Dreams come through…

Some time ago, I realised that many Jamaicans incorrectly write (and say) the common English expression as, “Dreams come through,” instead of, “Dreams come true.”

The explanation is actually quite simple. There is no ‘th’ sound in Jamaican Creole (Patois, Patwa) and there are people that, even when speaking English, do not produce that sound. So, in Jamaican Creole, “through” and “true” became homophones (“ch[r]uu”) and that accent sometimes carries over into English-speaking. But then, the confusion goes a step further and some who do produce the ‘th’ sound end up saying, “Dreams come through.” Maybe the idea of someone/something “coming through” for us, or the dream “coming through” into reality is part of what affects this.

Interesting, huh?

Of course, I’m not immune to these kinds of mistakes. Up until very recently, I thought the word was spelt “straddlers”. You see, there’s no ‘dl’ sound in Patwa. In its formation, the sound that our African ancestors were familiar with was ‘gl’, so that’s what replaced it. So, the word ‘model’ is pronounced ‘magl’. And I thought that when Jamaicans said “stragglers,” they were mispronouncing it. In fact, I didn’t even realise when I heard it on American TV. It was only when I found the spelling in writing that I finally learnt.

I find trends like these intriguing!

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3 Responses to Dreams come through…

  1. read.robin says:

    Interesting! I have always thought it unfair (and somewhat amusing) that as Jamaicans we tend to be bad at formal English. And the code switching is always hilarious when people don’t realize they’re speaking two very separate languages.

    Like

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