Friday, September 10, 2021

Language & Phrasebook in Trinidad and Tobago

North AmericaTrinidad and TobagoLanguage & Phrasebook in Trinidad and Tobago

English is the official language. Words are spelled according to the British spelling (e.g. paint, work, tyre, etc.). English-Creole (although not called English-Creole by locals) is very commonly used for informal communication between locals. It is mainly an oral language, rarely written (and then only improvised). A Trinidadian dictionary, “Cote Ci Cote La”, can be purchased in one of the country’s many bookshops and makes an excellent souvenir of your holiday in Trinidad and Tobago. Here is an example of one of the many words that have a radically different meaning from American English:

liming; means going out in public with friends.

Hindi, French (mostly Creole or Patois), Spanish and Chinese are also occasionally heard. It may sometimes seem that you are in a country that speaks only one foreign language. However, as almost everyone knows standard (British) English, it is not necessary to ask for it. Of course, you should be careful if someone suddenly starts speaking in Standard English. They may well be talking to you!