One of the reasons Americans and Canadians feel so comfortable living and traveling in Costa Rica is the amount of English spoken here. Spanish is the official language, but many Costa Rican’s speak a bit of English making it fairly easy to spend weeks even years in Costa Rica without ever knowing much Spanish at all. [...]
I have met countless expats who have lived here for years and still can not manage to even order a meal in Spanish. To each their own, but I am always amazed to meet expats living here who do not know any Spanish. I always recommend that anyone making a move to Costa Rica should take the time to learn the language. Speaking Spanish will definitely make life much easier on a day to day basis, but equally important it will allow you to really connect and understand this great Costa Rican culture. Some of the friendliest and sincere people I know in Costa Rica speak no English, those friendships would not have been formed if I had not been able to communicate with them. You can go ahead and make countless excuses about not having the time or resources to learn Spanish, but the truth is you really don’t have one. Here are a few simple ways you can start….
Rosetta Stone is the top language learning software available. This isn’t a plug for the product, it’s just really that good. A lot of people download the software to their ipod, phone, laptop and can begin studying from anywhere. 30 minutes a night would really help in at least getting you though the basics.
All you have to do is google “online instruction in spanish”, and you’ll come across many websites which offer courses.
The Central Valley has an abundance of affordable language schools. Instruction can range from 1 hour a day to 4 hours a day with classes in many cases costing less than $10 per hour. And if San Jose is not your preference don’t worry, there are language schools located throughout the country, including popular beachtowns like Jaco.
Sometimes this is more expensive, but it can be a much better fit for some people. There are plenty of tutors available throughout Costa Rica.
The realty is yes, you don’t NEED to speak language to live in Costa Rica, but you’ll be glad you learned.
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