Not a spanish speaker

Old Apr 24th, 2009, 10:44 AM
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Not a spanish speaker

I'm traveling to Madrid and northern Spain this summer with my family (two children); while we are all in the process of studying Spanish at school, we aren't fluent--or even close to it. Do you think it's problematic to lack Spanish speaking skills in the northern part of the country? We'll be staying in Llanes. Thanks
sdbeach is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2009, 10:49 AM
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 10:54 AM
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In the tourist business, most of the people speak English. However be prepared that taxi drivers and waitstuff in restaurants and bars speak nothing but Spanish. But don't worry, you will go around talking with hand and feet.The natives will be honored by having contact to foreign visitors.

And: In Europe, it is normal to meet people who speak a different language. It is part of the fun.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 11:04 AM
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Nope, especially since you are studying it. Fluency is not needed at all...a smile and an attempt does wonders and in the worst case, you can pantomine what you need. It's always worked for me. I've always found the Spanish to be very accommodating of my horrendous Spanish ability in the North and South.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 12:26 PM
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I have only visited the south--where I found the English speaking limited, but I study Spanish also--my advice is, don't worry! I found it helpful to look up some things I knew I would need/want to say and practice them. Although my own pronunciation is flawed, I did find I could communicate at a basic level. It helps to really hone your listening skills. By paying attention to context and facial cues, you can understand the gist of what someone is saying, even when you cannot translate every word.
Speaking the language--even as a beginner--adds so much to a trip I think.
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Old Apr 24th, 2009, 06:07 PM
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If you're studying Spanish now you'll be amazed at how much you can understand and how quick;y words come to you when you're faced with the need. I took a trip to Spain almost 20 years out of high school (where I studies it - I did French in college) and it all came back very quickly. I'm sure my grammar wasn't great - but everyone understood me - and I understood most everything that was said.

I found the key phrase is : mas despacio, por favor.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 12:30 AM
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I think the use of "honored" is a perhaps a bit too strong a word to use. But you will find the natives will be more than willing to understand any attempt at Spanish. So do not worry. Dont forget your translator, a book is better than an electronic one
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 02:30 AM
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Llanes, Principality of Asturias, is a favored destination for European Tourists during the Summer; so you won't be alone in not speaking Spanish. Like ribeirasacra writes: don't forget your translator, or maybe even better a phrase dictionary.
Nearby tourist spots like Potes (Picos de Europa), Covadonga where Don Pelayo with assistance from an avalanche, defeated a Moorish Army, or Comillas (Cantabria), where you can see Gaudi's 'Caprichos' and the ArchBishop's Universidad Pontifical (up on the hill overlooking the City), you should find people who speak English.
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Old Apr 25th, 2009, 05:19 AM
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I recently went to Comillas and found it a nightmare to get out of. But still well worth a visit.... Plus Santilla del Mar.

Yes a phase book is what I was trying to say, thank you for the correction.
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