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Languages of Jamaica

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Jamaica. 2,682,000. National or official language: English. Literacy rate: 82%–89%. Immigrant languages: American Sign Language, North Levantine Spoken Arabic (2,000), Portuguese (5,000), Spanish (8,000). Also includes Chinese (31,000). Deaf population: 154,909. Deaf institutions: 26. The number of individual languages listed for Jamaica is 3. Of those, all are living languages.

[eng]   Classification: Indo-European, Germanic, West, English 
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Jamaican Country Sign Language

[jcs] Approximately 2,500 Deaf children in Jamaica (2004 M. Kimball).  Alternate names: Country Sign.  Dialects: There is no standardized sign language, but Country Sign differs from region to region. American Sign Language [ase] is taught in schools.  Classification: Deaf sign language 
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Jamaican Creole English

[jam] 2,670,000 in Jamaica (2001). Population total all countries: 3,202,600. Also in Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Panama, United Kingdom, United States. Alternate names: Bongo Talk, Limon Creole English, Panamanian Creole English, Patois, Patwa, Quashie Talk, Southwestern Caribbean Creole English.  Dialects: The basilect and Standard English mutually inherently unintelligible (Voegelin and Voegelin 1977, LePage 1960, Adler 1977). May be partly intelligible to speakers of Cameroon Pidgin [wes] and Krio [kri] of Sierra Leone, spoken by descendants of Jamaicans repatriated between 1787 and 1860. Inherently intelligible to creole speakers in Panama and Costa Rica. Reportedly very similar to Belize Creole [bzj], similar to Grenada, Saint Vincent, different from Tobago, very different from Guyana, Barbados, Leeward and Windward islands. Lexical similarity: 25% with Guyanese Creole English [gyn], 13% with Belize Kriol English [bzj], 9% with Trinidadian Creole English [trf], 8% with Bajan [bjs], 5% with Nicaragua Creole English [bzk].  Classification: Creole, English based, Atlantic, Western 
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