Home Costa Rica Forum Costa Rica Guide Moving to Costa Rica Real Estate Healthcare in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
Resources
City Guides
Cigna International Health Insurance
JoinSign In
Cigna International Health Insurance

Costa Rica Expat Forum

How’s the Spanish?

Post New Topic
CountingTheDays
10/8/2019 08:46 EST

I grew up in Arizona and have a degree in Spanish Lit, so my language skills are pretty solid. But having learned Spanish from school, not home (and not used it other than on vacations in the last 25 years), plus having learned it in a very Chicano and Mexican area, I struggle with oral comprehension when speaking with people from certain places — Puerto Rico and Argentina spring to mind. Ecuador is easy, as are Panama and Guatemala. But I haven’t been to CR yet. So my question, for anyone from the southwest US, is how tough is it to acclimate to the Tico accent?

Post a Reply

00abuse

carolvaughn
10/8/2019 13:09 EST

Tranquila. Costa Rica Spanish Is
Surprisingly clear and good. I
Arrived after not having spoken
Spanish since highschool, and
Was up to speed in no Time flat.
Slang and idioms are different,
But you'll do fine. I could not
Handle either México or Spain.
Costa Rica Will be a cakewalk
for you after one month. You'll
Have 4 million teachers!!

Post a Reply

00abuse

expat health insurance from CIGNA

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. With Cigna Global Health Options, you can create an international health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family.

Get a Quote

princzz
10/9/2019 03:12 EST

NOT! Spanish is Spanish, except for Spain and use of "some" slang. It is difficult to speak basic Spanish and survive in ANY Spanish Speaking country. DON'T be fooled.

Post a Reply

00abuse

CountingTheDays
10/9/2019 09:45 EST

Thanks, Carol! Can you give me an idea what country’s accent it is most similar to?

Post a Reply

00abuse

carolvaughn
10/9/2019 10:57 EST

Well, I've not been to every Country, but would say most
like Colombia or Venezuela. Their
Diction here Is good, everyone
Knows how to read, a better
educated population than most.
They elected to have exucated
people rather than an army.
Admirable!!

Post a Reply

00abuse

carolvaughn
10/9/2019 11:01 EST

I meant educated people.
Autocorrect!
My cell chances Pérez to
Asskill. Awkward, since I live
In Perez....

Post a Reply

00abuse

expat health insurance from CIGNA

Choosing an expat health insurance provider is an important decision. Get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. With Cigna Global Health Options, you can create an international health insurance plan that's perfectly tailored for the needs of you and your family.

Get a Quote

ppbritton
10/9/2019 13:05 EST

Spanish is an extremely difficult language - some people have a natural propensity to learn languages quickly - if you do not have this natural ability, you are in for a very long haul learning spanish - also, the best spanish in the western hemisphere is columbia - Costa Rica ranks near the bottom!!!!

Post a Reply

00abuse

carolvaughn
10/9/2019 13:32 EST

You probably meant Colombia.
As a language teacher, I can tell you that your evaluation of Costa Rican Spanish is wrong.
Ask other people who have traveled in Latin America, and you will see that you
are wrong. Sorry!

Post a Reply

00abuse

ppbritton
10/9/2019 15:56 EST

I lived in Costa Rica for 15 years, and you're telling me I wasn't able to evaluate costa rican spanish??? what arrogance!!!!

Post a Reply

01abuse

lindyluvsCR
10/9/2019 16:14 EST

I do not agree that Spanish is extremely difficult. In English many of the vowels are pronounced many different ways and a word spelled the same can have many meanings depending on situation.

At least in Spanish all the vowels generally pronounced the same. The verb tenses need to be studied. You actually have to study. The nonsense of just picking it up from talking to locals is nonsense. You have to understand the verb tenses and their exact meaning.

So unless you want to sound like a redneck in US who use only present tense in English and sound not too intelligent you need to study. They might understand the gist of what you are saying but....

Post a Reply

00abuse

CountingTheDays
10/9/2019 17:03 EST

I should clarify my question -- I'm asking what the Costa Rican Spanish ACCENT sounds like, particularly compared to Spanish in Mexico. Vocabulary in any post-colonial Spanish speaking country will always be Castilian mixed with a good size dose of whatever indigenous language existed there prior to the 1500's - there is no avoiding memorizing a region's specific vocabulary and slang. But how letters are pronounced is a messier issue for me..

To my ears, Mexican Spanish "sounds" exactly as written, because that is how I was taught to pronounce the words on a page. Argentinian Spanish, to me, sounds like they are mispronouncing all the R's. Puerto Rican Spanish, to me, sounds like they are leaving off the ends off half the words. Lots of Spain has that lisp. So when listening to someone speak I get this time lag while my brain tries to convert the "wrong" Spanish into Spanish as I know it, and then translate to English.... and meanwhile I've missed the next two sentences.

And yes, I think Spanish is one of the simpler languages to learn. It has an approximately 90,000 word vocabulary base, compared to, for example, English's 120,000. There are relatively few irregular verbs, only one odd-ball case (the subjunctive), few silent letters...

Post a Reply

00abuse

carolvaughn
10/9/2019 17:59 EST

Right. Fifteen years, and still
couldn't spell Colombia...
I'm not arrogant. I'm educated.

Post a Reply

00abuse

shermanwc
10/9/2019 20:00 EST

I also learned Spanish in school in the USA and used Spanish on vacations in Mexico over a number of years. My wife and I retired to Costa Rica in 2013 and we took some refresher classes in Spanish in CR. I would say that I have not found CR Spanish pronunciation to be much different. And I have been told in CR that my Spanish pronunciation is relatively good. (As you noted, Argentinian Spanish pronunciation is noticeably different.)

Post a Reply

00abuse

CountingTheDays
10/9/2019 20:03 EST

Thanks, Sherman — just what I hoped to hear :)

Post a Reply

00abuse

GBP
10/9/2019 20:23 EST

Love the naysayers---so Europeans can speak 3-4-5-7 languages and us dumb Gringos are too stupid to learn Spanish and it will be SOOOOOO HARD for us. Better not try to live in another country because we just can't handle the challenge. Lest I remind you naysayers Americans are tough ass people and the last thing that will stop us from success is having to learn a language.My Spanish sucks but only because I lean on my wife for hers.

Post a Reply

00abuse

ILuvCR
10/9/2019 22:09 EST

uh-oh, he's back ppbritton aka "peanut brittle" is such a Debbie downer but "expert" on so few things,

sheeesh!

Post a Reply

10abuse

scalnew
10/10/2019 11:12 EST

Dear Count,
I've been in C.R. off and on since 1992 and have married here. I'm familiar with different spanish accents having travelled to Spain, and throughout Central America. I've also been to Coloumbia and Venezuela and lived in Mexico for over a year. If you think in terms of the accents in the U.S. Spain would have an accent similar to Boston and Mexico and Nicaragua similar to the South, strength wise. Costa Rica is purely Mid-western. There almost is no accent. Listen to the accent in this song:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C09PNzm9ML8

Post a Reply

00abuse

princzz
10/11/2019 08:35 EST

....I agree totally...however, in Colombia, very little English is spoken. No English is spoken in common areas like the airport for announcements.

Post a Reply

00abuse

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Costa Rica.

International Moving Companies

Moving to Costa Rica? Get a moving quote.


Mail Forwarding to Costa Rica

Mail Forwarding to Costa Rica.


Expat Tax

Expat Tax Preparation, Expat Tax Professionals

Join Today (free)

Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. It's FREE and takes 1 minute!

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Costa Rica from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

10 Expats Talk About What It's Like Living in Costa Rica

Expats living in Costa Rica talk about Pura Vida, deciding where to live in Costa Rica, meeting people and more.
Expats living in Costa Rica talk about Pura Vida, deciding where to live in Costa Rica, meeting people and more....

Healthcare in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is has both public and private healthcare systems. When you become a resident, you must enroll in the public healthcare system (CAJA). Many expats use the public system for routine healthcare and have private expat health insurance for specialists, surgeries and emergencies.

Costa Rica is has both public and private healthcare systems. When you become a resident, you must enroll in the public healthcare system (CAJA). Many expats use the public system for routine health...

10 Tips for Living in Costa Rica

Expats in Costa Rica love the Pura Vita vibe, Costa Rican's focus of family and friendship and being surrounded by nature. Can you live in Costa Rica on $1,000 a month? Is driving in Costa Rica dangerous? Expats share their tips and experiences living in Costa Rica.

Expats in Costa Rica love the Pura Vita vibe, Costa Rican's focus of family and friendship and being surrounded by nature. Can you live in Costa Rica on $1,000 a month? Is driving in Costa Rica da...

Retirement-In-EscazuAn Expat Shares What it's Like Retiring in Escazu, Costa Rica

An expat talks about being retired in Escazu, Costa Rica. She appreciates leaving the rat race behind, meeting others through expat groups and volunteering, that buying a property is much easier than selling one, the need for private health insurance in Costa Rica and more.

An expat talks about being retired in Escazu, Costa Rica. She appreciates leaving the rat race behind, meeting others through expat groups and volunteering, that buying a property is much easier than...

Moving-To-Playa-Hermosa-de-JacoAn Expat Talks about Moving to Playa Hermosa de Jaco, Costa Rica

An expat who has lived in Costa Rica gives all kinds of great advice on living there. Cost of housing, what to bring with you, how to settle in and much more is covered in this comprehensive expat report.

An expat who has lived in Costa Rica gives all kinds of great advice on living there. Cost of housing, what to bring with you, how to settle in and much more is covered in this comprehensive expat re...

Costa Rica Guide
Other Links
Our Story Our Team Contact Us Submit an Article Advertising Travel Warnings

Copyright 1997-2019 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal