Puerto Vallarta is a Spanish and English speaking community.
You can vacation here and not speak a bit of Spanish and completely get by, but why would you?
You’re in Mexico, for one. If you ever had the desire to speak even a little bit of Spanish, now is your chance. The locals will HELP you! They want you to learn it as much as they want to learn English.
Speaking a little bit of Spanish will give you a connection with the people of PV and enrich your experience. It might make you even fall in love just a little bit more with our place in paradise.
How long does it take to learn? Well, I suppose that’s different for everyone.
As for my experience, I took a few night classes but I have no other Spanish classroom experience. I’ve lived here permanently since January 2019 and everything I’ve learned has come from listening and speaking with locals. The Uber drivers especially love to speak their language with you!
The first thing I can tell you is that listening to try to hear the words is where you start. You would be surprised how much you can learn about the language without ever speaking it. It’s a great feeling when you realize that you ‘kind of understand’ what someone is saying.
From the very beginning, learn little phrases and words that you can say to almost anyone.
*if you are trying to pass someone on the street
Once you can comfortably say the above, it’s time to learn some vocabulary. Don’t worry about sentence structure right now. Learn a few words or phrases that YOU feel you’ll use often such as, I’m hungry or grocery store. Try to learn one word a day – learn it then use it!
Please don’t get mad or frustrated should you be trying to speak to someone here that doesn’t speak English. You are in Mexico, the official language is Spanish. Saying it loudly doesn’t work and likely will get you a few sneers from the local community of expats down here.
My husband speaks fluent Spanish and I know that we have had a different experience here because he does. I’m certain I’ll never speak as well as he does but I hope that I’ll be ‘mostly fluent’ someday…