4 Replies to “Do you need to speak Spanish?”

  1. My experience is that nobody, but nobody speaks english. I did the Via de la Plata (Sevilla) route Sep/Oct 09. But any spanish is appreciated and when all else fails sign language will do the trick. Buen camino!

  2. Unlike larger European tourist towns, you will encounter a shopkeeper, or other local who doesn’t speak English. Albergues are usually run by a multilingual staff, so there’s no problem there. I don’t think you need a lot of Spanish on the Camino, a few months commuting to work with audio Spanish guides would be sufficient.That being said, I like learning the language of the country I am visiting. It enriches the experience.

  3. There are enough people along the Camino (pilgrims and hosts) who speak English. You can get by. I had a friend tell me last year, “Just speak into your smart phone and it will translate into Spanish for you.”
    I thought about that and asked myself, “How would I feel about that here in the States if someone from Spain did the same to me?” Then I studied Spanish (every day) for 10 months before I walked El Camino.
    My conclusion: You will be better served by learning Spanish than you will by working real hard to get into shape. You either start the Way in good fitness, or you end up fit by the end.
    If you learn Spanish, you will have a very rich experience with your hosts.

  4. I really help to have some basic Spanish to order food, buy groceries or ask for the way and understand signs. I have studied Spanish for 2 years 20 years ago so I had to find that area in my brain again and in the end of my 36 days I even learned some Galego (Galician) and it opened up for even more communication. But I used a lot of English and body language as well.

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