Praia - Post Report Question and Answers

How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You need at least survival Portuguese. Although many younger people speak basic English, it's uncommon among the older generations. Many people actually speak French. It's also helpful to know at least basic greetings in Kriolu - the locals appreciate it. - Feb 2024

It's extremely helpful to speak Portuguese and/or Kriolu. Affordable local tutors are available. - Aug 2023

It helps a lot if you can speak basic Portuguese. You can find affordable Portuguese or Cabo Verdean Kriol courses. - Jan 2023

You NEED the language! Portuguese is the official language, but Kriolu is the local language. Tutors can be a bit pricey. We tried 2 different tutors, and weren't happy with either of them. With both of my boys needing language for school and Portuguese not offered, we dropped our lessons so they could concentrate on what they need for school. - Sep 2018

Portuguese is very important. Creole even better (easily picked up if you have a foundation in Portuguese). Tutors are available and affordable. English is pretty rare here, outside of the main touristed islands of Sal and Boa Vista. - Dec 2017

To get along well you would need a basic working knowledge of Portuguese, though Kriolu would be even better (and get you street cred while you're at it). That being said, many people don't speak either language and get along just fine. Many people here, especially if they are university educated, speak English. Both local language classes and tutors are widely available and affordable. - Oct 2016

Basic Portuguese will get you by but you should learn Kriolu. Cabo Verdeans never speak Portuguese to each other so if you want to know what is happening around you, then you need Kriolu. A surprising number of people here speak English. - May 2014

A lot. The local language is Kriolu (based loosely on continental Portuguese) but everyone understands Portuguese, as well. Sometimes people will answer in Kriolu, which can be hard for some of us. I have learned some Kriolu, which helps with my daily shopping and working with my empregada, who is a great teacher. Learning numbers, food names, and general salutations is a must! Very few people (only young people, those who have lived in the US) speak English. - Feb 2011

Lots. Many people speak English but you really need to know some Portuguese or Kriolu to get by here. - Sep 2012

A lot, very few people speak English in the markets. - May 2012

Portuguese is required everywhere, but most people outside of the city center only speak Cape Verdean Creole. Creole in Santiago is fairly similar to a Portuguese/ Spanish mix to decipher key points, but its always helpful to speak the language when leaving downtown Praia. - Sep 2009

An absolute must. It is important to understand that although Portuguese is the official langugage, most of business is conducted in Criollo. - Feb 2008

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