Can We Talk in St. Martin?

Travelers don't necessarily need to learn a foreign language to enjoy their tropical vacation

Photo credit: © Bas Rabeling |

Languages in St. Martin

The countries of St. Maarten and St. Martin are one island with two official languages: French and Dutch.

Because of its dual government the people of the island speak two different languages. St. Maarten's side of the island is under Dutch government, and the locals on that side of the island speak Dutch. St. Martin is under French government and therefore the people on that side speak French.


This may sound a little confusing for some travelers, but vacationers shouldn't worry too much because most people on both sides of the island speak at least some English. Locals on the St. Maarten part of the island speak English with a West Indian lilt, and also have populations that speak French and Spanish.

The people of the French St. Martin also speak Creole among themselves. The locals appreciate travelers who try to communicate in le francais, and a French to English translation dictionary could be very useful to have while visiting the island.

St. Maarten and St. Martin are both a melting pot of nationalities with people coming from other islands in the Caribbean and allover the world.


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