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Spanish language

JanskeMarie

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - September 2019 / Camino de Madrid - September 2020
September 16th I will start my Camino Madrid. This is a Camino where mainly Spanish is spoken, a language I don't speak well. Have you encountered difficulties if you do not speak the language on the road?
 
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Turga

Camino tortuga
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (Aug/Sep 2017)
CF (Aug/Sep 2018)
I don’t think it will be a big problem. The Spanish people are generally very helpful and accommodating towards foreigners. It is a little “funnier” though if you understand and speak some Spanish, at least a few phrases of courtesy. You could try Duolingo https://www.duolingo.com/course/es/en/Learn-Spanish it’s free and kinda funny too and will quickly teach you some basic stuff.

Buen Camino.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
You can learn a great amount of Spanish in the more than six months that you have until your walk. Try some different methods, find what works for you, set goals, be positive, dedicated and motivated and, most of all, enjoy the process. ¡Suerte!

(Personally I don't think the language gamification apps work that well. I like the mass input method of LingQ. Try it out and see if you like it.)
 
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MikeJS

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
You can learn a great amount of Spanish in the more than six months that you have until your walk. Try some different methods, find what works for you, set goals, be positive, dedicated and motivated and, most of all, enjoy the process. ¡Suerte!

(Personally I don't think the language gamification apps work that well. I like the mass input method of LingQ. Try it out and see if you like it.)
Say Hi works well. I had a ‘conversation’ using it with the 85 year old Spanish matriarch of an albergue I stayed in last year. Once she got over speaking to the smart phone she thought it was fabulous.
 

frbobs

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances-(2014)
Camino Portugues-(2017)
Camino Madrid (August 2019)
September 16th I will start my Camino Madrid. This is a Camino where mainly Spanish is spoken, a language I don't speak well. Have you encountered difficulties if you do not speak the language on the road?
I walked the Madrid in August. My command of Spanish is limited at best (I can ask some questions and understand the answers). I was able to get what I needed without too much difficulty. However, I was constantly and painfully reminded how much easier AND more enjoyable it would have been if I could converse more fluently. I agree with forum members who said you have enough time to learn more. If I had my prep to do over, that would be my main priority. It's a great Camino. ENJOY IT! Bob
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I walked from Le Puy with ZERO French and where less people speak English than in Spain. It seemed like I would walk for days and not meet anyone who could say more than hello in English. I survived quite nicely and it was a great experience. No worries.
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Have you encountered difficulties if you do not speak the language on the road?
I guess it depends on what you call "difficulties." :D People will easily figure out what essentials you need - food, water, bed, taxi, medical care - and there will be someone not too far away who speaks some English. However, you may have to suffer awkwardness, embarrassment, etc., in the process! Sometimes that is fun, but sometimes it is "difficult." If you have any important issues - medical, for example - you should take a translated note to describe it.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
There are many ways to communicate. I was in a small laundromat in Leon one morning. I had one load in a washing machine and I was hobbling around using my poles as crutches (sciatica). An old woman walked in and put her already-washed load in a dryer.

I can understand some Spanish but she spoke in a dialect that I could not understand. Nor could she understand my limited Spanish. In the half an hour we shared the laundromat space, we still somehow connected with one another.

We gave each other a big hug as we departed. It was a moment of grace for both of us.
 

JanskeMarie

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - September 2019 / Camino de Madrid - September 2020
Thank you all for your responses. I am going to get it all in my ears, and I am convinced that I am going with pleasure and confidence.
A few more months of learning Spanish, and as a Back-up I always have a friend of Spanish descent, who I can turn to if I have problems if I can't get out.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Thank you all for your responses. I am going to get it all in my ears, and I am convinced that I am going with pleasure and confidence.
A few more months of learning Spanish, and as a Back-up I always have a friend of Spanish descent, who I can turn to if I have problems if I can't get out.

Good attitude! As I've written before, the CdM is the type of camino (IMO) where the spirit of the camino manifests itself in interaction with local people more so than other pilgrims, because there are so few other pilgrims. So being able to converse in Spanish is not just something to help you get by on a practical level, but also something to help immerse you more in your camino and to get more out of it.
 

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
@JanskeMarie I am taking Intermediate Spanish 2 this semester. The classes are grammar intense (did you say verb conjugation 😂 ), but my class this semester is a small class with only 5 students. Nowhere to hide, so you have to speak Spanish. I feel like I am in Spain struggling with my responses to simple questions.😂🤣

A while ago I took the basic dictionary for hospitaleros and extended it to include the SPA phonetic spelling for Spain. I lucked out, and one of the forum members (Spanish teacher) helped with the edits.

Here is a hyperlink to the Basic Dictionary for Hospitaleros (PDF).

I also put the dictionary into Quizlet. Quizlet is a free flashcard like program. I use it a lot for my class. First, I go into the flashcard mode and let the flashacards PLAY (see and hear the words, OPTIONS: AUDIO ON, ANSWER WITH SPANISH). After I watch them a couple of times, I use the WRITE mode to test my memorization. By now I have seen, heard, and written the words. I think the write mode helps to complete the cognitive cycle.

Here is a hyperlink to the Quizlets. The registration set is a mock dialog checking into an albergue.

¡Buena suerte!👣:D:cool:
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
If things really get bad pull out your phone and ask if you can speak with someone they know who speaks English. Also, I've seen many posts that say pharmacy employees often can speak English.
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
September 16th I will start my Camino Madrid. This is a Camino where mainly Spanish is spoken, a language I don't speak well. Have you encountered difficulties if you do not speak the language on the road?
@JanskeMarie
I walked the Madrid last autumn, beginning on September 25. I have some Spanish, but am not fluent. I found the locals friendly and helpful. Others walked the route at the same time: more men than women. Some albergues had two dormitories and bathrooms. This worked out well for me, as I had private facilities, while the men shared. I like solo walking and had no major problems on the Madrid. Enjoy your walk. Buen Camino.
 
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MaxHelado

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning to walk the Camino Portugués Tui to Santiago
I've been studying Spanish for a few years now and cannot begin to tell you how much more I enjoy my time in Spain. I would support the idea of putting time into learning a little of the language before you go.

Having said that I have also travelled with a good friend who doesn't know a single word of Spanish but carries a small sketchpad. He always smiles, and uses hand gestures and mime while busily drawing in his sketchpad. He turns the encounter into a game of Pictionary and as a result is loved by all. It is not unusual for a small crowd to gather and join in the guessing game.

I confess to being more than a little jealous 🤢
 
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Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Say Hi works well. I had a ‘conversation’ using it with the 85 year old Spanish matriarch of an albergue I stayed in last year. Once she got over speaking to the smart phone she thought it was fabulous.
Thanks - I'm starting the CdM this time next week and have just downloaded the Say Hi app - excellent!
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Thanks - I'm starting the CdM this time next week and have just downloaded the Say Hi app - excellent!
And showed it to my wife - and she's downloaded it too!
 

PetraF

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino de Madrid 2020 will be my first one
I am doing the Camino de Madrid end of April. Last year December I started learning Spanish. Since then I have spent 20 minutes every single day at an online program. Now I realized I am learning South American Spanish. Would that be an issue. I am so proud of myself, that I sticked to it..
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Can't see it will be a problem although the locals are likely to ask about your accent. On my first Camino Frances I walked for a while with a young guy originally from Puerto Rico who spoke fluent Spanish but with an accent that to many Spanish was unusual (they always asked 'where are you from?'). Congrats on your progress learning Spanish - very well done. Now you'll have a chance to practice in on the ground.
 

MaxHelado

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning to walk the Camino Portugués Tui to Santiago
Don’t worry about it. What you are learning will be enough to make yourself understood and to understand some of what you hear. In my experience the Spanish respond warmly to anyone who makes the effort to speak their language. So long as you are willing to give it a go and to make mistakes (the hardest part of language learning) then you will be richly rewarded for your efforts.

Yes, there are some differences in vocabulary and in structure but you will be understood.

Besides which there are differences in vocabulary, expressions and accent throughout Spain. Yours will be simply another variation of the same language.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Now I realized I am learning South American Spanish. Would that be an issue. I am so proud of myself, that I sticked to it..

Well done! I'll echo the others who say it won't be an issue. Assuming you have learned a 'standard' version of South American Spanish, if such a thing can be said to exist (and not a more distinct version such as Argentine Spanish), the differences are pretty minor.

Off the top of my head, I would say the two biggest differences you will find will be:

- pronunciation of certain sounds (most notably the z in a number like diez, which would usually be a soft 's' in South American Spanish but more like a 'th' in European Spanish).
- use of vosotros, with its own verb conjugation, as an informal plural pronoun in Spain (in addition to ustedes as the formal) as opposed to just ustedes in South America.

!Buena suerte y buen camino!
 
Last edited:

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
@linkster and @MaxHelado looking at your avatars you seem to have quite a bit in common 😀
Alas, I have decided to change my gravatar. We have known each other for quite a while, and he will always have a special place in my heart. I may resurrect him at some point in the future, but I think he deserves a well deserved rest for now. I will be going incognito during this time of transition. 🤔 👣 :D:cool:
 
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MaxHelado

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning to walk the Camino Portugués Tui to Santiago
Did you watch the series on Netflix? You must have done!
 

JanskeMarie

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - September 2019 / Camino de Madrid - September 2020
Sorry .... Can we talk about my question? "I will start my Camino Madrid on 16 September. This is a Camino that mainly speaks Spanish, a language I don't speak well. Did you encounter difficulties if you didn't speak the language on the way?"

So please stay with the lesson is my question. I find the previous answers more interesting
 

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Lo siento por la diversión. Espero que no me hayas confundido con @MaxHelado.:p

I have traveled around Spain using my Spanglish without any real difficulty. I have been to the ER with a broken wrist, and to get an antibiotic for a sinus infection. That was a little challenging, but Google translate got me thru. I would familiarize yourself with the app before you leave home. The real time translation using the camera feature is very useful. In addition, Google Chrome will translate for you when surfing the net.

Leave your difficulties at home, and take along your sense of adventure.

¡Buena suerte!👣:D:cool:
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2006) Portugues(2013)
San Salvador (2017) Ingles (2019)
This may already have been noted, but this morning I learned about deepl.com, an online translator. Credit to Kather1na. I have just copied in the first verse of starry night, and it is a reasonable translation. You might get accustomed to using such a tool before you set sail for your camino later in the year.
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Am currently on the Camino de Madrid. Day 2 about 6kms from Manzanares. Haven't seen another pilgrim yet and am getting by with lots of por favor, hola, muchas gracios etc. Currently sitting by the side of the path for a water break and to listen to the birds. Rather pleasant.
 

timr

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Several and counting...
Am currently on the Camino de Madrid. Day 2 about 6kms from Manzanares. Haven't seen another pilgrim yet and am getting by with lots of por favor, hola, muchas gracios etc. Currently sitting by the side of the path for a water break and to listen to the birds. Rather pleasant.
Jealous....... That's all ;)
I think it is my favourite route.
Buen camino. Tim
 

JanskeMarie

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés - September 2019 / Camino de Madrid - September 2020
[QUOTE = "Calisteve, post: 834450, lid: 56244"]
Ben momenteel op de Camino de Madrid. Dag 2 ongeveer 6 km van Manzanares. Ik heb nog geen andere pelgrim gezien en kom rond met veel plezier, hola, muchas gracios enz. Zit momenteel aan de kant van het pad voor een waterpauze en om naar de vogels te luisteren. Best aangenaam.
[/CITAAT]
Buen Camino:):koel:👣👣👣👣
 

Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Jealous....... That's all ;)
I think it is my favourite route.
Buen camino. Tim
Ha - many thanks particularly as there are no other pilgrims around to say it! Although there was a sign this afternoon.
 
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Calisteve

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son
July 18 CP with my wife
July 19 Ingles Muxia & Finisterre
Ha - many thanks particularly as there are no other pilgrims around to say it! Although there was a sign this afternoon.
Forgot to say - I went to the supermarket last night, handed over the money and said 'muchas gracios' and the young chap serving and jabbering away in Spanish turned and said 'have a nice day' - and i said 'how did you know?' Smiles all round. You can get by with please, thank you and a smile. If you make an effort they appreciate it and laugh at your accent.
 

Roger Hogstrom

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2001 and 2006, Via de la plata 2007,2010,2017,2019. CdM 3 times Ruta de la lana (2021
Am currently on the Camino de Madrid. Day 2 about 6kms from Manzanares. Haven't seen another pilgrim yet and am getting by with lots of por favor, hola, muchas gracios etc. Currently sitting by the side of the path for a water break and to listen to the birds. Rather pleasant.
Done it 3 times and met 4 other pilgrims all together. The day from Cercedilla over the mountains is a big favorite. Buen Camino .
 

linkster

¡Nunca dejes de creer!
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Yes.... rather confusing. When did you change your avatar ?
Edit :
I’ve since read following messages and can see you’re having heaps of fun with it.

Buen camino to you and your likeness.
Annie
When I was alerted that max was also using a similar avatar. I finally succumbed to the pressure, and drank the Koolaid.😂🤣:D:cool:
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I recently came across this site:

Spanish for Camino

Seems it is directed exactly for people who want to go on Camino and know limited (if any) Spanish.
There are some free downloads that surely are helpful. I signed up :)

Good luck and Buen Camino! 🚶‍♂️
 
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