The official language is English, although Krio is the lingua franca. Krio is a full-fledged language with regular syntax and established writing norms, despite what some local snobs may claim. As a result, it’s not unexpected that the minority Krios, who mainly reside on the Freetown Peninsula, speak English as a second language, while the Temnes, Mendes, and other tribes use Krio as a second language. This makes it relatively simple for English speakers to travel about the peninsula, although the remainder of the nation is mostly Krio-only territory. While Krio’s terminology is mostly derived from English, it is incomprehensible to the typical English speaker—though you may be able to follow along if you know some basic vocabulary and are familiar with the topics discussed.
Mende is the main vernacular in the south and Temne is the main vernacular in the north in the provinces; regular Krio usage is mainly confined to provincial centers.