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Old 10-12-2009, 21:17   #1
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Do Mexican Port Authorities Know English?

I plan on making a trip from Southern California into Mexico, but my Spanish is "no bueno". When I try to get clearance into the country, at whatever my port of entry, what are the odds that I'll find someone who speaks English on the vhf?
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Old 10-12-2009, 21:50   #2
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About 100%

They're even educated! Some more than you.
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Old 10-12-2009, 22:08   #3
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That's impossible, I'm the most educated man in the world.
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Old 10-12-2009, 23:00   #4
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That may be. And we're honored to have your views on a wide range of subjects here on the forum. Welcome.

I must warn you though. When you check into Mexico, any display of superiority on your part will bring a twinkle to the authorities eye and your check-in may take all day.
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Old 10-12-2009, 23:14   #5
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That goes for anyplace...Ugly Americans travel
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Old 10-12-2009, 23:25   #6
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A little dry wit there, no offense. John, thanks for the info, that's exactly what I needed to know.
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:08   #7
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Why don't you learn a little bit of Spanish. It will help tremendously in your travels. There will come a time you will need to deal with the locals, and some speak no English. You are a guest in their country, so be polite, and dive into their culture. I forget the name, but there is a book written by cruisers for cruisers with translations. Since you will be doing the western coast of Baja you may have to pull into places like Abrieojos, and you will find VERY LITTLE English there........i2f
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:20   #8
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Why don't you learn a little bit of Spanish...
SPANISH FOR CRUISERS ~ by Kathy Parsons
The Boater’s Complete Language Guide for Spanish-speaking Destinations

Complete info on SPANISH FOR CRUISERS Second Edition - Features, Reviews, Sample Pages, Sales Info

Free Cheat Sheets
Yacht Clearance Downloads: Bilingual Clearance Forms
Provisioning: Download your English-Spanish Food Shopping List for Mexico or Venezuela
Spanish Conversation: Download your ‘How to Chat it Up’ Cheat Sheet
Download: All the Key Metric Conversions a Boater Needs for Spanish-speaking waters



FRENCH FOR CRUISERS
~ by Kathy Parsons
FRENCH FOR CRUISERS HOME PAGE - Book Features, Reviews, Sample Pages, Sales Info - (ISBN 0-9675905-1-5)
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Old 12-12-2009, 15:45   #9
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I have recently downloaded a couple Spanish apps for the iPhone and have found them to be kinda fun, keeps it fresh.

One was a 24/7 freebie spanish app the other was Spanish Flashcards also free, there are lots of them.
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Old 12-12-2009, 20:28   #10
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Back in the '90's we had to check in with every Port Captain. The first time I checked into Loreto, B.C.S. trying my best with my Spanish, the Port Captain said, "Speak English!"
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Old 14-12-2009, 19:06   #11
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Ha! So you are lucky in Mexico! Here (in Canary Islands, Spain) very few port authorities speak good English and a couple of times I got stuck with people thinking they spoke English. I believe it is a heritage from Franco, when English was forbidden. Even today all their movies are dubbed, which does not help their young pick up the pronunciation.

So, I am OK here ( I speak Spanish), but many exclusively English speakers (mostly the Brits and, to a lesser extent US Americans, suffer).

The only places where I remember it was worse were Brazil and Portugal, with the shining exception of the Azores - where many people not only spoke good English but they were also nice, smiling and friendly - in complete contrast to the continental Portugal.

The French in the TOMs also speak poor English, but they are the nicest people in the world and not being able to communicate never influenced the warm welcome we received there (including, in French Polynesia, being invited by the gandarme to a local dance before being asked to check in ...

Ha!
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Old 14-12-2009, 19:46   #12
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In my experience, the residents in every Spanish speaking country I ever visited really appreciate any feeble attempt at the language. Even when they speak better English than I do Spanish (not hard to do) the effort goes a long way towards making friends.

Stayed at a hotel in Barcelona where the staff was rated by a number of previous guests (who admitted to speaking no Spanish at all) as very unfriendly, almost hostile. I amused the employess with my poor Spanish and had a marvelous stay. My only complaint, as soon as I said Buenos Dias the poor souls assumed I really could speak the language and immediately responded in a stream of Spanish that came out like an AK-47 on full auto. My standard second phrase was "mas despacio, por favor". Learn this and use it often.

Try the Spanish, even if you have to read one word at a time from the dictionary and sound like a first grader. I guarantee you will get all the help you need in communicating.
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Old 15-12-2009, 14:10   #13
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Dear Evermanj,

As stated above a "little practise" before your trip will be rewarded greatly. Especially how their vowels sound. Get those right and the rest is easy. We share an amazing amount of similar root words (buy a secondhand spanish/english dictionary) and depending on your present location ( I assume somewhere in the USA) find someone who speaks spanish to help you with some necessary pronoucation and you will be fine.

Regards

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Old 15-12-2009, 15:51   #14
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It was my experience that the locals of Mexico amd all of Central America and the Spanish specking countries in the Caribbean, were trying to learn English. English was one of the requirements to work for the ACP (Panama Canal Authority). All of the younger population, in each country, were taking considerable effort to qualify for a visa to work in the US, and the English language was a major goal,.
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Old 15-12-2009, 15:56   #15
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I agree with the others that a little practice in Spanish before you go will help a lot. I took night school Spanish conversation, among other studies, and it helped a lot at a very low cost. I have also heard good things about practice programs like Rosetta Stone. Remember that one answer to your question is always "as much as they want to".
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