You’ll find the glamorous city of Monte Carlo down on the sun-soaked Mediterranean Coast, in the Principality of Monaco. Even though it’s encased by the much bigger country of France, Monaco is actually a country all of its own; in fact, it’s one of the smallest in the world, second only to the Vatican City, and it has its own royal (or ‘princely’) family.
Monaco is divided into different neighbourhoods, and Monte Carlo is just one of them, although it’s probably the best known of the lot, thanks to its glamorous image. Known for attracting the rich and famous from all over the world, and the yearly Grand Prix, this is definitely the most famous district. It occupies one of the best spots, too, overlooking the main harbour with its glitzy casino and five-star hotels, and you’re just a stone’s throw from the beach.
What language is spoken in Monte Carlo?
The official Monte Carlo language is French, which is spoken by around 58% of the total population of the country and widely understood. Italian and English are also spoken here, so if you don’t know any French, you’ll still be able to get by with one of these languages.
There’s another Monte Carlo language you should know about: the traditional Monégasque dialect (otherwise known as ‘le Monegù’). This is spoken only spoken by around 15% of the population, but it’s most common among the older generation, and it’s taught in the local schools, too.
About language in Monte Carlo
French people make up around 28% of the local popular here, whereas the local Monegasque people represent less than 22%. The rest of the population is made up of Italian, British, Belgian, German, Swiss, and US citizens, which explains why this place has such an international vibe, and such a diverse range of languages spoken, too.
Now you’re in the know, keep an eye out for the local Monégasque dialect on the street signs in the old town, and listen out for people speaking it in the streets. It actually comes from Ligurian, a Gallo-Roman language derived from Liguria in Northern Italy. So if you happen to speak a little Italian, you’ll may notice some similarities; like ‘bungiurnu’ (hello); ‘unde é a büveta?’ (where’s the bar?); and ‘qantu?’ (how much is this?).
Until the 1920s, Monégasque was just an oral language and it didn’t appear in writing. By the 1970s, this dialect has almost completely disappeared, so Prince Rainer II decided to take action and revive it in schools. To keep the dialect doing, learning Monégasque became compulsory in 1976, and still is today.
Learn a few phrases
Monte Carlo is an international destination, so you’ll be able to get by with English. But you may find locals are more receptive to you if you at least try to speak a little French to them. To help you master Monte Carlo language, have a read through our list, click on the green icon to hear the pronunciation, and practice the basics. You never know when you might need it.