The official and the most popular language in French Guiana is French. French falls under the Indo-European family of languages. It is a Romance Language. French has 26 letters in its alphabets which are written using the Latin Script. There are variations on vowels which are the circumflex, acute, grave and the dieresis accents. The ‘c’ might have a cedilla. French is spoken all over French Guiana.

French is the first or the second language for the majority of the people living in French Guiana. It is used in official government services and day to day activities. The natives of French Guiana are usually conversant with French. The only people who might have a little knowledge of French are the immigrants from the non-French speaking countries. As of January 2014, the population of French Guiana was 250,377. Over 98% of this population is conversant with the French language.

French Guianan Creole is a dialect of French that is dominant in French Guiana. The French Guianan Creole is largely similar to the Antillean Creole. They are however different in some aspects of grammar. The major difference between the standard French and the French Guianan Creole is the utilization of the sound /r/ in pronunciation. For instance to sleep in standard French is ‘dormir’ whereas in French Guianan Creole is ‘dromni’. The French Guianan Creole developed due to the interaction with freed slaves and due to the influences from other languages.

Apart from French, there are other minority languages spoken in French Guiana. French is the only language that is widespread and is spoken all over the country. The other minority languages are mostly spoken according to the regions in the state. The minority languages include Chinese, Hakka, Emerillon, Carib, Arawak, and Aukan. The people who speak these minority languages are however conversant with the French language in most instances.

This page was last modified on May 1st, 2018

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