The official language in Mauritius is English; however, the majority of the country prefers to speak French or the local language, the Mauritian Creole. Most places English is widely understood and spoken, but the lower social class are not always able to communicate in English.
The English and French language was brought to the Island from colonial times but the Mauritian Creole language was developed in the 18th century when the French colonizers occupied the island and brought slaves from Africa and Madagascar whose primary languages included Malagasy, Wolof, and a number of East African Bantu languages. Creole became a vocabulary mix of French, Malagasy and African languages and was used amongst slaves but has stayed rooted ever since and is now the locally spoken language.
The Mauritian people loves when travellers try to make an effort in speaking their language and you will be sure to get extra pampered if you know a couple of words or more. Here is a little Creole guide:
Good morning - Bonzur
How are you? - Ki manyèr?
I am good - Mo byen, mersi OR Mo korek, mersi
What is your name? - Kuma ou apéle? OR Ki ou non?
I’m from.. - Mo sort…
Pleased to meet you - Mo kontan monne zwin u OR Mo kontan finn zwin u
Good evening - Bonswar
Goodbye - Orewar
See you later- Mo truve twa talère
I don’t understand? - Mo pa kompran?
Please say that again? - U kapave rédire si ouplé?
Excuse me - Exkize moi
Sorry - Sori
Thank you - Mersi