The Mauritius language is English but the country’s language is actually the Creole based on the French language. French is very present in the media and in the education, about 72% of the Mauritians being French speakers, according to the Francophonie Internationale Organisation. There is no mention about the official Mauritius language in the country’s constitution and here are about 1 million Mauritians that speak French, Mauritian Creole and English.
The official Mauritius language in Parliament is English but the members can address to the chair in French. English is accepted as the island’s official language being used in administration, business and courts. All the island’s laws, including the Constitution are written in English. You will see people of the island’s switching language based on what they have to do.
Most of the people speak the Mauritian Creole (derived from French) with influences coming from different dialects- this is the language being considered the native one. There are two languages spoken by the people from Agalega and Rodrigues islands: Agalega and Rodriguan Creole. Arabic, Telugu, Chinese language, Urdu, Marathi, Bhojpuri and Hindi are also spoken in Mauritius.
The Mauritius language used by school students is English but also French and they have the possibility of studying some oriental languages (like Mauritian Creole). Since both English and French are spoken, the island is member of the Francophonie and of the Commonwealth of Nations. The native Mauritius language, the Creole, was developed by the slaves, in the 18th century. They used the pidgin language in their communication with each other and with the masters and this language evolved in time, becoming a casual language.
The Mauritian Creole has a similar pronunciation to the French language, but there are some important differences: there are no front rounded vowels and post-alveolar fricatives in the Creole language. As we have already said, the people of Mauritius switch the spoken languages based on their needs. At home, Bhojpuri and Creole are the two used languages, while in business area both Creole and French are used and in government and most of the school English is used.
Both English and French, with a long and important social status are used as favorites in professional and educational settings. More, the most of the media communications and of the newspapers are in French. The movies and the TV programs in American, broadcasted in Mauritius are dubbed into the French language. When Creole speakers and the Franco-Mauritians speak, the French is more used than the Creole language.
Among the other languages that are spoken on the island, we also mention: Mandarin, Tamil, Gujarati, a Chinese dialect called Hakka. Bhojpuri is also spoken on the island, being a mix of some Indian dialects that were spoken by the Indian settlers. So, there is no wonder that the most of the island’s people are bilingual or even trilingual. Tamil was brought by the builders of Indian origin while in the mosques around the island of Mauritius the Arabic language is taught.