Santo Domingo - 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?

Should have some Spanish - Sep 2023

Some will help. - Oct 2021

Spanish is extremely helpful. - Feb 2021

A working knowledge of Spanish is helpful. While the Dominican Republic and the USA have strong connections and many Dominicans speak some English, it can be hard to communicate without any Spanish. - Jan 2021

You really need Spanish. Not much English even though the DR lives in the shadow of the US. - Jul 2019

Very few people speak English, so having the ability to speak basic Spanish is really important. That said, Dominican Spanish does not seem to be your typical Spanish, much less the Spanish you learnt at FSI. Good luck! - Jan 2019

Easy to survive without any Spanish, but the city and country is much more interesting if you can converse with locals. - Nov 2016

Few people speak English. You really need some Spanish to get around. - Apr 2016

Very few people speak English, so having the ability to speak basic Spanish is really important. - Jan 2016

A lot if you don't want to feel depressed and discouraged to going out. Dominican Spanish is a difficult language to understand.... it is not like the Spanish you learn online or even at FSI. The more you know, the better tour you will have. - Jan 2016

Lots! - Aug 2015

You need it to function well. - Aug 2015

You need at least a conversational level in order to engage in any haggling of items. Not many people in the city speak English in the local establishments, but you have to have a minimal level in order to get around. - Aug 2014

It's hard to get around without some Spanish. - Jul 2013

It would be difficult to live here without knowing any Spanish. English is not widely spoken outside of the resorts. - Apr 2013

You need to speak Spanish because almost no one speaks English. I should also note that Dominican Spanish is very different from textbook Spanish and is very difficult to understand. - Apr 2013

English is not widely spoken. - Jan 2013

It's pretty hard to get around without Spanish. Few Dominicans know English outside the Zona Colonial and those that do are probably going to try to hustle you. - Jun 2012

You need to be strong in Spanish. Almost no one here speaks English. Dominican Spanish is also much harder than Castellano and South American Spanish, so expect a learning cure even if you're solid. - Mar 2012

Spanish is a must, although some locals speak limited English. - Feb 2012

To hire service and services a lot. - Feb 2012

some - Oct 2011

You need Spanish! It's ok to have imperfect Spanish as Dominicans are patient but I think it would be very difficult to live here without any Spanish. You need it to order in a restaurant, buy groceries, pay bills, and communicate in general. - Jun 2011

Lots, although surprisingly many Dominicans speak English. - May 2011

you will be frustrated if you dont speak spanish - Nov 2010

You HAVE to speak Spanish in order to function in daily life. Outside of major hotels, no one speaks English. - Aug 2010

Spanish is very necessary. But beware that Dominicans are hard to understand. If you are with the State Dept. and you have your kids at Carol Morgan School, then you can get by with English. However, if you should want to ask someone directions, or ask for something at the grocery store, or call up the company that provides you internet or tv because there is an issue, you will need some Spanish. - Jun 2010

It really helps to know Spanish. Your kids will suffer unless they can learn or know Spanish quickly. CMS is a Spanish-speaking school for all intents and purposes. - May 2009

Some Spanish is helpful, but one can get by without. - Nov 2008

As is typical, the more you know the better. But, one *can* get by with little language ability. - Oct 2008

You can get by with a few dozen key phrases. Some English spoken here. - Aug 2008

One must have a working-level knowledge of Spanish. That said, people are generally happy to try to figure out what you're trying to say - they appeciate the effort. - Jun 2008

Spanish is an absolute must. - Feb 2008

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