyting is ah right" to mean "Everything is all right."

Although all Jamaicans can speak English, which is also the official language, they often have a very thick accent and foreigners may have trouble understanding them because of this. Some Jamaicans speak a little bit of the other popular languages, like Spanish.

You will usually hear Jamaicans say "Waah gwan?", "Waah appen?", or "what tah gwan", the Creole variation of "What's up?" or "What's going on?" More formal greetings are usually "Good morning" or "Good evening." 

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