Monday, April 27, 2009

Patwa Gaan Abraad!!!

Last year, I petitioned my university's language waiver committee when they overlooked my request to have my language requirement waved on the basis of my proficiency in Jamaican Creole. Every student must take language courses besides English, unless they can prove that they speak another language, or are from an area of the world where they are likely to be fluent in other languages. I questioned the decision of the registrar, who then referred me to a linguistics professor to whom I had to prove my fluency in a non-English language.

I was asked to describe the language situation in Jamaica, in Patwa, and I'll tell you- it was hard!!! It had never been necessary for me to speak Patwa formally, for I was always inclined to speak English in academia. But this time, I had to do this for the sake of my language. The professor said he would have to deliberate with his collegues further, even though he agreed that Jamaican Creole is a legitimate language, for some might have reservations about its position as a language form.

Four months later (yesterday) I received a letter, which pronounced that my request was granted, and that I had satisfied the language requirement on the basis of Jamaican Creole!!! I was thrilled, to say the least. So many told me it couldn't be done... that Patwa was too close to English for my request to be given much validity; that is is merely a "dialect". They were wrong!

Mi no ina no aagiment wid nobadi agen bout weda Patwa a langgwij. The linguists have spoken. Nou enibadi we kom ya frahn Jumieka naago afi du no muo langwij ef dem no waahn, kaa di skuul don rekagnaiz Patwa. Aal nou mi kyaahn biliiv tu raatid. Mi wehn swier se dem wehna go kaal mi iin fi wahneda roun a diskoshan, aalduo mi wehn redi fi dem. A tuu langgwij mi chat! Bruce kyahn gwaan ron aaf ihn mout bout ou wi fi laan Spanish ahn French. I no mek muo sens wi staat wid wa evribadi nuo fos? Mi don taak.

Mi baan ahn gruo a taak Patwa, an nou mi kyahn se a fimi fos langgwij fi chuu. Yaav prablem wid dat? Gwaan go tek i op wid di rejischraar.

Patwa tu di worl! A ful taim nou!


  1. Congratulations!! If only mi did tink bout dem ting deh. Mi woulda save nuh time an money.

  2. Boy, yuh mekkin me proud!! But yuh nah joke at all... I absolutely love love love the stance on your part. Kudos and nuff big ups!

  3. :D Anonymous yu eva si mi a juok yet? lol

    Thanks man. Mi a du mi likl ting op ya. Rispek mi sischrin.

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