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

Most people in Paramaribo speak English. You can generally get around fine in stores and restaurants with just English. That being said, not everyone's English level is high enough for complicated situations. We've had experiences with mechanics, law enforcement, and medical staff where knowing Dutch was extremely helpful. - Feb 2020


A lot of people speak rudimentary English so with that, and some hand signals, you can get by. Some menus are only in Dutch so you can guess and hope for the best. Not sure about local language classes, but the US embassy is putting together a language program so there's hope. - Jun 2017


None. - May 2016


Wife didn't know any Dutch or Sranan Tango and got around fine. It defintiely helps though. - Dec 2014


You don't really NEED to have it, but it's definitely helpful. By the end of our two-year tour I'd picked up a decent amount of Dutch. - Jul 2014


Not much. I don't really know much and I got along fine. - Sep 2013


None, usually, but it is much appreciated. - Nov 2010


None, although some Dutch is helpful. - Feb 2010


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More