Barbadian dialect

The dialect in Barbados is called Bajan, it's an English- based creole language. The dialect is spoken in the Island of Barbados, Caribbean. Like many other Caribbean dialects, Bajan consist of West African and English. The Bajan dialect uses words in a colorful, expressive, fast paced manner that can be a bit tricky to follow at times. Bajan is the Caribbean creole with the closest grammar to Standard English.


Bajan was first created when West African slaves were brought to the island and forced to speak English with an existing West African understanding of language semantics. Bajan later became a means of communicating without always being understood by the slave masters. Unlike Jamaica, Guyana or Trinidad, Barbados was the destination of few African-born slaves after 1800.

The word Bajan is merely a Bajan pronunciation of the word Barbadian ("Bar-bayyd-ian"); however, with the deeper accents which once prevailed in Barbados the word sounded more like Barbajan ("Bar-bayy-junn") and eventually it was just shortened to Bajan



The Barbadian English is very rhotic and full of glottal stops. It's also very ubiquitous for the first vowel in price or prize. One example of Barbadian English would be the pronunciation of departments, which is [dɪˈpaːɹʔmənʔs].

  • 'Wherr dat boi?' ([hwer ɪz dæt bɔɪ]) (Spoken very quickly, is choppy, rothic, and contains glottal stops)


As in most English-based Caribbean creoles, the interdentals /θ/ and /ð/ have merged with other consonants (in this case, /t/ and /d/, respectively).

Bashment! ---- - Cool!

Dat --------------- that

Fella ------------- a guy

De belly -------- diarrhea

Unmarley ------ extremely rude

Sukka-bubby -- kool-aid

Your assigned task it quite simple. You are to partner up with a person and have a discussion using the Barbadian accent. Your discussion does not have to be about anything specific. It could be about how wonderful the weather is on this fine icy day.

Listen to this interview and try to impersonate his accent:

Here's another link that may or may not help you on the way.