Ouagadougou - 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?

Most locals speak French or Moore or Jula. It's a little tough to get around without knowing some basic French as most people do not speak English outside of the Embassy. There are tutors available, and inexpensive for local languages. - Jun 2020

Some French is useful when dealing with the many local vendors and street merchants. - Oct 2019

Basic French would be quite useful conducting day-to-day personal business. - Jul 2019

Some rudimentary French language skills are imperative when bargaining with the many local vendors. - Jul 2019

It can be very isolating coming here if you speak no French. It's rare to find household staff and vendors who speak English. The embassy offers two hours of French and/or Moore training a week. Some people have also hired a personal tutor or attend Institut Francais classes. - Dec 2017

Though some people at the Embassy get by without French, it must be very difficult. There is very, very little English spoken in this country. Learning the basics in French to manage shopping is essential. - May 2016

French will make your life so much easier. This is a tough place without it, as very few people speak English. - Aug 2015

French is essential. Moore would be great, but it's a bonus. - Jun 2015

My husband speaks French and I only speak a little. Some things just have to wait until he can help. Our housekeeper speaks a good amount of English, too. With all of us combined, I am able to do all that I need to...with a few times of charades in the market when I'm on my own. - Jan 2015

It is really rare that anyone speaks English outside of the Embassy. I would say French is essential and Moore or Dioula is great if you want to do everything in the market yourself. - Jul 2013

Knowing French is crucial to getting by. Rarely will you find an English speaker. - Jul 2013

French is very important to maintain your sanity. - Apr 2013

Local language, none. French, a lot. If you don't speak French, you won't be able to do anything on the local economy. - Nov 2012

French is essential to do anything - Aug 2010

Just the names of places, numbers and basic questions and greetings. - Aug 2008

You really need to speak a little French to get by. But you can find domestic help from Ghana who can translate for you. - Jul 2008

French is really useful. Not too many people speak any English. - Jun 2008

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