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Getting by in LA without speaking Spanish?

 
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Mike410



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 1:58 pm    Post subject: Getting by in LA without speaking Spanish? Reply with quote

How difficult would it be to get a job and get yourself established with very basic Spanish speaking skills?
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HLJHLJ



Joined: 06 Oct 2009
Posts: 796

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It depends where you are, LatAm is a big place and there is more English spoken in some places than others. Generally speaking, you don't need Spanish to teach English, and you won't usually need it to apply for entry level work.

Getting by in daily life is a different matter. If you are somewhere where little English is spoken you might find it pretty hard going. Trying to live somewhere without the language is very different to getting by holiday.

If you are planning on doing anything else, like private students, etc, then it's pretty much essential.
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1082
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HLJHLJ wrote:
Trying to live somewhere without the language is very different to getting by on holiday.

If you are planning on doing anything else, like private students, etc, then it's pretty much essential.


Or seeing a doctor, renting an apartment, getting the gas connected to your hot water heater, opening a bank account, having your glasses repaired, even buying a bus ticket.

I agree that the level of English spoken and how wide spread it is varies greatly around Latin America and even within countries. As does the level of support you will get from English schools in helping you accomplish any of the above tasks.
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Mike410



Joined: 21 Sep 2011
Posts: 21
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 2:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which countries are the easiest to get by with English in South/Central America?

I do want to learn Spanish, it just might take me a little while:)

Would Latin America be more difficult to get by with English then say Asia, or SE Asia? (If you have experience in both places!)
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MotherF



Joined: 07 Jun 2010
Posts: 1082
Location: 1748'N 9746'W

PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh I taught in Japan and whole days would go buy where I didn't say a word of Japanese, in fact, there was one day off where I went out and ran a whole bunch of errands, and when my housemates got home at 11 pm I realized they were the first people I'd spoken a word to all day. Outside of Japan, I've only visited Korea for a week.
Keep in mind Spanish is a lot easier to learn (for an English speaker) than Asian languages, and you can already read the place names on signs and product names on packages. I once stood in the grocery store in Japan for about 20 minutes making friendly faces at all the woman until I found one who would tell me which of those bags had sugar inside and which were salt.
As for countries, even within countries there is so much variation. The part of Mexico where I live has a very high incidence of migration to the US so you run into people who speak perfect English frequently, more so than in big cities.
One thing to keep in mind--in Ecuador and Peru I ran into people who didn't speak any Spanish (granted that was in the 90s and maybe now the younger people speak it) But in Mexico, even though I live in an indigenous area and my in-laws speak an Indigenous language, it is really hard to find people who are not bilingual--I've met some but they were all over 60 and I didn't meet them doing normal tourist or even English teacher things.
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