Thoughts on Jamaican patois

Would you consider Jamaican patois a language or a dialect and is it worth learning?

I’ve always considered it a dialect of a sorts of the Queen’s English. I’m saying this as a 'native speakers ;:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: I have never thought of it as a separate language but it might win some smiles if you visit Jamaica, I suppose.

i don’t think it’s a language per see but it is more of a dialect of the english language

I think Patois has evolved far enough away from English to be considered its own language, similar to the way Afrikaans has evolved far enough away from Dutch. But until Patois gains more literary ground, I don’t really think it can be effectively studied as its own language, other than by spending time in Jamaican communities and publishing books on the subject.

Really? Plenty ah readin’ material deh bout. Newspapuh, comic strip, plays an’ so on.

I think whether a certain dialect is considered a language is largely political.

“A language is a dialect with an army and a navy” or so the saying goes.

If an entire community speaks it, and it is used in everyone’s everyday life, then it is a language. Jamaican “Patois”, or as they say in the Puerto Limón area of Costa Rica where it is also spoken, “Mekatelyu” is a language.

Yeah, of course. I wasn’t saying it shouldn’t be considered a language, just that it likely isn’t considered a language by most. By your definition there are probably hundreds(maybe thousands) of languages, many of which are so close that even their speakers don’t consider them different; since you didn’t take mutual intelligibility into account.

I say the borders we draw between many languages are a bit arbitrary.