One question we often get from people thinking about moving to Costa Rica concerns Spanish. Do you need to learn Spanish? The answer is not black and white. You can certainly exist in Costa Rica without learning Spanish, and we know many Expats who do. Many young Costa Ricans are bilingual, and there is also a big push here for young people to learn English. But much of the general population does not speak English. Prior experience in charades is a great help to all of us trying to communicate in a new language!
So should you, therefore, learn Spanish? I would say yes, since it will enhance your experience significantly. Instead of just trying to communicate to get your needs met, you will be able to have conversations with the locals, get to know each other, and develop rich friendships with some. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it can happen, and it’s so worth the effort.
Now, you don’t need to become bilingual, but you should have the basics which can be mastered in just a few short months. Several months before we moved to Costa Rica, we purchased Visual Link Spanish so that Gloria could begin learning the language. She had not previously studied Spanish, so she truly was starting with the basics. She liked the course so much that we now feature it on our website. Here are the three big reasons we like Visual Link Spanish: (1) they offer 11 free lessons which we were able to try before purchasing it; (2) in the very first lesson, she was speaking in complete (albeit short) sentences; and (3) it’s about half the price of Rosetta Stone. We recommend it because we know it’s good. We were sold and you will be too. If you would like to learn to speak Spanish, Visual Link Spanish is a great way to get started. Try a free demo lesson here.