The term “Jamaican English” is sometimes used in reference to Jamaica’s use of English as an official language and at other times in reference to Jamaican patois. However, in reality, Jamaican English is no different than Australian, Canadian or the English language spoken in any other English-speaking country.
The phrase Jamaican English likely originated in the tech field, specifically with Microsoft and other software companies which set their algorithms to differentiate the English grammar used in countries such as Jamaica and Australia, where the official language is distinctly British English modeled from Great Britain and not the American English spoken in the United States and Canada. Thus, the spelling of words like honor and favor in American English, are spelt as honour and favour in Jamaica and other countries that utilise British English.
English is the official language of schools, businesses and government in Jamaica, and is widely spoken all over the island. However, with Jamaican patois being an English based creole, this may lead to some confusion among other English speakers who may identify some words they know, but can’t quite understand what is being said. Jamaicans avoid this confusion with the distinction that patois is patois, and English is English, thus the term “Jamaican English” is rarely used on the island.
See also: What language do Jamaicans speak?
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