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alex .

Feb 2, 2004, 10:24 AM

Post #1 of 4 (844 views)


no Spanish? What difficulties have you experienced?

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It is often said that a working knowledge of Spanish is a prerequisite for a move to Mexico. To those who have made the move, or even an extended vacation outside the tourist zone, what problems have you encountered?
My motivation is to reinforce the notion, that yes, you should know the lingo. I'll go first:

I could not read an apartment lease, nor find a fiador, that is, someone who would cosign for me.

I would have had the same problem had I gone to China or Africa, why would Mexico be different?



Feb 2, 2004, 12:54 PM

Post #2 of 4 (812 views)


Re: [alex .] no Spanish? What difficulties have you experienced?

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You can move to a village like Ajijic and not learn much Spanish and have a wonderful time talking to fellow English speakers. But then why come to Mexico. Or you can come to Ajijic and learn some Spanish and communicate with not only the English speaking but the Mexican population and have an even better time.

But go to a big population center where the locals have little contact with us, and you are going to have a real struggle. Life becomes so much easier when dealing with the telephone company, buying groceries, etc not to mention making new friends when you speak a little Spanish.

I know my spanish is bad. But I must be making a lot of headway, because some of my Mexican acquaintances are beginning to speak to me in Spanish now. Also don't let anyone tell you that you are too old to learn. It's just a little harder and takes a little longer.

Carol Schmidt

Feb 2, 2004, 2:17 PM

Post #3 of 4 (797 views)


Re: [johanson] no Spanish? What difficulties have you experienced?

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But it IS much harder to learn Spanish when you're over 60, inf act when you're over childhood. Not impossible, and age can't be an excuse for not trying, but former school whiz kid me is having one heck of a time getting beyond simple present tense and my 100 most common Spanish verbs.

In San Miguel most of the time it is all too easy to not speak Spanish, but there are moments when I really regret not having studied harder or having a translator present, such as with nurses (not doctors), mechanics, handymen, even grocery store clerks. I would definitely have to hire a translator to do anything legal.

I've made some hilarious mistakes, I've found out later, like telling the housekeeper not to worry, I put the gallos in the cage, not the gattos. I've gotten the strangest looks! And I think I told one taxi driver I loved him instead of I loved San Miguel. We barely escaped from his cab!

Carol Schmidt


Feb 2, 2004, 3:50 PM

Post #4 of 4 (778 views)


Re: [Carol Schmidt] no Spanish? What difficulties have you experienced?

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Being able to speak some Spanish is very necessary in order to be able to make yourself understood in Mexico. I came down a few years ago with a couple of years of high school spanish (from the 60's) under my belt, but decided to take classes at UDG. Finished level 3-4. Being over 50, I was sometimes bewildered during classes when the rest of the students, in their late 20's and early 30's, grasped things so easily while I had to go home and study all night just to get to where they were yesterday! I've had some private lessons since, and am now studying on my own. I make a point of speaking in Spanish in all of my dealings in Mexico, even if the locals respond back to me in Spanish. Our maid speaks no English at all, as well as a number of other people we deal with on a regular basis. They have all complemented me on the progress I have made since we first met, and, they also correct me when I make an error. In fact, I call our maid "La Professora!" Trying to wing it without attempting to learn the language just doesn't work! Come on, think about how we react in the U.S. when we encounter foreigners who don't know any English. Speaking louder just doesn't help things.

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