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Language Barrier?

Wainwright, Alberta
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161 posts
92 reviews
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Language Barrier?

We are going for our first visit, and many people say if you don't speak the language, you will have problems. We are looking at 1 week in an all-inclusive, and 1 week in a hotel or AirBNB. We appreciate your thoughts and tips for making our vacation a success please.

27 replies to this topic
Toronto, Canada
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158 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Language Barrier?

You will not have any problems. The AI resort will have plenty of bilingual staff. Taxi drivers, most restaurant staff and store staff speak quite a bit of English. To make your trip more enjoyable, try to learn and use a few Spanish phrases. Please and thank you go a long way in any language. Don’t give it a second thought, just go and enjoy!

Regina, Canada
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279 posts
36 reviews
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2. Re: Language Barrier?

A smile on your face and an easy going attitude will go a long way. Does not knowing Spanish cause problems? Not that I have come across. It may make for some interesting interactions but I have always been able to work it out with either hand gestures, my crappy few words I do speak, or help from someone nearby. As much as I would like to be able to communicate fluently, it actually creates some of the charm that makes me keep coming back for.

I would suggest learning a few basics just to be respectful such as good morning, good night, thank you, please and sorry. Also, when asking prices for goods or cab fare, I usually grab my phone and type in the numbers or they have a calculator to display the cost of things to ensure there isn't confusion.

Kamloops, Canada
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1,536 posts
29 reviews
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3. Re: Language Barrier?

as everyone said, it is a non issue...you will survive. As the others have also noted do learn some words, it really is appreciated if you try.

try duolingo (free app) for the basics. It does help when you are eating out and there is not an English menu.

Minocqua, Wisconsin
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377 posts
76 reviews
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4. Re: Language Barrier?

As itchyandscatchy said , Dulingo is lots of help. You don't have to learn a lot. A few words and phrases go a long way. In 4 years I'm up to 832 words! Don't always know how to put them together;-)

And it helps pass the time ad you wait for your trip.

Adelaide, Australia
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1,591 posts
15 reviews
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5. Re: Language Barrier?

Use Google Translate App and download the Spanish database for it before you leave home. That way even if you have no WIFI or Internet data you can still use it off-line. I travelled for 3 months through Mexico and South America with no Spanish when I started, did learn some words with Duolingo which helped. Many places I went to there was no English spoken at all (why should it be anyway), like others above said it created a great way to initiate communication. I became great at acting and pointing, just trying to speak a few words ( even pronounced badly) was much appreciated by the locals. I actually picked it up along the way and words you use a lot start to become natural. I think it added charm to my experience and smiling does go along way. Learning just basics like Buenos días, buenas tardes, buenas noches instead of Hola, gracias, being able to count to 10, basic menu items like chicken, pork etc. I love to immerse myself with locals (AI is not for me) as you experience far more and usually get some great laughs when thinks get lost in translation :-) Enjoy your holiday

Wainwright, Alberta
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161 posts
92 reviews
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6. Re: Language Barrier?

Thanks so much for all your advice. I feel better now. And I do know a few words, but I will try to learn a few more before we go. As I couldn't order anything off a menu, or try and figure out the price for a taxi.I had no idea you go off line and use the Spanish database. Thanks for that very useful piece of information! I really appreciate everyone's suggestions!

Alberta
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3,826 posts
39 reviews
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7. Re: Language Barrier?

You certainly won't have a problem at the AI. Off the AI resort it can be a bit of an issue at times, but you will survive.

Boise Idaho
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882 posts
10 reviews
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8. Re: Language Barrier?

You won't have any trouble. Huatulco is a tourist area. Many locals speak English. You will be able to get by. Once in a restaurant I ordered "Un cuerpo de café". When the laughter stopped I learned that "cuerpo" refers to a body, like a cadaver. At another time, at the end of dinner my daughter told our waiter she'd like "Un bolsa de perro".. When the waiter asked "Para llevar?" She corrected him and insisted on "Un bolsa de perro" (A bag of dog).

Wainwright, Alberta
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161 posts
92 reviews
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9. Re: Language Barrier?

Oh my goodness that's to funny! Thanks for sharing your story. I am trying to learn a few words. Thanks! I'm hoping that the menu's at least have pictures. That will totally save me!

Wainwright, Alberta
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161 posts
92 reviews
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10. Re: Language Barrier?

Would anyone have any suggestions as to where to stay for a week off a resort. A great area that has lots to do and lots of restaurants. Thanks.

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