Because the British Indian Ocean Territory is made up of military personnel from the United Kingdom and the United States, the primary language is English. Since the native population of the area was forcibly exiled in the 1970s, there has been no other language spoken other than English in the area.

Close to 100 percent of people who live in the British Indian Ocean Territory speak English as their first language. Communications within the territory include satellite telephones, broadband internet, WiFi, and television services. From 2001, the International Civil Aviation Authority declared that English would be the primary language of the skies as well as the development of English-based Standard Marine Communications Phrases in the same year which both contribute to the overwhelming majority of people speaking English in the area.

There are no known unique phrases to the area. However, it can be assumed that military speak is commonplace by the residents of the British Indian Ocean Territory. At any one time, there is an estimated 5,000 military residents and civilian support staff based in Diego Garcia which is the only part of the territory that is inhabited.

Before the depopulation of natives from the area, the Chagossians, who are indigenous people of Malay ancestry who inhabited the Chagos Islands, spoke a French-based Creole language that also incorporates words from African and Asian languages. The Chagossians who live in the United Kingdom now speak English to assimilate with their surroundings. In 2016, the British Government denied the Chagossians the right to return to the islands that they were forcibly removed from in the 1970s.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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