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Old 19-06-2009, 09:53   #1
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Speaking Spanish ?

Just a quick thought.. I'm in the process of preparing to leave within the next few years for cruising. First heading south from the states, island hoping, caribean, mexico, central & south america, ect ect.. I was wondering how important people would rank knowing spanish as a second language for this venture?

I only speak english but have considered buying the rosetta stone program to learn spanish. Anyone ever tried it?
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Old 19-06-2009, 10:05   #2
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Spanish is very helpful, especially if you stray from the more cruised areas.
"spanish for cruisers" is a very useful tool, I think you can buy it at amazon, certainly at yer local chandlery you should be able to order it. In many parts of South America, Italian will come in handy, and between those two you should be able to figure out Potuguese!
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Old 19-06-2009, 10:23   #3
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Italian, hadn't thought of that! Good call.. I'll learn spanish & make my best friend that's going as well learn Italian. haha.
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Old 19-06-2009, 12:02   #4
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... In many parts of South America, Italian will come in handy ...
Multilingualism is certainly a handy skill, but except in Italy, where in the world (especially S. America) would Italian be more useful to cruisers* than Spanish or Portugese (or French)?

Were I willing to invest in learning 2ND & 3RD languages for cruising, they would be Spanish & French (INPO).
Most people can muddle by with English, in most situations, in most countries.

* IMHO: Switzerland, San Marino, Slovenia, & the Vatican City aren't typical cruising destinations.

Interestingly, I've noted that those who learn multiple languages at as children, appear to be much better thinkers than we monolinguals. They seem to have developed better connection between their right & left brain hemisperes, which may facilitate latteral thinking.
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Old 19-06-2009, 12:34   #5
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Brazil and Argentina have very large Italian poulations, and both are big Italian holiday destinations, Every major Italian airport has direct flights to both. With knowledge of both Italian and Spanish, portuguese is not too hard. Increasing numbers of italians are buying their homes in South America, besides, its a beautiful language!
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Old 19-06-2009, 12:49   #6
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... Were I willing to invest in learning 2ND & 3RD languages for cruising, they would be Spanish & French ...
There are many beautiful languages, and many of them were the first language of many immigrants to cruising destinations.
However, the first (official) colonial and ubiquitous language of most cruising destinations are English, Spanish, French, and Portugese.

For the purposes of cruising, I’d put learning Italian so low on my wish list, that a six year old might never get to it in a hundred years of learning.
Learn Italian for other reasons, if you desire, but not for practical cruising consideration.
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Old 19-06-2009, 12:59   #7
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If only one other language, for the cruising area anticipated then it must be Spanish and if visiting Brazil then Portuguese would of course be useful. French would be helpful although I sometimes find that if you are not a "very good" speaker it can sometime be actually detrimental....whereas generally Spanish and Portuguese speaking people are glad that you are trying.

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Old 19-06-2009, 13:55   #8
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Definitely learn Spanish! Maybe you will not need it to communicate in big cities, but you will get considerably closer to understanding the culture of the people you are visiting. I know people who travel to Mexico, stay in the Gringo section of the Marina, visit the English speaking restaurant, etc. and I wonder why they bother!

As to the order to learn, if you speak Spanish first you will be able to understand some Portugese (Brazil), and maybe Italian and be able to read some French (although not understand it when spoken).

I have traveled and worked in severa Latin countries and have found the people very pleased when we make an effort to speak their language--sometimes followed with help that could not be obtained otherwise.
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Old 19-06-2009, 14:12   #9
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I travelled Brasil from west to east, and north, and back again. They prefer Portuguese to be spoken. I was warned not to speak Spanish. Sometimes I was left alone , and my butchered Spanish got me everything I needed, and never a cross word said to me. Who knows what went on when I left, but who cares? I got the food I wanted, the auto repairs done, and directions.

If you are going to learn one language it would be the most used one in the area of cruising for you. That appears to be Spanish, and many cruisers have survived with SPANISH FOR CRUISER'S book in hand.

While In Mexico I was trying to repair many different items. Many times after stumbling with my grade school Spanish. The person would give up, and speak English. Even with their bad English, and my bad Spanish we got some pretty good communication going..........i2f

P.S.,
Talking louder doesn't help, but you see some people nearly screaming trying to get their point across.....
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Old 19-06-2009, 14:19   #10
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OK ........Spanish seems to have the concensus as the most useful cruising language next to English.................

What about the original questionb about how to learn?
Is the rosetta stone program helpful? Which version? (there seems to be several Spanish packages)
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Old 19-06-2009, 14:36   #11
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about how to learn?
good free place to start is here....
Coffee Break Spanish | Radio Lingua Network
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Old 19-06-2009, 15:28   #12
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languages

Learning languages is always fun and appreciated as you travel, but you certainly can get by with english, sign language, and just plain common sense anywhere in the world. I wouldn't make learning a language a requisite for traveling.
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Old 19-06-2009, 15:50   #13
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[quote=imagine2frolic;295046]
While In Mexico I was trying to repair many different items. Many times after stumbling with my grade school Spanish. The person would give up, and speak English. Even with their bad English, and my bad Spanish we got some pretty good communication going..........i2fquote]

Couldn't agree more. Making the effort to speak the local language can go a looong way. I butcher Spanish and mangle French (I merely struggle with English) but every time I've made the effort it has paid off handsomely. When I see someone trying to impose English on a local and treating them like an idiot when they can't speak it, they often get ripped off. Probably as punishment for being rude.

Any money spent learning the language will more than pay for itself , both in cash savings when dealing with the local people but also in enhancing the richness of the experience.

Good luck!
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Old 19-06-2009, 15:51   #14
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Not knowing a language (outside of Brazil, Spanish is it) will be very limiting on a trip through Central America. You can, as others have said, "get along" with English, but away from the coastal cities you will be talking with other cruisers about amps and diesel mechanics. Probably not why you go cruising. You do not need to know a lot, but really using a phrase book and some learning discs will help a lot. You will miss a lot if you stay with English. If I did my two year trip again, I would go for an immersion course first rather than just study on discs.
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Old 19-06-2009, 16:10   #15
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I only speak english but have considered buying the rosetta stone program to learn spanish. Anyone ever tried it?
It's good for things like numbers, nouns & colors. It works in the four area of speaking, listening, reading and to a lesser extent writing. It progresses incramentally. But it isn't the panecea it is made out to be as is has a problem with getting accross concepts that don't show well as a photo.

You might wish to consider an immersian couse. There are several schools in Oaxaca, Mexico (prounounced Wa Haa Ka) and there is a lot to do. The area is also famed for having great food. It also has a lot of cultural sites. For instance, the chapel from Nacho Libre is there.

No, seriously it is. But there is a ton of other things too.




If you are looking for the low cost method, I would take a community college class and then follow it up with:
  • Reading the Harry potter books in English and Spanish. They start off at the 4th grade level and go up from there.
  • Watching DVDs dubbed into Spanish and with English then Spanish subtitles turned on
  • Get a Spanish for cruisers book. Sailing terms are specific.
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