TRAVEL GUIDE: GET TO KNOW THE SEYCHELLES LINGO
The Seychelles islands have been the site of numerous cultural influences – which make it the unique holiday destination it is today. From fine, fusion cuisine, long-standing traditions from all corners of the globe, and a language quite unlike any other Creole nation, a visit to the Seychelles is a meeting point to the rest of the world. While most Seychelles locals do speak English, get stuck into the Seychelles culture by getting clued up with the local lingo
As mentioned before, the Seychelles is a Creole nation, and like it’s cousins Mauritius, Mayotte, Haiti, Reunion and even pockets of New Orleans, the official Seychellois language is hugely influenced by French culture and language – but with a little more of a relaxed style. According to the Max Planck Institute for the Science of human history, “since its independence in 1976, the government of the Seychelles has sought to develop the language, with its own orthography and codified grammar, establishing Lenstiti Kreol (the Creole Institute) for this purpose.”
While speaking a local language in a foreign country may seem endearing, remember to do so with respect and as a sign of connection with people from the Seychelles. And if you think you’ll butcher it, ask for help and strike up a conversation. Stay away from those who try to teach you curse words. People from the Seychelles are overwhelmingly warm and friendly, so it will never be necessary to hurl insults.
French speakers will take easily to learning the language – some tourists who speak French simply carry on doing so and the locals understand them (almost) perfectly. For the rest of us, it is relatively easy to take to, especially if you’re just looking to learn some key phrases. We’ve gathered some here, which may be useful as part of your Seychelles guide. We’ve included everything from hello, to some tips on how order that refreshing Takamaka cocktail at the local bar.
Tip: Drop the clunky word book. It’s tricky to navigate and also shows you off as a struggling tourist. Rather save or print our concise lingo guide, to use when you’re out about in the Seychelles: