How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

You need to know the basics. I struggled with the menus when I got here, mostly due to lack of exposure to Mexican Spanish. There aren’t a lot of tourists, so there is less English than in other parts of Mexico. Tutors are available, and you can take classes on both sides of the border, for Spanish, English, even Chinese. - Jun 2019


You cannot survive without Spanish. The level of English in the area is very, very low, including in the Consulate itself. - Feb 2019


Spanish is needed, but some get by without it. It is more common even in El Paso to not speak English than to not speak Spanish. There are many resources and opportunities to learn Spanish. - Jan 2019


A lot of Mexicans speak some English. You will meet lower income Mexicans who are fluent in English, because they lived in the US for years and are here only because they were deported. You will meet wealthier Mexicans who are fluent in English because they've paid for lessons.

English is actually taught in all public schools in Mexico, but with varying success. I find it convenient to know Spanish, but a lot of signs and store items have labels in both languages. - Jun 2016


the more the better, but you can get by with zero. Many locals know at least a tiny bit of English. - Apr 2016


You need Spanish. Locals do not speak English. - Apr 2016


The more you know, the better. Although this is a border post you might be surprised how many people don't speak English. Life here is much richer if you can at least understand Spanish and communicate the basics. Also, when you cross into El Paso you will find more people are speaking Spanish than English in the areas right by the border. - Dec 2015


it's always good to have a basic understanding - Aug 2015


Spanish is needed!!! You would not be able to do your job properly at the Consulate (visa interviews, political work, ACS work) if you could not speak or read Spanish. A 3/3 is needed in Spanish and you'll be doing yourself a disservice if you think otherwise. I found that Spanish was even needed in El Paso. My husband did not work at the Consulate so he was able to get by with his limited ability --but there were instances where it would have been helpful. - Jun 2015


Not much if you want to be a lump on a log. Most people understand English - Jun 2014


Some, but you can get by if you want. - Aug 2013


It is important to speak Spanish - otherwise you'll constantly be in El Paso. - Aug 2013


Many people in Juarez speak English, but knowing some basic Spanish for day-do-day communications (e.g., ordering at restaurants or communicating with household help) is very helpful. - Jun 2013


You can survive with English, but Spanish will make your time here richer. Even in El Paso, many do not speak English. - Sep 2012


It depends on how much you do in Juarez. - Feb 2012


Spanish is very useful if you’re going to do much shopping in Juarez. Some places have English speaking staff, but you can’t necessarily count on it. - Jul 2011


Not too much, as most shopping is done in El Paso. - Jun 2011


Many people speak at least some English, but the more Spanish you know, the better. You will not starve to death without it, but everything is harder. - Mar 2009


New book from Talesmag! Honest and courageous stories of life abroad with special needs.

Read More