Discussion On Patois Is Not A Language English Language Essay

Assignment # 1: Discussion on the Topic “ Patois is Not a Language ”

The usage of the English linguistic communication, which has been paramount to my development as a Jamaican citizen, has so created a enormous impact on my life, therefore heightening my ability to pass on efficaciously within society as English linguistic communication is presently recognized as the official linguistic communication of instruction, international concern, communicating, media, the cyberspace, engineering, amusement, direction manuals and electrical and other contraptions.

Knowing Standard English, the most planetary of linguistic communications, has afforded me the ability to comfortably interact and profit from its multiple international possibilities as today, merely the verbally advantaged talkers are considered trainable, employable and are accepted professionally.

While carry oning my research, I noted really interestingly that over the old ages, there has been minor or no alterations in the definition of linguistic communication.

Language, as explained by Soanes & A ; Stevenson in the Concise Oxford Dictionary 2008, 11th Edition can be defined as “ the system of communicating used by a peculiar community or state, ” while a definition from the Book “ Human Communication: Motivation, Knowledge and Skills, describes linguistic communication as “ a complex phenomenon whose intending depends on where and when it is used. ” It is further explained to be “ a verbal symbol system that allows us to take messages and vocalizations in the signifier of words and interpret them into intending. ( Morrale, Spitzberg & A ; Barge, 2006 ) . I besides gathered from the website hypertext transfer protocol: //wordnet.web.princeton.edu/perl/webwn that “ Language is the signifiers of address, or the methods of showing thoughts, peculiar to a peculiar state. ”

The term ‘Patois ‘ is used widely in Jamaica, and can mention to any kind of indistinct or broken linguistic communication in any state of the universe. Patois is used to mention to a assortment of Creole linguistic communications. A Creole linguistic communication develops from the combination of two or more linguistic communications.

“ Patois is any linguistic communication that is non spoken in its original signifier. The slang that is spoken in the Caribbean is called Creole. The Creole slang was developed by the slaves in slavery yearss. The slaves learned their Masterss ‘ native language-French, and combined it with their African Language to organize this idiom. This idiom was created so that the slaves could talk amongst themselves without their Masterss cognizing what they were stating. The civilization was passed down to many coevalss and is still spokenaˆ¦ ”

( hypertext transfer protocol: //whattocook.com/what_is_patois.html- obtained from beginning – Friday, September 24, 2010 )

Patois is non officially a linguistic communication in Jamaica ; I am able to province same based on research that it has non ( yet ) been made official by the Government of Jamaica. And, although most Jamaicans chiefly use slangs for day-to-day communicating, it is rather interesting to observe that, if you ask a Jamaican citizen at this peculiar minute, what linguistic communication he or she speaks, the immediate response would be “ English. ”

However, non all Jamaicans use slang. Patois is largely spoken among the poorer category in Jamaica although many in-between category people use slang as a insouciant linguistic communication in assorted societal scenes.

The general feeling about Patois is that it is a ‘poor adult male ‘s linguistic communication ‘ and it is considered in this manner because no rigorous regulations sketching the standard grammar of the English linguistic communication are followed and this gives the visual aspect of the individual utilizing it to look uneducated which is why authors are encouraged to remain off from idiom as it is frequently difficult for their reading audience to understand.

Based on my personal probe, I have come to understand that slang has ever been considered unacceptable and it has been debated that it should be kept informal and is non to be used for any official intent. This, I have noticed, as there are ever susurrations, negative vocalizations and even jeering at individuals who are unable to talk Standard English, whether in a societal scene or workplace ; such individuals have been labeled as socially and linguistically inferior.

However, Patois is continuously being promoted day-to-day via music ( particularly dancehall ) , poesy, for illustration those by Joan Andrea Hutchinson and Mutabaruka ) and the media ( newspapers, wireless, telecasting etc. ) .

Gleaner authors such as Jennifer Keane Dawes and Dr. Kingsley Stewart have been seeking to maintain Jamaicans connected to their ‘roots ‘ by composing columns about life state of affairss or merely for temper, purely in slang, nevertheless, I do n’t believe that this is assisting the slang vocabulary of the readers. I, myself, read the columns and happen some of them interesting yet really difficult to read and construe.

Dr. Carolyn Cooper and Mrs. Barbara Gloudon, among others, besides write articles in slang from clip to clip in the media, nevertheless, these are much ‘easier on the oculus ‘ .

It is an issue of argument as to doing patois an official linguistic communication, which some believe will assist to increase the self-esteem of many Jamaicans and add more strength to their individuality if slang is considered as valuable a linguistic communication as any. It is besides discussed that acknowledgment of slang may besides increase communicating accomplishments and societal interaction in Jamaica.

In my sentiment, most Jamaicans already cognize slang and, being that it is a signifier of linguistic communication which is non considered appropriate for official intents such as public maps etc. , I do n’t believe that this is necessary to do it official or to even learn it, as some propose.

I read an article where it is explained that in March 1999, a group of pupils from the UWI, Mona Campus put together a proposal in the hope of deriving “ Jamaican Language ” or patois, an official position. It is argued that this attempt to do patois functionary is rather unneeded because pupils are already holding a difficult clip get the hanging Standard English in school, ( Vascianne, 1999 ) much to my understanding.

I am besides in full understanding with Mooris Cargill, a Jamaican editorialist that “ if slang continues to derive legitimacy, it will destruct English. ”

Pryce ( 1997 ) states that the high illiteracy province is partly blamed by many Jamaicans on the presence of two linguistic communications in the state and outlined the belief of Professor Carl Stone that the ground pupils are holding problem with the English Language is more as a consequence of pupils non reading plenty.

I do n’t believe it is intelligent to implement certain alterations such as nutrient labels or even The Bible into slang. ( N.B. Recently the book of Luke was translated into slang by a group of alumnuss of the UWI and became available in shops on 08/09/10 ) ( hypertext transfer protocol: //wwww.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100809/lead/lead2.html- obtained from beginning on Sunday, September 26 ) 2010 ) and I think it is would be rather absurd to see route traffic marks in slang. Imagine for illustration: alternatively of “ Buss merely ” you read “ Ongle coach ” or alternatively of “ Reserved for disabilities ” you see “ Fi di andycap dem, ” etc.

I work in a public educational establishment, and at times am privileged to read some of the mistakes recorded by pupils at the advanced degree in the secondary instruction system. Some of the pupils do n’t look to retrieve that English is the recognized first linguistic communication of the society and frequently make their response in their ain signifier of slang. I believe that some instructors are to be blamed for this because at times, they themselves do non utilize the Standard English in the schoolroom and this, I believe, may be the ground why the pupils feel it is all right to enter their responses in the mode that most of them do. Most of the pupils at the establishment hail from the little fishing and peasant farming community of Annotto Bay and most of their parents have ne’er had the chance to larn Standard English and most times do non needfully talk slang out of cultural pride, but as a consequence of a deficiency of instruction, hence if the pupils are non taught proper English by their instructors at school, so they finally become verbally disadvantaged and rely entirely on what they have learnt from their uneducated parents at place and what they pick up on the streets, hence, my point is that there will ne’er be an terminal to illiteracy every bit far as this is concerned if the instructors fail to transport out their intent.

While I embrace my place lingua, slang, I candidly have a strong rejection to it being allowed and accepted everyplace.

“ No linguistic communication is a unvarying system in which everyone negotiations merely like everyone else. Peoples who speak a given linguistic communication portion cognition of its ‘ basic regulations. Such common cognition is the footing of reciprocally apprehensible communicating. ” ( Kottak, 2002 )

It is a fact that there are certain societal state of affairss that influence our address such as

Geographic location,

Cultural patterns, and

Socioeconomic differences

and whatever phonological differences which are present are looked down on.

Whether it is just or non, people judge you non merely by the manner you look but by the manner you speak. “ Proper linguistic communication becomes a strategic resource, correlated with wealth, prestigiousness and power. ” ( Kattak, 2002 ) .

I believe that in order to efficaciously larn and decently utilize Standard English, it has to be practiced. Everyone needs to pattern and larn Standard English in order to develop a calling for if we should analyze closely, we will detect that all academic establishments list English Language as a demand for admittance and all organisations, no affair what the occupation may be, requires Standard English as an plus for obtaining a occupation.

Some of the most hardworking people in society are those who are proud active talkers of slang, yet are non limited to larning and utilizing the English linguistic communication and promote their kids to make so. The Clergy, Lawyers, Doctors, Chief Executive Officers, Lecturers, Teachers and the remainder of Jamaica ‘s ‘learned ‘ category chiefly use English, non because they have entree to the enlightened ‘larger ‘ universe, but because we continue to stigmatise the linguistic communication that is used for official intents all over the universe.

I will ne’er look down on slang or jeer at individuals who are unable to talk Standard English because, to me, some individuals are merely non able to show themselves fluently no affair how hard they try, and I another ground is that I am cognizant that many Jamaicans feed their households from work done in the informal economic system ( eg. Factory, beauty store, cab service, peddling etc. ) where slang is the chief linguistic communication used non needfully because they are illiterate but because that is what is available to them in this state.

Everyone, at some clip or another say words in slang. I can non conceive of any individual Jamaican who I interact with on a day-to-day footing who does non utilize it. Our Jamaican mundane linguistic communication, as I dearly call slangs, when used by certain professionals gain them a regard or a certain cooperation and I believe that is the chief ground why it is truly used – to acquire cooperation. I enquired of my brother who has been a Police Officer for 17 old ages ( who speaks largely English when around friends and household ) why they use patois when addressing ‘bad work forces, ‘ and he explained to me, that some of the things they want to state may non hold the same consequence when said in Standard English. He shared some illustrations with me:

“ A ded you waa ded ” alternatively of “ Do you want to decease? ”

“ Stap gwaan like you bad ” alternatively of “ Stop behaving severely ”

and I could travel on.

I have besides observed the Dean of Discipline at my school on several occasions managing certain state of affairss, and for a state of affairs with a really boisterous kid, particularly boys, I realized that slang is frequently used. When I asked her why, she told me that at times, it is the lone manner to command them – by talking to them in the manner they understand and as most times administered to them at place. She confirmed that whenever slang is used, “ they know that there is no joking. ”

Other individuals, such as sellers in a trade market, use slang to advance their wares to tourers ; wireless talk show hosts and media personalities use it to add ‘real Jamaican vibraphone ‘ to their presentations ; instructors sometimes use it to acquire across a point in category or to censure an boisterous kid ; and children/students, oftentimes as they prefer, largely because of equal force per unit area.

I, myself, at work, interacting with my colleagues use some sum of slang, and from clip to clip, the members of my section, and pupils whom I supervise, have made me set aside all English ( which I largely use ) and degree with them in the linguistic communication which they know and can easy associate to.

Personally, I do n’t hold a job with slang. I grew up in a place where it was n’t looked down on, nevertheless, I was purely required to turn to my parents ( and everyone else whenever in their presence in Standard English ) . Most of the English Language I know and speak fluently today has been taught to me in my place, and this has frequently caused me to inquire about those kids whose parents are uneducated and are unable to learn them.

I am non stating that slang does n’t measure up, but I do n’t believe that one should be limited to larning merely patois, because so, one may non be able to spread out or travel on to the universe graduated table. I know that many Jamaicans are really foreign minded and this restriction would impact really negatively.

In the interim, I continue to encompass our darling ‘Patois ‘ and believe that as Jamaicans, it is non apprehensible to desire it to be made official so that other states may be able to purchase a manual or dictionary and larn it and be able to take advantage of it. I want slang to stay alone to us as Jamaicans. Other states have their ain Creole which has non been made official and for illustration, even though I speak a small Spanish and can understand when spoken to in the linguistic communication, if a native Spanish talker wants to do derogative remarks about me in his native Creole right in forepart of my face, I would non be able to understand what is being said about me.

Although I admit to hearing slang instead than hapless English, I do believe that there is a clip and topographic point for slang. As a Jamaican, I like the wit and versatility our mundane linguistic communication. And while I remain in understanding that slang is an effectual medium of communicating through which infinite traditions and life accomplishments have been passed, I emphasize my place however, that it is non necessary to learn slang or to advance it because Jamaicans of course get the. slang necessary for cultural looks and societal and informal occasions.