Can We Talk in Guadeloupe?

Vacationers may have to brush up on their French before their trip

Photo credit: © Rkaphotography |

Languages in Guadeloupe

Claimed by the country of France in 1635, Guadeloupe and its dependent islands still carry its motherland's culture, as well as its official language of French.

The majority of the people on Guadeloupe - 99 percent to be exact - speak French, and the country's second unofficial language is Creole patios, which is a combination of French and other languages. Travelers to this beautiful French territory will need to have some understanding of the language or carry a good French translation dictionary with them.

English-speaking travelers may be a little frustrated when they first arrive on the island. Many of Guadeloupe's natives expect everyone to be able to communicate in French. When it is spoken, English is heard mostly in the major tourist centers, and rarely in the countryside. Some of the French-speaking locals also have problems communicating with their fellow citizens who speak Creole patios, which is a mixture of French, English, Spanish, Carib, Portuguese, and African words. Stay in good spirits when trying to converse with the local people, and keep a French phrase book handy, especially when trying to use Guadeloupe's bus or ferry system.

A little bit of persistence and a few broken words of French can go a long way during your vacation. In the end it will definitely pay off, because travelers are sure to have an unforgettable experience while visiting the amazing islands of Guadeloupe.


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