Languages of JamaicaSee language map.
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.
|Jamaican Country Sign Language||
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
|Jamaican Creole English||
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