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English or Spanish?

Long Island
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637 posts
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English or Spanish?

We are interested in visiting Isla Mujeres but are wondering if it truly a mexican town or if it has been commercialized. Will the menus in restaurants be in english or spanish? Will the waiter or waitress only understand spanish?

We are looking for something real not somewhere made for tourists.

Thanks

Mi Wuk Village...
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1. Re: English or Spanish?

A Mexican town? Filled with Mexicans who speak Spanish. Culturally? Bad word in any resort that caters to large numbers of shallows. Menus in virtually all restaurants will be English/Spanish. Waiters with speak English. You should learn some basic phrases out of politeness. Carry a small dictionary/phrase book. Something real???? I'd love to hear your definition of that. What would be a real experience to you? Are you interested in anything besides the beach? If so what? Try and be specific, Then it would be possible to direct you to places that fit.

Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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2. Re: English or Spanish?

any where on the coast is the tourist zone

Try inland at Merida or Valladolid

Chicago, Illinois
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for Isla Mujeres
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3. Re: English or Spanish?

Some menus are entirely in Spanish, some are in English, some offer each. Isla is somewhat commercialized in that it is part of an overall region that caters to tourism, but far less so than places like Cancun, which is precisely why many of us love Isla so much. The downtown area near where you will get off the ferry is pretty commercial (it is, after all, downtown) but move out of Centro and there are wonderful neighborhoods full of locals. It is a real place where real people live, not a manufactured destination.

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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4. Re: English or Spanish?

On Isla Mujeres, as with most tourists spots in the area, you will find most everyone you are in contact will know some Engish, with menus and such often in Engish. As said, do learn a little Spanish just to be polite.

¨We are looking for something real not somewhere made for tourists.¨

To find that , I suggest you head a bit inland to places in Yucatan state, such as the town of Valladolid and the City of Merida. There you will often find people not speaking English and some who still speak only the Mayan language.

new york
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for Isla Mujeres
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5. Re: English or Spanish?

I think you'll find something very "real" on Isla Mujeres. While certainly discovered by tourists, it is a real, working fishing village so in that it's very different from Cancun, which was created solely for tourism. Wander off the main pedestrian street downtown and you'll find locals sitting outside their homes, watching the world go by. Stroll down by the water and you'll see fishermen bringing in and cleaning their catch. Take a golf cart ride around the various neighborhoods (colonias) and you'll see how the locals live, work, play, and socialize. It's not just a place for tourists; tourists and locals, both expat and native, interact on a daily basis. So while the places recommended above are lovely, you can find the "real" Mexico on Isla Mujeres as well :)

Language should not be an issue but if you learn a few phrases it'll go a long way in making the locals appreciate you.

Cozumel, Mexico
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for Cozumel, Merida
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6. Re: English or Spanish?

I agree, you will find the ¨real¨ Mexico in most places if you seek it. It is a bit more difficult in Cancun but easy to do in IM, Cozumel, Puerto Morelos, Tulum, etc. Even in Playa de Carmen but tourist development has pushed the majority of residents to new areas across the highway. One very real place I enjoy much is Isla Holbox. It has developed slowly because it is not easy to reach from the tourist center. But like all places, it is slowly changing.

Vancouver
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for Akumal, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, Puerto Morelos
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7. Re: English or Spanish?

We visited a few places in the Centro area

Those places that cater to locals only may know some English. Menus are pretty easy to understand if only in Spanish

Same goes for Puerto Morelos, Akumal Pueblo, Tulum Pueblo

Grayslake, Illinois
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8. Re: English or Spanish?

There are plenty of places to eat outside of el centro on IM where the menu is only in Spanish and English is not spoken. You can find them if that is what you seek.

Long Island
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637 posts
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9. Re: English or Spanish?

Thanks everyone. It sounds like it will be a fun vacation. We speak a little spanish and like to use it. Cancun was a little disappointing because everyone spoke english fluently. We really enjoyed Zihuatanejo, where are spanish went a long way. We felt as though we were in Mexico!

Stillwater...
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10. Re: English or Spanish?

Have dinner at Daisey and Raul's in the Colonias. You will have a good opportunity to practice your Spanish and enjoy some authentic Mexican food. Daisey will want to practice her English with you also.