The main language spoken in Jamaica is English and sometimes Patois. Patois sounds like "broken English" but is a language in it's own right with English-, African-, Spanish- and Latin-sounding words, and is spoken as the vernacular by many Jamaicans.

However, ALL Jamaicans speak English so communication should not be an issue. Please note that many of the phrases listed below are the vernacular and are not necessarily used by all Jamaicans. Some Spanish is also used in Jamaica.

Here is a list of some phrases and words:

"Every ting criss" (crisp) is the equivalent of everything's cool.

"Bless" and "Respect" with an accompanying chin nod can be used as standard acknowledgements to people you pass on the street.

"no problem" - the answer to just about every request made of a Jamaican. Also, exemplifies the national attitude.

"wa gwan" - means 'what is going on?' - mainly used as a greeting, similar to 'how are you'.

"soon come" - 'soon' can be any length of time. Often used by a person when they are departing but will return.

'galang' = go along 

'g'way' = go away 

'way yuh a'go, e e?' = where are you going?

"Lickle" = small

"asssssssssssssssss(affectionate).   'Mi back foot' polite version of  'mi backside' used as an  exclamation of disgust or disbelief.  'Jeezum' = Jesus,  'rak stoan' = rock stone. Both used as an exclamation of surprise or disbelief.

'batty' = backside or butt. Much used by Jamaican men in admiration of women. For them - the bigger the better.