Jamaica
Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

Your guide to Caribbean family vacations from a husband-wife team of professional travel writers and guidebook authors.

 
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Languages of the Caribbean

English is the primary language of most Caribbean islands, but you’ll quickly find that you may not understand everything, especially if locals are talking to one another. English is spoken with a distinct Caribbean lilt, a delightful sing-song rhythm.

Each island has its own patois as well; local words are often a mixture of African languages dating back to the island’s slave days. Jamaica’s patois is perhaps the most distinctive and also most difficult to understand.

Here’s a rundown of destinations whose primary language is not English:

Aruba: Dutch (although everyone we met spoke excellent English)
Bonaire: Dutch
Curaçao: Dutch
Dominican Republic: Spanish
Guadeloupe: French
Haiti: French
Martinique: French
Mexico: Spanish
Puerto Rico: Spanish and English
Saba: Dutch
St. Eustatius: Dutch
Sint Maarten: Dutch
St. Martin: French
St. Barts: French

 


 


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