One of the biggest concerns that people have about relocating to Panama is not knowing Spanish. Don’t let the lack of knowing Spanish stop you from enjoying a more stress-free and affordable life in Panama. There are places where you can live in Panama and do just fine with very limited (or no) Spanish.
Some areas of Panama have a higher concentration of expats who speak English. In these areas, more Panamanians speak English so it easier to start out, at least initially, in an area with plenty of expats because it will make your transition to life in Panama easier. In the expat communities, you’ll find that some restaurant menus are in Spanish and English, people at the bank speak English, doctors speak English and even signs at the grocery store are in Spanish and English. In expat communities, there will always be someone close by who is bi-lingual who can help with translations if necessary.
But, even in the expat communities, it is good to learn basic Spanish phrases. You’ll find that the more you are around Spanish speakers, the more Spanish you will learn!
If you move to an area where there are not many tourists or expats, there will be only a few Panamanians who speak English because they have not been exposed to, or had the need to know, English. In these areas, you’ll need to learn more Spanish faster.. keep reading to learn how!
So, you moved to Panama and you are getting settled into you very first rental. You are unpacking, you are walking around your town and finding out where the grocery stores are, where the restaurants are, and most important, where the closest place is where you can sit down and order an ice cold beer (or margarita). There will probably be several places like this and there will be other expats there who you can chat with!
Learning Spanish is high on your priority list, but first things first. Your suitcases needs to be unpacked, and you must buy food to put in the refrigerator so you can cook something this week! When you move to Panama, where Spanish is the official language, it could present some new challenges – but they are easy to overcome!
With that in mind, these are some basic things you will need to know to communicate and function in Panama that first month. The first chart has a few words and basic phrases that will make your first month in Panama a little easier.
If Panamanians see you trying to speak even a little Spanish (even if you butcher it) and you have a big smile, they will do everything they can to help you communicate. They sincerely appreciate that you are trying.
THE FAST TRACK TO SPEAKING AND UNDERSTANDING SPANISH
To get a head start in Spanish before you arrive in Panama, I recommend Gary A. Scotts $79 Online Spanish Course. Gary’s amazing course will help you learn 17 little tricks which will help you learn 4,000 Spanish words in your first week in Panama. Then, he teaches you connector words to make it easy for you to communicate. Even if it is not a complete sentence, you will be able to get your point across and you’ll understand what Spanish speakers are saying to you.
SEE DETAILS ABOUT GARY SCOTT’S $79 ONLINE SPANISH CLASS HERE
I was fortunate to go to Gary’s live 3-day class when it was taught in Panama. By the end of the first day, everyone in the class was speaking, reading and writing in Spanish! In addition to the 17 “tricks”, Gary uses special “super learning” techniques to help you learn faster and comprehend what you learn easier.