The Bahamas is a small island found in the Atlantic Ocean, south of Miami, Florida.
This British Commonwealth nation has a population of just about 400,000. However, despite the number of natives who live there, this country is actually of very diverse origins.
The Bahamas is very famous among Americans and tourists from all over the globe because of its beautiful beaches and popular tourist spots.
This brings to mind the question of communication. If people from the Bahamas have diverse characteristics, does that mean it’s difficult to communicate with them?
If you are curious as to what language is spoken in the Bahamas, we have got the answer for you.
What Language Is Spoken in the Bahamas?
Since the Bahamas is part of the British Commonwealth, it comes with no surprise to learn that the English language is actually the most spoken in the country.
When settlers from Britain reached the Bahamas around the 18th century, a great deal of their culture was also introduced to the island.
As such, English became the official language of the country at the same time that it was declared a British protectorate.
This means that all official records, communication, education, and media productions, as well as transactions inside the Bahamas, use the English language.
However, when it comes to informal transactions and conversations, especially among locals, a dialect called the Bahamian English is used.
This dialect is a modified version of the English language and is quite unique to the Bahamian people.
If you want to experience and figure it out for yourself, try visiting the Great and Little Inagua Islands filled with great tourist attractions.
This is one of the most famous places in the Bahamas!
Other Languages Used in the Bahamas
Because of the difference in the origins of the people living in the Bahamas, it is not uncommon to see pieces of evidence of their diversity in certain parts of the country.
Like with anything else, these differences are also found in their language.
Although English is the country’s official language, the Bahamian population actually uses two versions of this language: the Bahamian and Haitian Creole.
The Bahamian Creole is considered as the vernacular language of the Bahamas. This means that this is the language used for informal conversations among the islanders.
That point is especially true for those who live in the urban areas of the country.
The origin of the Bahamian Creole is quite uncertain. Still, it is believed that it is the combination of the early local languages of the Bahamian natives and the British English dialects.
There are other variations of the Bahamian Creole that are evident on the island, but up to 400,000 locals of both white and African-American origin speak the language.
The Bahamian Creole functions not only as a vehicle for communication but also as a cultural hallmark to the Bahamian people because of its distinctiveness that is truly unique to the Bahamas.
After the British settlers arrived in the Bahamas during the 18th century, many Haitian immigrants followed after that around the 19th century.
Because of the culture brought by the Haitian immigrants, which strongly affected the island, almost a quarter of the entire Bahamian population now speaks Haitian Creole.
Haitian Creole is a variant of the English language that has its roots in the Indo-French Europe Creole.
This is because the country of Haiti has been a colony of France during both the 17th and 18th centuries.
Aside from the French influence, the Haitian Creole is also influenced by Spanish, Portuguese, and other languages from West Africa.
Foreign Languages in the Bahamas
Almost the entire population of the Bahamas speak Bahamian Creole, while only a quarter of them are fluent in Haitian Creole.
Is there any other language you can expect to encounter in this country?
Despite the numbers, perhaps what’s comforting to know is that both the Bahamian and Haitian Creole are variants of the English language, which further proves the point that the aspect of communication when visiting the Bahamas will not be an issue.
On the other hand, we understand that the Bahamas is not only a popular destination for tourists from America but those from many other countries, as well.
That being said, visitors from other parts of the world would still find communication possible, so long as they have basic knowledge of the English language.
However, those who come from non-English speaking countries, especially those where English is not taught in school, would probably need to hire a translator to communicate with the locals.
If you are planning on staying in the Bahamas for an extended period, there are no shortages to the number of language schools in the country that teach the English language, as well as the Bahamian and Haitian Creoles.
Planning a Trip to the Bahamas?
If you’re ever planning on going on a trip to the Bahamas, untick the translator from your checklist and replace it with other useful stuff on your list like where to stay and where to go.
Here’s a tip: visit the largest yet least-explored island in the country, the Andros Island.
You’ll never run out of romantic views and thrilling activities because Andros Island is the place where all of these are found.
The Bahamas is a country known to us for its breathtaking scenery and its profound inclination towards the preservation of natural resources and tourist spots.
When these things are talked about, one common issue that we encounter is communication.
That’s because places like these are often found on the other side of the globe where English is only a secondary language, if not totally unused.
However, if the question of what language is spoken in the Bahamas has ever bothered you while planning your trip and packing your bags, you need not worry, because communicating with the locals is the last thing you’d ever have a problem with.
As long as you have a basic understanding of the English language, you can easily talk to the locals of the country.