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

It helps to speak Spanish. You could get by with a minimum. There are classes through the Embassy and at local schools. - Sep 2019

Definitely need some Spanish to get by, not many outside the tourist areas speak English. - Jun 2019

The more you know, the easier your life. There is not a lot of English being spoken, but you can get along - it's an international city, there are a lot of tourists, but if you want to really get to know the culture, of course, you need to know the language. There are many schools and classes available - even US companies like Berlitz. - Mar 2017

Basic Spanish is a must. Madrid isn't nearly as touristy as Barcelona, so it's hard to find English speakers here. Don't take it personally if they don't seem patient with you, or they don't bother to repeat or slow their speech for your benefit. In most cases, when they repeat themselves, they just say it faster! - Apr 2012

I get by fine. Have a vocabulary of 200 or so words. - Nov 2011

Englis is not widely spoken here, so you need to be able to get around in Spanish or you will get very frustrated. Spaniards will expect that you speak spanish fluent and they are not very patient with foreigners. - Oct 2011

You need to know Spanish. The younger generation is learning English, but other than that you are expected to communicate in Spanish. Downtown restaurants will usually provide an English menu. - Aug 2010

You really needa good working knowledge of Spanish to enjoy your time here. We didn't have this upon arrival and it was miserable and very difficult to do your basic shopping or make a doctor's appointment for example. You must show an effort or the locals will not speak English with you even though they often speak great Englsih. - Feb 2009

Be fluent. - Jan 2008

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

Read More