Although the official language of Mauritius is English, in practice French is by far the most widely spoken language and is often used in professional and formal settings. English-language television programmes are usually dubbed into French. Most subjects in the education system are taught and tested in the Commonwealth variety of English, which means that you will be able to communicate with locals in English, although the level of difficulty varies.
Mauritian Creole is a French-based creole which incorporates vocabulary from many different sources, such as English, Dutch, and Portuguese, with some differences in pronunciation compared to standard French. Although locals generally converse among themselves in Creole, Standard French is also commonly spoken and understood. Virtually everyone working in the tourism industry can speak fairly good, if heavily accented, English, and all government agencies have English-speaking staff on duty. Other languages spoken by a much smaller number are: Hindi, Urdu, Hakka, Bhojpuri and Mandarin. Tamils make up about 10 % of the population and speak Tamil.