Saint-Barthélemy French

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Saint-Barthélemy French
Patois Saint-Barth
Native to The Caribbean: St. Barts (France) & St. Thomas (US)
Native speakers
500–700 (1997)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Glottolog None

Saint-Barthélemy French or St. Barts patois (French: patois Saint-Barth) is the dialect of French spoken in the Caribbean, on the French-controlled island of Saint-Barthélemy and by a small emigrant community on Saint Thomas in the US Virgin Islands.

Saint Barts[edit]

The dialect co-exists on St. Barts alongside Antillean Creole and Standard French. Despite this linguistic diversity on so small an island, fluency across the varieties of French is generally uncommon. Presently the language is spoken by 500–700 people (mostly old people).[1]

Saint Thomas[edit]

A small population of St. Barth’s fishermen settled in St. Thomas (over 200 km away) in the 19th century.[2] The enclave of fewer than 1000 people has maintained its language despite great pressure from the surrounding community. However, in recent years, emigration to the United States has increased the rate of attrition to English.

Notes and references[edit]


  1. ^ a b Valdman. (1997: 247).
  2. ^ Dillard. (1975: 18).