Skip Navigation

Spanish speaking?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Spanish speaking?

1. Posted by Thomasvo (Budding Member 28 posts) 9y


I'm planning to do a round the world trip next year with a passage in South America ofcourse. How necessary is it to be able to speak spanish when you go there?
Is it do-able to go there when you don't speak spanish at all (except maybe a few words)?


2. Posted by tricky (Respected Member 323 posts) 9y

surely anything is possible!

I reckon you could do it but I KNOW it will be a lot easier if you have some phrases and I also KNOW that people will appreciate it if you at least TRY a little.

It will really depend how you want to integragte yourself with the locals.

3. Posted by Thomasvo (Budding Member 28 posts) 9y

Yes, ofcourse we will try and get to know some basic phrases and words. But that's all very very basic

4. Posted by sdaltrey (Budding Member 68 posts) 9y


I reckon it´s do-able as long as you stick to the Gringo trail. That would be Quito in Ecuador down to Buenos Aires via Cusco in Peru and the big atractions along the route.

When I travelled through Peru and Ecuador I could speak a bit of spanish but hardly ever used it because I was always travelling with other gringos.


5. Posted by kael (Budding Member 15 posts) 9y

Hi. Your trip sounds wonderful. Maybe you could incorporate a Spanish school into your stay in Latin America if you are worried about not speaking Spanish? I visited Central America last year and really enjoyed studying for 3 weeks at a Spanish School in Costa Rica. I felt that it really enriched the other 3 months I spent travelling around as I could build on what I'd learnt at the school. It's true that people respond so well when you make an effort to learn the language, and you in turn will get so much more from your trip. I think Spanish schools in the country really are the most effective way to learn. You learn so much more than studying at home with books and tapes, especially if you stay with a family, because it really makes you focus on learning. I'd highly highly recommend it.

6. Posted by Macachae (Full Member 240 posts) 9y

taken an intensive imersion course and with a good pocket dictionary you´ll be ok. Good luck!

7. Posted by i c e (Respected Member 326 posts) 9y

you can always do charades!
Speaking spanish definatly makes it more fun!! And spanish is easy to learn!

I hear pig-latin is helpful too. Every country in the world!!?

8. Posted by Macachae (Full Member 240 posts) 9y

But sometime be careful...
Don´t mistake: Pegame (hit me) with Pagame (pay me)
vowels are important !!! ;)

9. Posted by Thomasvo (Budding Member 28 posts) 9y

Thanks all.
I've started a Spanish course (3 hours per week) which ends in June (when I want to leave). I hope to have some basic knowledge by then and hopefully I can remember it by the time I get to South America (8 months later).

10. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 9y

I travelled around South America with only a basic grip on Spanish. Here's a thread that discussed that: how much Spanish is enough? Obviously, the more you know, the potentially deeper experience you can have with the locals. But even with just a little Spanish, there is still a lot of fun to be had and interesting and educational experiences to gain.