The Caribbean region has a rich and also diverse history that occurred over many centuries. This background includes year of colonization by European countries like Spain, Britain, France, and also the Netherlands. Thus, while there are about seventy different languages talked across the region, the most commonly talked Caribbean languages room a have fun of this early american past. European languages dominate and also are still in use today in official capacities, alongside native languages and also formally and informally provided creole languages. A number of these creole languages exist together a localized sports of the europe languages through native and African influences.

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Now, whether you’re a potential traveler feather to walk to the Caribbean or someone just looking to learn an ext facts about the Caribbean consisting of its diverse languages, this post is perfect because that you! Read more to review all the languages talked in the Caribbean and how they came to be.


Other Languages talked in the Caribbean

Beyond Spanish, English, French, and also Dutch being the main language because that most countries in the Caribbean, practically every Caribbean location has a dialect that locals use to speak to one another. These are usually referred to as patois or Creole, through some being offered in an official capacity. Unfortunately, several of these language are considered endangered as result of years of early american erasure. There are likewise languages spoken due to immigration, return these consist of a small variety of speakers. This is a perform of the key patois or creole languages talked in the Caribbean and how some of them came to be.

Haitian Creole

Alongside French, Haiti additionally uses Haitian creole (Kreyol) together an official language. That a mix of French and also languages spoken by enslaved africans in the nest of Saint-Domingue throughout the 17th and 18th-century. Ninety percent the the words offered in Haitian creole which primarily emerged the early american era are of French origin but many terms actually have different meanings. Also, the grammar rules are fairly different.

Unlike many other creoles in the region, Haitian creolian is supplied in an official capacity in ~ formal and also public events and functions. Haitian Creole became one of Haiti’s main languages under Haiti’s 1987 Constitution and also is supplied in schools, churches, and also political gatherings. Haitian creolian is spoken by over 95% that Haiti’s population, make it one of the most talked languages in the Caribbean.

Jamaican Patois

Jamaican Patois, much more formally dubbed Jamaican Creole, is an unofficial language spoken in Jamaica. It’s a mix of English and also several West and central African languages. It occurred as a an outcome of interaction in between enslaved Africans and also British colonists.

Despite Patwah being talked by most Jamaicans together a native language, creole doesn’t have official status. It likewise suffers indigenous a an adverse stigma where it’s viewed as being low-prestige compared to the official Jamaican English. As a result, that use has been limited to informal or colloquial settings.

However, it is often found in literature and also other arts. If did you do it heard rhythmic reggae, you’re likely to have actually heard Creole!


Papiamento, additionally spelled Papiamentu, is a creolian language that several languages have influenced. It is Portuguese-based and also has been substantially influenced through Spanish. It emerged over centuries into what the is today.

Its development started in 1659 in Curacao island, by Dutch colonists from Brazil equipped v Portuguese. The Dutchmen carried with them Portuguese-speaking slaves, too. After that, the language gradually readjusted by combine the native languages of enslaved afri constantly being imported to this Dutchmen’s strongholds.

It obtained a Spanish influence after the dutch colonists’ repeated contact with Spanish-speaking servant traders. Papiamento later on spread to Curacao’s sister islands and also became a widely talked language there. The language additionally has impacts from the indigenous language spoken by the native Arawak people.

Papiamento has official condition in Aruba, Curacao, and also Bonaire and is spoken by most world living on this islands. That is also spoken unofficially in Sint Maarten and also Saint Martin.

Much favor Haitian Creole, Papiamento is just one of the couple of Caribbean variants that have been successfully integrated into formal, day-to-day use. It’s provided in schools, the media, as well as in politics gatherings.

Antillean Creole

Antillean creole is a French-based language, primarily spoken in the smaller and also less-known Caribbean islands. The variant is composed of aspects of English, French, Carib, and also other african languages. It’s closely related to Haitian Creole, so lot so that the 2 are indistinguishable to the untrained ear.

Creole, sometimes referred to as patois, is spoken in number of Caribbean islands and countries to varying degrees. This consists of Dominica, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Saint Barts, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines, Virgin Islands, and Trinidad.

Bajan Creole

Bajan is an English-based creole and is spoken in Barbados, although no as an main language. It’s mainly a talked language through English wanted for use in the media, arts, politics, and day-to-day business.

Bajan creole is influenced greatly by English and borrows West African, Scottish, and also Irish facets due to colonial history. Bajan, much like other Caribbean creoles, is connected to other patois in the region, very closely sounding prefer Guyanese and also Belizean Creole.

Despite a lack of main status, the language is an ext widely talked in Barbados 보다 English.

Lesser-known language of the Caribbean

After slavery finished in the Caribbean, the an ar had new arrivals from other continents, including Asia, and these brand-new immigrants brought with them their languages. Among these language is Caribbean Hindustani, spoken by indentured job who pertained to the Caribbean native the Indian subcontinent.

There are also native language to the Caribbean the is not widely recognized to the exterior world. These encompass indigenous languages, like the Arawak language (Shebayo, Igñeri, Lokono, Garifuna), Caribbean (Nepuyo and Yao), Taruma, Atorada, Arecuna, Akawaio, Patamona, and Warrau. An additional is the Carib language i m sorry is currently spoken by less than ten thousand civilization living in Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and also Brazil and is taken into consideration highly endangered.

Caribbean languages By Country

Below is a an overview of languages talked in the Caribbean. Contained on the perform is the official language for each country and also then the other key languages space spoken.

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CountryOfficial LanguagesOther key Languages Spoken
AnguillaEnglishAnguilla creole aka Anguilla talk or Anguillian
Antigua & BarbudaEnglishAntiguan Creole
ArubaDutch, PapiamentoEnglish, Spanish
The BahamasEnglishBahamian English/Creole aka Bahamianese, Haitian Creole
BarbadosEnglishBajan Creole
BelizeEnglishBelize creole aka Kriol, Spanish, Q’eqchi’, Mopan , Yucatec Maya, Garifuna, Plautdietsch, Pennsylvania German
BermudaEnglishBermudian English
BonaireDutch, PapiamentoEnglish, Spanish
The brothers Virgin IslandsEnglishVirgin islands Creole
Cayman IslandsEnglishCayman creole aka Cayman archipelago English
CubaSpanishHaitian Creole
CuracaoDutch, Papiamentu, Englishn/a
DominicaEnglishDominican Creole, Kokoy aka Cockoy
Dominican RepublicSpanishEnglish, French, Haitian Creole
GrenadaEnglishGrenadian creole English, Grenadian creolian French
GuadeloupeFrenchGuadeloupean Creole
GuyanaEnglishGuyanese Creole, Guyanese Hindustani, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, Dutch, French
HaitiFrench, Haitian Creolen/a
JamaicaEnglish Jamaican Patois aka Patwa
MartiniqueFrenchMartiniquan Creole
MontserratEnglishMontserrat creolian aka Montserrat English
Puerto RicoSpanish, Englishn/a
SabaDutch, EnglishSaban English
Saint Vincent & The GrenadinesEnglishVincentian Creole
Saint BarthelemyFrenchSaint-Barthélemy French
Saint Kitts & NevisEnglishSaint Kitts Creole
Saint LuciaEnglishSaint Lucian French creolian aka Kwéyòl
Saint MartinFrenchCreole
Sint EustatiusDutchEnglish, Creole
Sint MaartenDutch, EnglishCreole
SurinameDutchSranan Tongo, Caribbean Hindustani or Sarnami
Trinidad & TobagoEnglishTrinidadian Creole, Tobagonian Creole
Turks & Caicos IslandsEnglishTurks and also Caicos islands Creole
United states Virgin IslandsEnglishVirgin archipelago Creole

Note: as soon as it concerns English as an main language, it primarily refers to British English together these nations are either former British nests or currently British oversees Territories. The only exemption is the United states Virgin Island which provides American English as it is a United states Territory.