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I only speak english is it difficult ?

South Lake Tahoe...
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I only speak english is it difficult ?

I have been told if you only speak english Barcelona can be difficult for using the areobus, getting around and going to dinner is this true

Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: I only speak english is it difficult ?

You'll have no problems Maggie.


Kilmarnock, United...
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2. Re: I only speak english is it difficult ?

don't worry Maggie, you won't have a problem, unless you order eggy bread. The Spanish are far more advanced than the British when it comes to language, especially in Catalonia.

They are mostly tri-lingual. Spanish, Catalan and English. A few phrases won't go wrong, Donde Esta, Quanto Questa, La Quenta, Lavabos and similar. Bon Dia and Gracies or Moltes Gracies, Muchas gracias.

Try it, you'll have fun

Wayne, Pennsylvania
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3. Re: I only speak english is it difficult ?

Some might say I do not speak English. We had no problems in Barcelona. In any case a smile makes up for that.

Wayne, Pennsylvania
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4. Re: I only speak english is it difficult ?

I will add that post #2 said it all.

Montreal, Canada
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5. Re: I only speak english is it difficult ?

"They are mostly tri-lingual. Spanish, Catalan and English."

That's pretty far from the truth. The vast majority of Spaniards do not speak English and a lot of people in Barcelona don't speak Catalan. People who work in tourism or tourist oriented services speak English or Globish, but if you get a bit off the beaten track nobody will know what you're saying. That being said, a tourist should not have any problems when using English and non-verbal methods of communication.

Edited: 24 August 2012, 04:09
Albuquerque, New...
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6. Re: I only speak english is it difficult ?

We found that we could do okay with English only, to the extent we stayed on the 'tourist' beat (major museums, shops, etc.). Once we started venturing more into the periphery of town, it became a task to use our 'broken' Spanish and their 'broken' English. We went to a camera store near Gracia, for example, and the clerk knew no English. In Spanish class, they never taught me to say 'polarizing filter' or 'memory card,' but somehow I got my point across and made the purchase.

If you're going to a 'foreign' land, my bias is that you need to learn and practice the basics of the Native language, unless you plan on staying resort-side and don't want to experience the culture in its fullest.

The same was true when we went to Seville. Yes, some people spoke or understood English, but our experience was richer because we coukd speak and understand some of the language.

Toronto, Canada
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for Barcelona
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7. Re: I only speak english is it difficult ?


For the Aerobus, pls see the Top Question - Getting to your hotel by Aerobus. If you're staying near Placa Espanya or Placa Catalunya, you can use the Google maps to generate a custom walking map to your hotel. There's also a link to the Aerobus website. Aerobus drivers are not chatty in any language but all the Aerobus employees know enough English to answer your basic questions.

For dining, another Top Question - Translating a menu into English - should help.


As everyone has pointed out, a smile and a few words (especially Hola and Gracias) should get you through most tourist activities.

"La cuenta, por favor" is a polite and simple way to get the bill.

Malaga, Spain
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8. Re: I only speak english is it difficult ?


Everyone in the tourist business speaks English. If you need to ask directions on the street, choose a young person. Most young people have learned some English in school, but lack practice talking it. They will be able to help you.

One of the problems is that most movies produced in English are automatically dubbed into Spanish before they reach the cinemas here. Also the movies shown on TV. So people cannot hear English outside school and cannot practice it.

New York City
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9. Re: I only speak english is it difficult ?

I have found that most people do not speak english, However I can speak Spanish on a level of a 4 or 5 year old and I have been able to pick up the missing words fairly easily. (Many times I have had to use similar words to get across what I want althought it sounds funny like when I wanted a hotel room I had to initially use the word Casa instead of Habitaciones) and I have had to use the word Frio (Cold) to say I wanted Air Conditioner, and it was Frio no Trabajar (Really means Cold not working) but the message definatly got across

I have also found the people are alot nicer if you attempt to speak to them in Spanish, They realize I speak english and I have said after a while I only speak spanish a little the usually reply has been, thats OK I only speak english a little and they smile when they say it

10. Re: I only speak english is it difficult ?

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