The Language of: DOMINICA

Apr 19, 2010 by

Dominica — not to be confused with the Dominican Republic — is the most rugged of the eastern Caribbean’s Windward Islands, boasting a breathtaking natural diversity: volcanic peaks, lush rain forests, dramatic waterfalls, hot sulfur springs and a boiling lake. What is the language of Dominica?

English is the official language of Dominica, but periods of French rule left their mark on family and place names, such as the capital Roseau. However, today Standard French understood by no more than 10% of the population, and only about 10,000 people in Dominica speak English, while the majority — some 43,000 people — speak Dominican Creole French, or Kwèyòl. There is also a small minority — about 200 people — who speak Kokoy Creole English, related to Antigua and Barbuda Creole English.

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  • Donald

    Although the majority of people in Dominica speak Creole, they also speak English, and many in Roseau no longer speak Creole at all. Only some very elderly people do not speak English.

  • Asya Pereltsvaig

    Thanks for the comment, Donald. I meant what people speak natively. It is indeed true that many younger speakers of French Creole also speak English (indeed, in many parts of the world, people speak English — to different degrees — in addition to their native language). Interestingly, but unsurprisingly, they speak English rather than French in addition to the Creole (even though the Creole in question is French-based in not English-based).