San Salvador - Post Report Question and Answers

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

Lots, as English is not widely spoken here. You definitely need Spanish and/or a lot of confidence in Google Translate. - Oct 2023

You need Spanish here. The Embassy has a fairly rigorous program; I’m sure there are also local tutors available for a reasonable price. - Feb 2022

You should have a basic understanding of Spanish to get around. Many people speak some English but I wouldn't bet on it. There are local tutors for $10/hour and classes at the university for $75/month. - Aug 2021

Some Spanish is a necessity in most situations. Tutors are available through the embassy, schools, and locally. - Jun 2018

There is a lot of English, but quality of life improves with Spanish. The embassy offers classes twice a week and there are also classes at UCA. - Mar 2018

I have gotten by just fine with my Spanglish. I took entry level Spanish lessons, but I actually learn more through day to day living. The locals are very forgiving as long as you are attempting to speak it and are polite. There are lessons at the embassy and at the local college. - Jan 2018

Should speak some basic Spanish. - Nov 2017

Many Salvadorans speak good English. That said, among themselves the conversation is always Spanish. Local classes are available. I couldn't imagine living here without at least some conversational Spanish. - Jul 2016

In theory you could get by with very little (1/5 of all Salvadorans live in the U.S, and many have spent time there). In practice, Spanish is essential for pretty much every transaction. Salvadorans are very patient with all attempts to communicate in Spanish, no matter how poorly one speaks it. - Dec 2015

You can probably get by on little. But it helps to speak Spanish. - Jun 2015

Some Spanish will help, but you can get by without. - Mar 2015

Some Spanish makes your life much easier but most people speak English - Oct 2014

A lot. - Jul 2014

Spanish is certainly helpful. Salvadorans who have spent time in the US can generally speak English at least phonetically. - Apr 2012

You must have survival Spanish. The better your Spanish, the easier life will be for you. - Jul 2011

If I did not speak some Spanish this would have been a much more difficult and less rewarding tour. You really do need at least a 2 in Spanish to make this post worthwhile. - May 2010

Spanish is very helpful. Finding employment without Spanish will be near impossible. You'll find the strangest people that speak English (taxi drivers, drunks, random kids, store clerks - but not necessarily doctors, lawyers, or professionals).You'll need some basic vocabulary to get around and do shopping. Even some of the more touristy places will not have English speakers readily available. El Salvador, in general, is off the beaten path, but the people here are very kind and I have found them very willing to work with your broken Spanish. - Feb 2009

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