Solving Puzzles in Jamaican Patois

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - September 25, 2013

Above: the Jamaican Patois Puzzle Book

By the Caribbean Journal staff

While almost all Jamaicans speak both English and Patois, the latter is not an official language and is seldom written down.

A new effort by the New York-based Jamaica Patois Media is looking to change that, with a series of books aimed at teaching young Jamaicans to read and write “in their own language.”

“Virtually no literature is available in Jamaican Patois, especially for the common person of Jamaica,” the company says. “Books of any kind are priced too high to be affordable. This begs the question, how does a child become interested in reading when books are prohibitively priced and not available in the child’s language?”

The first in the series, “Jamaican Patois Puzzle Book,” uses 00 words in Jamaican Patois, side-by-side with English translations and illustrations.

The company was founded by Linstead, Jamaica-born MC Johnson, who served in the Jamaica Constabulary Force and won a Medal of Honour for Gallantry.

The goal of the project is to “entertain, teach and most of all, inspire young Jamaican writers and artists to aim high, because at most, you’ll get what you aim for,” the company says.

For more information, visit

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