Can We Talk on Saba?

Nearly everyone on the tiny island of Saba speaks English

Photo credit: © Jan Kranendonk |

Languages on Saba

Small Saba has been ruled by both the French and the Spanish during it's long history. The English have also held the island, although the Dutch have now had the island since the beginning of the 19th century.

Traveling to a foreign country often presents visitors with the challenging prospect of communicating with residents who speak a language entirely different from their own. Business transactions, pleasantries, and conversation are often hindered by the communication barrier imposed by different languages. Travelers often try to learn a few phrases to get around and show respect to the residents.

With it's long Dutch history, it is no surprise that Dutch is the official language of the 1,200 residents of Saba. Travelers from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia, will be happy to learn that nearly everyone on the friendly island speaks English. English is also widely spoken in neighboring Netherlands Antilles island Sint Maarten, which travelers must go through to reach Saba.

Vacationers may often find their experiences in a place enriched by communicating and learning from the local population. Travelers can learn about local traditions, folklore, and stories by listening to those around them. Visitors to Saba who speak English may wish to take advantage of the shared language by conversing with the local residents.

Although Dutch is the official language of this part of the Netherlands Antilles, English speakers should feel at home on Saba.


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