Learning "Tico" Spanish

Even though many Ticos can understand or speak English, it is still a very nice gesture to speak the language of the country you will be living in. Plus, this can give you advantages and freedom when you are living in Costa Rica.

Learning the language and specific dialect of any foreign country is by far the single most important investment you can make especially if you plan to live there for significant periods of time. This can help you integrate and also avoid misunderstandings and other negative situations.

Even if you know Spanish, you will notice that Costa Ricans speak differently, have a different accent,  they have their own sayings, their own slang, and their own way of saying things.

Please just try it, life as you know it will become so much simplier, you will earn the respect of the Costa Ricans just for trying, and you are much less liekly to get ripped off.

The best way to learn the language is to really imerse yourself in the culture and to try and spend as much of your time with Costa Ricans. At first you may just have to listen, then after a while you can start to take a shot at talking, and then before you know it you will be speaking like a native.

You can take 12 week intensive courses, you can also select more leisurely courses. If you work in a certian profession there are also special business courses which can teach you the terminology you will need to do your job. If you take smaller classes you will receive more personalized attention.

The best way to learn any language is emersion, so even though you are studying you should still get involved in the culture and people so you can really learn the language.What better way than a homestay where you live with a Costa Rican family and are surrounded by Spanish almost 24 hours a day. People who incorporate an extended homestay usually have much more success in learning the language and tend to pick up the native dialect and in some cases the accent too.


I like to say there are certain stages when you are learning (just like a baby learns):

  • Stage one: Total and utter confusion and frusteration.
  • Stage two: You start piecing together and making connections and associations in your brain from listening.
  • Stage three: You begin to understand what people are saying sometimes.
  • Stage four: You begin to understand more and start trying to respond back even if it sounds funny and is wrong. If you are able to not be embarrased during this stage you will learn a lot more faster.
  • Stage five: You understand almost everything that is said to you and can respond in a semi-coherent manner, now you can start to read and write even if you make lots of mistakes.
  • Stage six: Is never ending where you continue to learn more and more vocabulary and imrove your speech patterns.
  • Note: Obvisously these stages time periods vary depending on your personal ability to learn a language, motivation level, and desire or nesesity to learn the language.


For a list of Spanish Language Institutes click here.


Document Actions

Powered by Propertyshelf

Legal Information