As more and more people enjoy luxury Caribbean holidays English is fast becoming the predominant dialect of the region.
However, whilst English is now accepted as the first language of many Caribbean nations there are also hundreds of different regional dialects that are used across the region.
These dialects and the characteristics therein are usually passed down from generation to generation and it is often seen as a way of keeping the history of the islands alive for future generations.
With this in mind it’s not surprising that, unlike in other parts of the world, local dialects continue to thrive, and even when English is used you will often hear words spoken with a local twist.
Needless to say there is something quite soothing to sit in a local bar and hear the native tongue spoken in full flow as regulars tell tales over a glass of the local rum.
Here we take a look at some of the more popular dialects used across The Caribbean…
The local dialect here is Antiguan Creole, a Caribbean vernacular that somewhat resembles broken English. Often Antiguans will switch between traditional English and Antiguan Creole midway through a conversation… which leads to a great deal of head scratching amongst tourists who will often be seen scrambling for their guidebooks.
Some of the phrases you are likely to hear during your holiday to Antigua are:
Eh Tase Good – It Tastes Good
Ah wha g’wan – What’s Up
Ah good/tek dat – That’s good for you/take that
Photo By andy_tyler
Jamaican Patois, known locally as just Patois is an English inspired language with West African influences. Such is the popularity of Patois that the New Testament has been painstakingly translated from the original Greek to the local dialect… “The Jamaican New Testament” now translates to “Di Jamiekan Nyuu Testiment”
Some of the phrases you are likely to hear during your holiday to Jamaica are:
Wha’appen? – What’s Up?
Walk Good – Goodbye / Take Care
Seen – Yes it’s ok, I understand
Photo By gailf548
The land that bought us R&B sensation Rihanna also brings us one of the most colourful dialects of The Caribbean – Bajan Creole. This dialect is the Caribbean Creole with the closest grammar to Standard English however it still maintains a creative, and not to mention fast paced, Caribbean twang which is somewhat hard to keep up with unless you are native to the island.
Some of the phrases you are likely to hear during your holiday to Barbados are:
Sweet fa so – Very Nice
Lime – To Hang Around
Sea Bathing – Swimming
Photo By Sandman5
A French twist on the Caribbean language is found on the island of Dominica which speaks the dialect of Creole French. This vernacular is derived from Antillean Creole and, despite being French actually offers more English loanwords than other versions of the Creole language
Some of the phrases you are likely to hear during your holiday to Dominica are:
Sa ka fete? – How are you?
Bon Jou – Good Day
Sa ki non w? – What is your name?
Photo By llee_wu
To plan your trip to The Caribbean speak to Blue Waters