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Do They Speak English in Montenegro?

Do They Speak English in Montenegro

Key Takeaways

Primary Language:Montenegrin
English Proficiency:Moderate among younger population and tourist areas.
Learning English:Taught in schools; commonly used in business & tourism.
Communication Tips:Use simple English; have a translation app ready.
Other Spoken Languages:Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian, Croatian.

Montenegro: A Multilingual Country

Montenegro, a picturesque country nestled on the Adriatic coast, is predominantly known for its rugged mountains, medieval villages, and stunning beaches. While the official language is Montenegrin, the question on many tourists’ and business travelers’ minds is, “Do they speak English in Montenegro?” Let’s delve deep into the linguistic landscape of this Balkan nation.

Overview of Languages Spoken

Montenegro has a rich tapestry of languages due to its history and diverse ethnic groups. Here’s a snapshot:

  • Montenegrin: The official language. Montenegrin uses both Cyrillic and Latin alphabets.
  • Serbian, Bosnian, Albanian, and Croatian: Significant minority languages. Due to historical and ethnic ties, these languages have a notable presence.
  • English: Increasingly popular, especially among the younger generation and in urban centers.

Why the Emphasis on English?

Several factors contribute to the growing prevalence of English in Montenegro:

  1. Tourism: With its beautiful Adriatic coast, Montenegro has become a hotspot for tourists. Coastal towns like Budva and Kotor see a flux of English-speaking tourists, leading to a greater need for English proficiency among locals.
  2. Education: English is introduced at an early age in schools. As globalization intensifies, proficiency in English is seen as an advantage for further studies and professional opportunities.
  3. Business: Montenegro is making efforts to integrate more closely with the European Union and Western economies. As a result, English, being the lingua franca of international business, is increasingly important.

English Proficiency Levels in Montenegro

Understanding where and how frequently you might encounter English speakers in Montenegro can help in planning a trip or business venture.

AreaLevel of English Proficiency
Urban Centers:High; especially among young adults and professionals.
Tourist Spots:Moderate to high. Most establishments cater to tourists.
Rural Areas:Low. Older generations might not speak any English.

Interacting with Locals

  • Younger Generation: They are more likely to speak English due to modern educational emphasis on the language. Urban areas and universities are the best places to encounter fluent English speakers.
  • Business and Service Industry: In popular tourist spots, the service industry workers, including hotel staff, tour operators, and restaurant employees, usually have a working knowledge of English.
  • Elderly and Rural Population: They might have limited or no knowledge of English. In such cases, gestures, a translation app, or a few basic phrases in Montenegrin can be beneficial.

Tips for English Speakers in Montenegro

  1. Speak Slowly and Clearly: While many Montenegrins have learned English in school, they might not be fluent. Speaking slowly can aid comprehension.
  2. Download a Translation App: Handy for complex conversations or in regions with lower English proficiency.
  3. Learn a Few Local Phrases: Basic greetings or thank you phrases in Montenegrin can go a long way in building rapport.
  4. Use Simple Vocabulary: Avoiding idioms, slang, and complex words will make communication smoother.


While Montenegro has a diverse linguistic landscape, the rise of English, driven by tourism, education, and business, is evident. Travelers and business professionals can reasonably expect to communicate in English, especially in urban centers and tourist hubs. However, a gesture of respect towards their culture and language is always appreciated. Being prepared, understanding the local linguistic nuances, and having patience will ensure a positive experience in this beautiful Balkan nation.