Lagos - 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?

American English is generally understood but some pidgin English is helpful for rapport building and connection. There are language classes available. - Mar 2024

English is widely spoken. - Aug 2020

Everyone speaks some degree of English, though the Nigerian dialect may be hard for some Americans to understand. Nigerian pidgin also takes some time to fully decipher. Lagos is a multi-ethnic city, so you will hear various languages, but ultimately, most everyone communicates in English. - Jul 2020

None. Almost everyone speaks English to some extent, and there are so many local languages that only learning one would have limited advantage (although Yoruba and Igbo are by far the big two in Lagos). - Aug 2018

English is the national language, but the accent can take a while to get used to. Phone conversations can be very, very trying. Understanding Pidgin helps a lot, and Nigerians LOVE when you greet them in their other languages (primarily Yoruba and Igbo). - Mar 2018

English is the local language, though the accents can be difficult to understand for an American English speaker. Nigerians can't understand us, either. - May 2016

None. English is common, though can be tough to understand the accents and they don't always understand ours. - Nov 2015

None. English is the nation's official language, but American accents can throw Nigerians for a loop. But you can learn few words for breaking the ice with the locals, especially the Yorubas that own Lagos. - Dec 2011

None; can get by with English. Yaruba helps but not necessary. - Sep 2008

None, everyone speaks English. - May 2008

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