An article specifically tailored for tourists planning to vacation in Seychelles. I’ll cover the language in Seychelles, how well locals speak foreign languages, the best language for communication, restaurant menus, and more. You’ll discover whether it’s challenging without knowledge of French or English. Let’s explore common questions to better prepare you for your trip to Seychelles.

Official language in Seychelles: General Information

Let’s start with the basics. The official language in Seychelles is Seychellois Creole. However, the official languages also include French and English. Here’s what you need to know:

  • All children in schools study English and French and are fluent in both languages.
  • The Seychellois language is correctly called Seychellois Creole. Creole languages developed in countries heavily influenced by European colonizers. So, in Seychelles (as well as in Mauritius), the language of the locals was shaped under the influence of the French language.
  • All road signs, informational signs, announcements, and public transport routes are in English.
  • Menus in restaurants, price tags in shops are in English. Sometimes menus in upscale restaurants are available in both English and French.
english language in seychelles
This menu is from a local eatery in a remote village, where there are no tourists at all. Seychellois people are highly educated; even the local children speak English well.

Useful to know:

If you speak English or French at a conversational level, you won’t encounter any language difficulties or barriers in Seychelles.

To understand why English and French are the official languages in Seychelles, I recommend reading an article about the country’s history. It will also enlighten you about what Seychelles inherited from the French and the English.

Interesting to know:

It was the French who first settled the archipelago and explored the islands. Therefore, all geographical landmarks, beach names, villages, and mountains have French names. For example, the beaches of Mahe Island: Beau Vallon, Anse Major, Petite Anse, or the mountain Morne Blanc. Interestingly, locals pronounce all these names in English but with a French accent.

Travel Tips

I’ll give advice mostly for travelers who don’t speak English or French. Tips that will make your life easier and reduce language barriers.

  • Book everything in advance online, be it excursions, taxis, or airport transfers. Regarding taxis and airport transfers, you can find links to online services here. Review of excursions and tours in the Seychelles: the best ones.
  • Before flying to Seychelles, make sure to install a translator on your phone—Google Translate is a very high-quality translator. You can even take a picture, and it will translate the text for you, which is very convenient in a restaurant, shop, or simply to read any notice by pointing your camera at it.

Important note:

This App is free but works only when connected to the internet. Plan in advance where and how you’ll get a local SIM card. An informative article about the internet in Seychelles, roaming, and mobile communication for tourists can be found here.

In general, even if you have difficulties with English, in 90% of cases, an online translator on your phone and gestures will suffice. Ordering food or buying groceries can be done without much conversation. Challenges might arise in unconventional situations. I recommend reading an article about safety in Seychelles for tourists to learn what to expect and how to avoid unforeseen circumstances. The main principle here is: forewarned is forearmed.

In conclusion: the official language in Seychelles is Seychellois Creole. However, the entire population speaks English and French fluently. If you know either of these languages, you won’t encounter any problems whatsoever. For those not sufficiently fluent in sign language, ensure you have an online translator and internet on your phone in advance; it will come in handy many times.

IMPORTANT: essential links to organize your dream trip to the Seychelles:

  • FLIGHTS: Aviasales – direct flights and best deals.
  • CAR RENTAL: Mahe and Praslin, no deposit required – DiscoverCars.
    • GetYourGuide – 75+ activities on land and water in the Seychelles.
    • Viator – 150 + activities in Seychelles.
    • Hotellook compares prices among a dozen other services and platforms and offers to choose the best one.
    • Booking – the most popular service for booking accommodation.
    • Agoda – the main competitor of Booking.
  • PACKAGES: from budget to luxury – Expedia.
  • INTERNET: eSIM of local telecom operator – Airalo.