Have you ever thought about moving to a Caribbean island or retiring there? Do you know which Caribbean countries speak English?
You might be surprised to know that only about 15% of people in the Caribbean speak English. According to a 2001 census, 62% speak Spanish, 25% speak French, and 5% speak Dutch. Those imported European languages are part of the 6 official languages of the Caribbean countries, along with Papiamento and Haitian Creole. In addition, there are many indigenous languages, creoles, and patois. Multilingualism is common in the Caribbean, and many people grow up speaking 2 or 3 languages.
Nevertheless, English is the language of tourism in the West Indies. That’s why you’ll find that many people speak at least basic English as their second or third language in most Caribbean countries.
However, English isn’t the most widely spoken language in every West Indian country. In addition, sometimes it is spoken much differently than say, American or British English. Oftentimes English words are mixed with those of other languages or dialects to form what is known as English Creole. Many Caribbean islands even have their own brand of Creole!
In which Caribbean countries is English the official language?
To answer the question “which Caribbean countries speak English?” we need to take a look at the countries in which English is the official language. This guarantees that you will find people there who speak English, although the exact type of English will vary.
On this tiny Caribbean island, people speak English and Anguillan Creole English. Some Spanish-speakers have emigrated to the island as well.
Antigua and Barbuda
In Antigua, you’ll hear English and Antiguan English Creole spoken. A small percentage of the population speaks Spanish. Barbuda is currently uninhabited due to damage from the 2017 hurricane season.
Inhabitants of the Bahamian islands speak primarily English and Bahamian Creole. You may also hear Haitian Creole, Spanish, and even Chinese.
The official languages of “the party island” are English and Bajan Creole.
In Bermuda, you may hear English, Bermudian Vernacular English, and Portuguese.
British Virgin Islands
Since the British laid claim to these lovely islands years ago, English is widely spoken there. In addition, you may come across people speaking Virgin Islands Creole English and Spanish.
The official language is English, and some nationals speak Cayman Creole English and Spanish.
Those who live on this beautiful, mysterious island speak English, Antillean Creole French, French, and Haitian Creole.
One of the smaller Caribbean islands, Grenada is home to many English speakers. In addition, some speak Grenadian Creole English and Antillean Creole French.
English is the official language of this Caribbean country of South America. Nevertheless, there are at least 15 other languages spoken in Guyana, including Tamil (from India) and Arawak (an indigenous Caribbean language).
Along with English, some Jamaicans speak Jamaican Patois, Spanish, Caribbean Hindustani, Irish, or Chinese.
Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Inhabitants of these small islands speak English and various creole languages.
A US commonwealth, Puerto Rico’s two official languages are Spanish and English.
Both Dutch and English are official languages of Sint Maarten.
Trinidad and Tobago, Turks & Caicos
English is the official language of these islands, but many nationals also speak various forms of creole, in addition to other languages like Spanish and Chinese.
United States Virgin Islands
Here, you’ll hear people speaking mainly English or Virgin Islands Creole English.
Main image source: Unknown
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