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Eric1985

Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
Hi. Just wondering. I have some words of Spanish and learning some more at the minute. If im been honest im not the best in the world for leaning languages. Would I get by on basic Spanish without offending any of the locals or worse making a tit out of myself ;)
 
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cher99840

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
I did it with zero Spanish and I don't think I offended anyone too much. Of course it is easier and more expedient if you know at least a little. The time you go might make a difference. I went in Sept/Oct and there were plenty of people around willing to translate or at least pantomime more aggressively than I did.
 

Eric1985

Member
Past OR future Camino
2015
I did it with zero Spanish and I don't think I offended anyone too much. Of course it is easier and more expedient if you know at least a little. The time you go might make a difference. I went in Sept/Oct and there were plenty of people around willing to translate or at least pantomime more aggressively than I did.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
Yes, you will do well....mostly. It depends on your Camino (the Frances is quite "domesticated", well signposted, many restaurants, albergues, locals are used to foreigners) and the season (again, in the Frances, from March to October there will be many people (including some bilingual fellows). It could be problematic if you have "issues" with your meals, because navigating a menu or asking the waiter if a particular dish have or does not have onions may be difficult. Otherwise, ask for "menu del dia".
 
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SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
... I have some words of Spanish and learning some more at the minute. If im been honest im not the best in the world for leaning languages. Would I get by on basic Spanish without offending any of the locals or worse making a tit out of myself ;)

First congratulations that you make the effort to learn some Spanish! As others have said the people that live alongside the Camino are used since a long time to foreigners passing by. When I walked the Camino Frances the first time in winter 1999 I spoke basically no Spanish and I arrived well in SdC. Now I do speak Spanish and it is simply so much more fun to be able to communicate with the people that live alongside the way. Also the Spanish are very grateful and graceful towards foreigners just trying to get some Spanish words out. So, in short, don't worry how good or bad your Spanish is, just use what you have, learn more and Buen Camino! SY
 

Peregrinopaul

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
Although I agree with the comments about the fact that you can get by with no Spanish, (I did in my first Camino), it does add immesurably to the experience if you can communicate. Knowing a few phrases won't help though, because, trust me, you won't have a clue when someone replies. My solution, strongly recommended, is some time and effort on the Duolingo website. It's free, and has helped me gain confidence.
 

Lucy Longpath

Lucy Longpath
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015), Puy Way (2016), North Wales Pilgrims Way (2017), Camino Vezelay(2018) &(2019)
Although I agree with the comments about the fact that you can get by with no Spanish, (I did in my first Camino), it does add immesurably to the experience if you can communicate. Knowing a few phrases won't help though, because, trust me, you won't have a clue when someone replies. My solution, strongly recommended, is some time and effort on the Duolingo website. It's free, and has helped me gain confidence.
Hi, I am also using Duolingo having never done any Spanish at all and I also find it really helpful!!
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Duolingo is good, using it myself. However, I found that the Spanish are always ready to help. I asked an old lady at the desk of the albergue in Najera how to pronounce the town name and she took great pleasure in teaching me how to pronounce a few words. Had a good laugh at my expense as once she started, she would not let me in until I got it right. You will pick up quite a bit as you walk if you keep your ears open and ask for help
 

paul.ferris

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2011 Camino Frances
2013 Camino Frances
2015 To be decided
A translator app on my Ipod helped with menu questions - although a Spanish-English dictionary is just as good. You will pick up basic words out of necessity.
 
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rickster

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012), LePuy (2013), Coastal Portuguese( 2013), Norte (Fall 2014)
Obviously, the more Spanish you know the easier it will be for you. I took the Pimsleur course and it helped jumpstart me, but if I got in a rapid fire conversation, I was quickly lost and pulled out my translator app that you can speak your home language and it responds in Spanish. Also, you will be surprised at how much Spanish you will pick up as you progress along the Camino.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
I'm a fan of Duolingo as well. Use the website to do translations as that quickly improves your written Spanish comprehension. I've been uploading topics relevant to the VDLP so I learn a little about the route while learning the language. Between Duolingo for 6 months and a night class I'm hoping to have some practical Spanish.
 

musicagl

Member
Past OR future Camino
Part 1 - May 2011
Part 2 - May 2012
Part 3 - June 2014
Finisterre (for mom) Fall 2016
I got through Spanish III in Pimsleur and found it enormously helpful. There were only a handful of times that I couldn't understand the gist of what was being said to me.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
I'm very happy I enrolled in Spanish language in adult evening class years ago. These four years come in very handy when I go to Spain, be it on a regular holiday or on a Camino.
The months before I'm off again , I try to read as many Spanish internet newspapers or watch the Spanish TV ( documentaries are ideal ) as possible to " train " my vocabulary and pronunciation.

Even though my conversations in Spanish only cover the basics ( but who wants to talk politics etc on the Camino anyway :) ) I notice that the Spaniards really appreciate my intentions.
People will be more forthcoming, invite you more easily to sit with them at their table, open that closed churchdoor for you etc...
I was also relieved to be able to express myself in a clear way in Spanish when visiting the Centro de Salud for a minor ailment and afterwards when I had to get a prescription at the pharmacy.

On the lesser travelled Camino del Ebro especially my basic Spanish came in very handy. No other pilgrim, except one man from Venezuela, so if I wanted to talk to someone it had to be with a Spaniard.

On the Frances I even got an unexpected discount at a hostal because I helped out the landlady translating between some French and German pilgrims.

And to finish : learning a new language is just fun. Certainly broadened my horzion.
 
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