About Bajan Dialect
Bajan dialect is a unique language of Barbados. Its origin dates back to the times when slaves were brought to Barbados and forced to speak English. This language then became a way of communication among enslaved Africans, much to the disadvantage of their slave masters who had difficulty understanding what was being communicated. Bajan dialect is one of the most prevalent attributes that connect the people of Barbados to their African and English heritage.
The word ‘Bajan’ is a derivative of the word “Barbadian”. However due to stronger accents which once prevailed, the word sounded more like ‘Barbajan’ and eventually was shortened to Bajan. Bajan dialect has an intriguing factor associated with it as new words and expressions are constantly coming alive. Sometimes we tend to speak at a fast rate that combined with the accents heard makes it difficult to understand what is being said. Don't be afraid to ask a Bajan to slow down and they will be more than happy to slow it down.
Though English is the standard language spoken in Barbados, dialect is still very much a part of our culture. In Barbados, we tend to use dialect in informal settings and standard English in more formal settings. Therefore, it is not at all strange to hear a full conversation amongst friends out relaxing and walk away wondering what on earth was just said. Interestingly enough, these same folk have the greatest ability to seamlessly switch to proper English when in conversation with visitors to our island.
In an effort to help you understand a little more about the way in which the people of Barbados speak, below are a few words & phrases to get you on your way.
Dictionary of Bajan Dialect Words
dat - that
wuh-law / wuh-loss - an exclanation
Dictionary of Bajan Dialect Phrases
Barbados Dialect: I gine and mek lunch
Barbados Dialect: Whu she say?
While this may all seem like a bit of a learning experience while in Barbados, do bare in mind that once Bajans are asked to slow down in their speech, there is always a great possibility that you will understand what is being said.
Saturday, 30 March 2013 00:01
posted by bethanny
I's a bajan an duh got sum things in hay i dint know till now