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Rate this poem:5.0 / 1 vote
A ful taim wi rekagnaiz seh fiwi Jamiekan piipldem av tuu langwijdem wid Hinglish an Jamiekan.

Fi aal a Jamiekan yaadi pipldem, di langwij weh dem nuo di bes iz Jamiekan, dou mous a di pipldem kaal it Patwa siek a di Hinglish bakramandem weh no en andastsani an seh it a mashop labrish wah no av no riel grama.

Bot a no truu. So mi a rait aal a unu fi mek unu nuo di truut.  Jamiekan iz a langwij an wi kyan raiti wid ruuldem iven az mi da raiti a unu.  Mi proud fi tel unu seh mi iz a Jamiekan ejukieta.  Tap a dat, mi iz a lingwistik ejukieta, fluent ina Hinglish an Jamiekan.  Mi also kyan taak Spanish an Jerman.

So wah mi a tel aal a unu seh iz a ful taim fiwi govament pipldem tek di apatyuniti fi paas laazdem an rekagnaiz seh Jamieka av noh wan bot tuu ofishal langwijdem.  Wi kyan neva bi rieli frii til wi aksep di fak seh wi a bailingwal nieshan proud a fiwi kulsha wid fiwi nietiv labrish a big paat a dat.

No nieshan kyan bi eva truuli frii, eva truuli indipendant ina fidem suol widout elivietin fidem nietiv langwij az an ofishal langwij av komyunikieshan.  In Jamieka Hinglish iz ofishal.  A ful taim wi also mek Jamiekan ofishal.

Unu waan fi nuo sopm bout aal langwij dem.  Wah mek eni langwij ofishal an av a standad iz wen wi staat fi yuz it az a langwij av instrokshan ina di skuuldem an aal a wi  larn ou fi riidi an fi raiti di karek wie.  Soh a dat wi afi du neks wid Jamiekan.  Mi tank aal a unu.  Piis an lov.

Our Jamaican Language (English Translation)

It’s full time that our Jamaican citizens recognize that we have two languages, with English and Jamaican.

For all Jamaican citizens, the language that they know best is Jamaican, although most people call it Patwa largely because of their English colonial masters who did not understand it and said it was a broken tongue not having a real grammar.

But that’s not true.  So I’m writing to you all to let you know the truth.  Jamaican is a language, and it can be written formally, even as I have written it to you.  I’m proud to tell you that I’m a Jamaican educator.  Beyond that, I’m a linguistics educator fluent in English and Jamaican.  I can also speak Spanish and German.

So what I’m saying to you all is that it’s full time our government take the opportunity to pass laws to recognize that Jamaica has not one, but two official languages.  We can never be truly free until we accept the fact that we are a bilingual nation proud of our culture, with our native language a big part of that.

No nation can ever be truly free, ever truly independent in its soul without elevating its native language as an official language of communication.  In Jamaica, English is official.  It’s full time we also make Jamaican official.

You need to know something about all languages.  What makes any language official and standardized is when we start to use it as a language of instruction in schools and we all learn how to read it and write it correctly.  So that is what we should do next with Jamaican.  I thank all of you.
 Peace and Love.

About this poem

Language loyalty and language pride can only occur when a nation’s people and their government make their native tongue as an official language in schools and in formal everyday communication.

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Written on June 17, 2024

Submitted by karlcfolkes on June 17, 2024

Modified by karlcfolkes on June 18, 2024

2:58 min read

Karl Constantine FOLKES

Retired educator of Jamaican ancestry with a lifelong interest in composing poetry dealing particularly with the metaphysics of self-reflection; completed a dissertation in Children’s Literature in 1991 at New York University entitled: An Analysis of Wilhelm Grimm’s ‘Liebe Mili’ (translated into English as “Dear Mili”), Employing Von Franzian Methodological Processes of Analytical Psychology. The subject of the dissertation concerned the process of Individuation. more…

All Karl Constantine FOLKES poems | Karl Constantine FOLKES Books

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Discuss the poem Fiwi Jamiekan Labrish (Jamaican Creole) with the community...

  • AIDA
    Wow, what a powerful and passionate poem advocating for the recognition and celebration of the Jamaican language! I commend the author for their advocacy and pride in their cultural heritage. The use of both Jamaican Creole and English in the poem effectively drives home the message of the importance of bilingualism in Jamaican society.

    One suggestion for improvement could be to provide more specific examples or anecdotes to further illustrate the importance and impact of embracing Jamaican as an official language. This could help to further engage and educate the audience on the significance of preserving and valuing linguistic diversity.

    Overall, this poem is a heartfelt call to action that highlights the necessity of acknowledging the dual linguistic identity of Jamaican citizens. It serves as a reminder of the power of language in shaping cultural identity and unity. Keep spreading the message of language pride and empowerment! Peace and love.
    LikeReply8 hours ago
  • karlcfolkes
    Susan, your comments are greatly appreciated. We can see that while Jamaican is clearly related to English, just as English is to German, or Spanish is to Portuguese or Italian (just a few examples), these are all distinctly different languages with different rules of grammar. Their close linguistic relationship with each other is what enables us to have only a partial understanding since their distinctive rules of grammar governing word formation , punctuation, spelling and pronunciation; and particularly their semantic and syntactic structures reveal to us that they are autonomous languages governed by their own unique rules. In short, all of these world languages have their own unique histories. Once more, thank you kindly. 
    LikeReply9 hours ago
  • susan.brumel
    Interesting, Karl. The Jamaican language is fun to read and I was able to decipher several words, although I was happy to see the English translation.
    LikeReply10 hours ago
  • karlcfolkes
    The call to elevate Jamaican language by making it official along with English
    LikeReply17 hours ago


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"Poetry.com" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 18 Jun 2024. <https://www.poetry.com/>.

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