You to speak potato; i say patato? The neighborhood language of Barbados is regularly referred to as the Bajan dialect, or quite merely ‘Bajan.’
Although our native language below on the island is brothers English, the Bajan dialect can an extremely often seem prefer a entirety other language in itself. Not how amazing then, it deserve to be daunting to understand, especially for visitors to the island. However, those ‘in the know’ speak the freely and also fluently daily, and also it is understood and also accepted together ‘native tongue’ island-wide.
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In official and also formal settings, british English is both spoken and written. However, in many casual settings, Barbadians talk a language the is a version of damaged English, or pidgin (a simplified version of) English, mixed with really distinctive ‘Bajanisms.’
It’s also talked with a specific accent and also is said to be motivated by miscellaneous African languages lugged over with the slave trade.
The language that Barbados doesn’t simply contain its own distinct words, but likewise various island details and often comical sayings.
It’s not uncommon that the origin (and sometimes the true meaning) that these space unknown come the speaker. You can rest assured they room peppered into conversations between and also understood in some method by, Bajans and also honorary Bajans everywhere.
Do your ‘ting, Bajan style!
If you’re not currently a well-versed Bajan, you’ll quickly realize the the Bajan language is completely limitless. Individual words usually have actually multiple meanings, and also words are commonly shortened version of their initial form.
For example, “ting” describes ‘thing.” “Dis” method “this,” and also to disrespect or come fail to acknowledge someone or something.
Because word endings tend to be cut short, multiple native often circulation into one lengthy word.
For example, ‘happen’ fairly than ‘happened’ and also ‘wha’ quite than ‘what.” leader to the phrase ‘Wha happen?’ together opposed to what happened?
Another suggest to note is the the Bajan dialect, the sound created by ‘the’ is pronounced with a ‘d’ sound. Because that example, ‘that’ is significant ‘dat,’ ‘this’ pronounce ‘dis,’ ‘the’ spoken as ‘de,’ and so on.
Bajans also seldom use the word “very.” Instead, the word that ‘very’ would certainly be referring to is just repeated. Because that example, instead of saying ‘that girl is beautiful,’ in Bajan, one would say, “dat girl pretty, pretty, pretty.”
For a much more in-depth look at the Bajan dialect, please check out our dialect of Barbados page.
Talk the speak – learn to speak like a Bajan
As we stated earlier, there are details local sayings that are unique to ours island culture, and each has its specific meanings. The list is endless.
Take a look at our ‘Ya recognize Ya is a Bajan When……Jokes‘ page where us have detailed some of these unique and an ext often than no humorous sayings and also phrases that room exclusive to the island that Barbados.
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You’ll be “wukkin up,” and “hollering,” “cheese top top bread,” in no time.