English is not the official language in all Caribbean nations, but because of the importance of tourism and British colonial influence it is widely spoken throughout the Caribbean. Spanish, French, and Dutch are some of the official languages of some Caribbean nations.
Numerous local dialects are spoken by indigenous populations throughout the Caribbean. Patois, a mixture of African languages and English, is the most spoken local dialect in the Caribbean. Papiamento, another local dialect consists of a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, Dutch, and African languages. Many local residents speak English in a thick French Creole or West Indian drawl. Tourists visiting the Caribbean should not hesitate to re-ask a question if they do not understand a local resident.