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Posted by Amanda Petty on June 11, 2018
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Why you should learn to speak Spanish ahora mismo (right now)!

Why you should learn Spanish right now!

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Did you know that roughly 5.4% of the world’s population speaks Spanish? It is right behind Mandarin and English. If that’s not a good enough reason to learn Spanish, we’ll list a few more reasons why you should learn to speak Spanish ahora mismo or right now!

We at Caribbean Breeze encourage our clients to learn Spanish, or at least some, as soon as possible. Speaking and understanding Spanish will help you engage in the Dominican culture—with that comes a certain level of respect. Reading contracts, or any paperwork for that matter, will be more comfortable with some knowledge of the language. And on a day to day basis, you’ll use your Spanish speaking skills to help negotiate better bargains. Apart from everything we mentioned above, science says that speaking more than one language helps keep your brain young and fresh, and improves your cognitive skills.

Earn respect and appreciate the culture

Though most people in Cabarete can speak a little (un poquito) English, you will be more respected if you, as a foreigner, can communicate in Spanish. Once you’ve reached a level of proficiency in Spanish, you will pleasantly surprise the locals! Your efforts will be appreciated and respected which will open up new horizons of opportunities like cultural connections.

Speaking Spanish will help you dive into the meaning of words and expressions and really connect you to the culture and people around you. Not speaking the language is almost like coming here and not eating mangu, it’s almost impossible to avoid it, we’re pretty sure you’ll pick up words and expressions right away! You should learn to speak Spanish Ahora Mismo!

A fun cultural event that takes place every year here is Cabarete Carnaval. It happens every Sunday in February, and it’s in celebration of the Dominican Independence day, February 27th.

Reading important documents and contract in Spanish

Caribbean Breeze will always provide you with a translated English copy of your purchase documents, but all legal contracts in the Dominican Republic are required to be presented and signed in Spanish. When you sign a contract, the law presumes that you’ve read it and understand it and this could be complicated if you don’t speak the language in which it’s written. However, you should always get someone reliable to help you understand what a contract says. If you do not, please don’t rely on Google Translate.

Negotiating a deal in Spanish

We all enjoy a bargain, and to go back and forth around here, you need to learn to speak Spanish. Asking if you buy more, will you get a better price “si compro mas puedo tener un mejor precio?” is always a good bargain technique. If something seems too expensive, you can express this “es muy costoso.” Also terms like “hecho a mano” or handmade are nice to know when buying gifts for others. Or if you don’t have enough money, you can say “no tengo suficiente dinero.” Knowing keywords and how to use them to bargain is very handy when buying anything from a mango to a car.

Learn Spanish in Cabarete

There are a handful of teachers and language schools here in the Cabarete/Sosua area that can help you learn to speak Spanish and even the culture. A few we know and trust:

Cabarete Language Institute

Una Vaina Bien Spanish

But if you are not in Cabarete or maybe lacking funds, there’s always mobile phone apps like Duolingo or youtube that can help in your quest to learning Spanish.

Spanish keywords and phrases

You have fallen in love with the Dominican Republic and everything it has to offer; views, beaches, the people, and the culture, so speaking Spanish is now a must, start practicing a little every day. We feel one great way to learn is to replace one word per day in your vocabulary with a Spanish word. For example, if you learn the word for milk (leche), use it any time you speak a sentence containing the word milk, “I would like coffee with leche, por favor. Before you know it, you will be replacing a bunch of words. Then you can start putting ull sentences together.

Basic Spanish phrases:

  • Hola, como estas? / Hello, how are you?
  • Mi nombre es… / My name is…
  • Gracias! / Thank you!
  • De nada! / You’re welcome
  • Cuanto cuesta? /  How much is it?
  • Perfecto! / Perfect

Dominican specific slang:

  • Qué lo qué / What’s up?
  • Chin / A little bit
  • Vaina / thing or stuff
  • Nítido / Cool or neat

The Spanish dialect that spoken in the Dominican Republic is slightly different from dialects spoken in other Latin American countries making it even more critical for you to practice speaking with those around you and getting to know the culture!

Read DOMINICANISMOS: How Dominicans Speak on Una Viana Bien Spanish.

Do you speak Dominican Spanish? What are some phrases you think everyone should know? Tell us in the comments.

  • *Prices listed are an average price. Prices are subject to change based on season, holidays and duration of stay.
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