Want to live in a foreign country? Learn the language! If you are planning to experience Costa Rica, get to know the people. The culture is rich and the people are happy. If you are born into and grow up in a Spanish speaking household, Spanish is easy. For the rest of us, it is a considerable challenge, but one that pays huge dividends. It is hard to interact with ‘locals’ if you cannot communicate and you really can’t bring out your own personality. Another great thing about Ticos is that they are patient with those who are learning Spanish and appreciate people who try. If you are planning on moving to Costa Rica, start learning right away. One advantage to being in Nosara is that when you learn a new Spanish word or phrase you will begin using it right away and your new vocabulary will stick. You can attend individual or family classes at the Nosara Spanish Institute. The faster you learn the more fun you’ll have. Stick with it y algún día usted puede conversar con cualquier ´mae´ en la calle. En serio.
There are many people who live in Costa Rica who speak little to no Spanish and get along just fine, but I think they’re missing out in some ways.
Watch Out!: One humorous antidote that we come across every year: I’ve seen on Facebook many times people wanting to wish fellow locals a “Happy New Year” or in Spanish “Feliz Año Nuevo”; however, if you use an English keyboard and don´t use the “ñ” and instead use an “n”, it changes the word from año = year, to ano = anus. So, you don’t want to be telling people “Feliz Ano Nuevo” which effectively means Happy New Anus. That phrase very seldom applies.