St. Barts: Language and Courtesy

St. Barthelemy (St. Barts, St. Barth) Boat Rentals and Yacht Charters, Sailing, Fishing
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French is the official language of St. Barthélemy (St. Barth / St. Barts) but you may also hear some of the locals speaking Créole. Since so many Americans visit St. Barth, English is also spoken throughout the island.

For non-French speakers, a mini-phrase book or a small dictionary may prove to be invaluable. Online translation sites and smartphone apps can also be helpful. Please don't expect that others will always speak or understand your language. When you are in St. Barts, you are in France.

If you make some efforts to speak a little French, it will be greatly appreciated. If you make some mistakes, don't worry. They will just make your attempts at French more charming. Of course, a smile is the easiest and most universal form of communication.

It's important to remember that you are a guest in another culture. If you treat others with respect and kindness, they generally reciprocate. If you want to take someone's photo, always ask their permission first. And don't forget that everything moves at a slower pace in the tropics, so you shouldn’t expect or demand speedy service. If you can downshift and relax, you will blend right in and have a great time doing so.

In the US, making a circle with the thumb and index finger means "OK". In France, it can be taken as an insult. It can mean "worthless". A raised thumb gesture (one thumb up) will work better and avoid misunderstandings.
French Caribbean Map with St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Barth, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Les Saintes and Marie-Galante

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Since 1994, French Caribbean International has been the premier guide to the French West Indies. In addition to providing helpful travel information, we are an exceptional resource for accommodations including St. Barthélemy (St. Barts, St. Barth, St. Barths) villa rentals and hotels, St. Martin / St. Maarten villa rentals and hotels, Martinique villa rentals and hotels, Guadeloupe villa rentals and hotels, Les Saintes villa rentals and hotels, and Marie-Galante villa rentals and hotels.