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Language

Clearwater
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316 posts
1 review
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Language

I frequent the Paris board as my husband is a native. Americans always ask if they should learn French before visiting Paris. My answer the same to all...no they do not need to know too much French since everyone speaks English in Paris. Other than the normal polite hello, thank you, please etc...It is just easier for the French to speak English to Americans. It's quicker than trying to figure out what they are trying to communicate.

So is this the same in CR? My husband feels he can get by on his broken Spanish but I am a little concerned...should we have a English/Spanish dictionary just in case?

Thanks!

Winnipeg, Canada
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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7,350 posts
28 reviews
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1. Re: Language

You can definitely manage in Costa Rica without learning Spanish. This is especially true if you stay in the tourist areas. Hotel, restaurants tour companies etc. will have people who speak English (degree will vary.) You will find lots of people who want to practice their English. Most younger people these days study or have studied some English.

However, one thing - Ticos WILL appreciate people making the effort to speak some Spanish. This is different than my experiences in Paris - where as soon as they hear an accent they don't want to bother to even listen to the French, even if the person speaking can actually speak relatively coherently..........

Of course, if you do speak Spanish (Or basically this can be said for the language of anywhere you visit) it will give you a chance to broaden your horizons a bit.

Pura Vida,

raquel

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Costa Rica
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9,514 posts
23 reviews
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2. Re: Language

Don't worry! The majority of people in the tourist industry speak at least a little English (maids are the exception). You can manage with little or no Spanish although you will likely encounter some drivers and staff with no English. You can certainly get by with broken Spanish as we have done but its a little like Paris (in my experience) in that everyone appreciates your efforts to speak their language (although odds are they'll answer you in English). The dictionary's not a bad idea although I never opened mine except back in the hotel room when trying to look up some odd sign I couldn't figure out.

If you get farther off the main tourist trek (which is unlikely on your 1st trip) you'll find the more Spanish you have the easier travel is but many of us manage with fractured Spanish.

Clearwater
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316 posts
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3. Re: Language

Thanks so much!

Yes in France they immediately switch to English...even to me who can get by just fine. Wish that was the case with my in laws :-0 they speak no English!

I guess my Hubby's broken Spanish will work out for us...and we'll probably be adding some French into the mix!

Thanks!

Seoul, South Korea
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876 posts
10 reviews
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4. Re: Language

English is widely spoken and even when not ticos are very friendly and patient with using their broken English and listening to your broken Spanish. Menus are in Spanish and English almost all of the time too.

5. Re: Language

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