Malawi’s official languages are English and Chichewa. Although English is commonly spoken in metropolitan areas and among the well-educated upper class, a few phrases in Chichewa will go you a long way outside of that. Chichewa is the majority of the population’s first language, and knowing it will get you by in much of Malawi, but learning the local dialect may be necessary in certain isolated regions. Foreigners who try to speak Chichewa are usually appreciated, and learning at least a few basic pleasantries can help you ingratiate yourself with the locals. Many individuals in the country’s north speak Tumbuka as their native language. The Yao people, who reside mostly in the country’s southern district, speak Chiyao. Malawi is a multi-cultural nation with more than a dozen indigenous ethnic groups, each with its own language. Even in such places, though, many younger individuals will be multilingual in both their native tongue and Chichewa.