The official language of Saint Barthelemy is French. French was declared the national language of the island in the 1958 constitution under Article 2. The Patois dialect is used in Saint Barthelemy and a small community found in Saint Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands. Since many Americans visit and also live on the Island, English is also widely spoken in the country. The French Creole is mainly restricted to the windward part of the island while people speak St. Barthelemy Patois on the leeward side of the island. Guadeloupe Creole is commonly heard in the capital city of the island.
According to the 2013 census of Saint Barthelemy, about 7.5 % of the population have a working knowledge of the Saint Barthelemy Patois. 90% of the population on the island can converse in French. The island is situated in the English-speaking region of Caribbean, therefore more than 70% of the population can converse in English.
The majority of the population on the island are French-speaking citizens who live and work on the island, therefore, there is a very small difference between the Barthelemy French and the standard French spoken in France. Some common French phrases include "bonjour", which means "hello", "merci", which means "thank you", and "au revoir", which means "goodbye".
There are different Creole dialects used on the island, and as much as the French Dialect and Patois are the main dialects on the Island, various parts of the country have their own dialects as well. The dialect commonly used in Gustavia is the Guadeloupe Creole. There is a small community of Spanish-speaking residents on the island.
This page was last modified on November 22nd, 2017