Dedicated to providing you with credible information about living overseas
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroad

Questions & Answers

Q & A Menu Q & A BY TOPIC
To navigate, use menu bar to the left
Valeria Espinoza of Gran Pacifica – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The most spoken language in Nicaragua is Spanish, spoken by 95% of the population. If you go to the Atlantic Coast, you will find some other languages in different communities, like Garifuna, Miskito and Nicaragua Creole English. 
 
If you only speak English and plan to live in Nicaragua full time, we do encourage that you learn the basics of the language to get around. Nicaraguans are very helpful and willing to assist you if we see a foreigner in trouble or needing our help. However it's always good when you know at least the basics of the language in case you are in a remote village or main road and no one speaks English.
 
Many people who has retired or moved to Nicaragua for their businesses have come without knowing one word of Spanish, and after a month or two, they know the basics and have learned more than they ever thought they would. 
 
Nowadays, more and more Nicaraguans are learning English too, so in Managua, you will now find English speaking people working in stores, supermarkets, banks, and restaurants, so it's getting easier for foreigners to live here. 
Paul Daemen of Aurora Granada – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
La Calzada, Granada, Nicaragua, at Night – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingAs a tourists you can get by just speaking English. However, to really enjoy the country at the people, culture and feel part of the community I would recommend that you learn the language. There are many language schools or individuals that can teach you and assist you in integrating. 
 
I am fortunate that my fiancee and I speak Spanish; therefore we hear more and understand our surroundings better. Yes, there are quite a few expats that have been here more than 10 years that have picked up a few words, but have not fully embraced to learn the language. They still seem happy and are integrating well. But we have always made an effort to learn the local language.  It's fun and a great learning experience.
 
(Pictured: La Calzada, Granada, Nicaragua, at night.)
 
 
 
 
Daniel Snider of Snider's Realty Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Expats hosted by a Nicaragua family, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYou could get by in Nicaragua if you just spoke English. Even though we’re primarily a Spanish-speaking country, the people here in Nicaragua are very attuned to trying to help understand what you’re trying to say if you’re speaking English
 
I would, however, definitely recommended that you pick up a little bit of Spanish just as I would recommend you pick up a little bit of Spanish anywhere else you decide live in Latin America; at least the basics to get around. Doing this would be a very helpful for anybody thinking about retiring down here. It’s very easy to get the basics when it comes to speaking Spanish and Nicaraguans are very patient people so there’s no rush in trying to be a perfect Spanish speaking person.
 
By “the basics”, I mean to learn things such as “Where’s the bathroom?,” “How much does this cost?,” etc.  With just this, you could get by.  After that, I would recommend that anybody who comes to live in Nicaragua should learn a little bit of Spanish just to get along with people in a way where you can understand them and they’ll better understand you; just a good well-rounded two or three thousand word vocabulary where you can start to put sentences together.
 
In Nicaragua as in many parts of Latin America we speak Spanish very quickly. The average person when they catch on to the fact that you’re not a fluent Spanish speaking person will usually slow it down so that you can understand better.  
 
(Expats and their Nicaragua hosts, Nicaragua, pictured.)
Marissa Gabrielle Lolk of Jireh Dental Care – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Marissa Lolk's Norweigan husband dressed as a Viking in the Norweigan portion of a parade, Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Nicaragua, you can get by with just English because a lot of people here do speak English but it is not our main language. Our main language is Spanish. If you speak even just mediocre Spanish, you’ll certainly get by so at least try to learn mediocre Spanish. You want to be able to order in a restaurant even if you do it with little hand gestures because nobody will go out of their way to speak English for you.
 
I saw a couple of Asians who were really struggling and the guy tried speaking in English.  The girl at the counter tells him that she doesn’t understand what he’s saying so I intervened for him and he looked like he had the biggest relief ever. You do need Spanish because Nicaragua is a Spanish-speaking country, unless you go to the Atlantic side, where you can go and speak English all you want.
 
If you go to the expat areas, then you don’t have to speak Spanish. My husband has gotten around for 3 or 4 years here in Nicaragua without speaking ANY Spanish but he also had me. If you have somebody who can help you out then you’re good to go. Now my husband can speak mediocre Spanish; he can order stuff on the phone and make himself understood.
 
(Marissa Lolk's Danish husband dressed as a Viking representing Norway in a parade in Nicaragua, pictured.)
Carolyn Membreño of León Travel Bureau – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The Pride of León-Wilton Lopez Nicaragua  – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingYou need to learn a little bit of Spanish in order to get by in Nicaragua. There are places that you would go to, especially in the government offices, where they speak little to no English. If you are going to any office that is run by the government, you must be able to speak Spanish or at least have an interpreter. Most expats in Leon, where I live, do know how to speak basic Spanish.  
 
(Baseball player, Wilton Lopez from Leon, Nicaragua, pictured.) 
Immanuel Zerger of Solentiname Tours - Discover Nicaragua – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Little Corn Island, Nicargua – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
In Nicaragua, you may be able to get by with just English in the supermarkets and other places that offer services, but definitely not everywhere. It will be bit difficult if you only speak English. If you are lucky, you might be able to find someone who can translate for you, but it is not certain that you will always find such a person. All the hotels have taxi services and the drivers can speak English. They can take you around and translate for you. Or you can take a tour guide and get better assistance.
 
It is easier to find English speakers in Managua, in the colonial cities (Granada, Leon), and in San Juan Del Sur, especially at the hotels and in the supermarkets or in the malls. When you go out to the countryside, you will find very few English speakers or there might be none. The local people who live in the Caribbean coast and the Indian communities there hardly speak Spanish. They speak Creole, which is 85% English, in Bluefields, Corn Island, Laguna Perlas, and in Puerto Caresas. (Little Corn Island, pictured.)
Tanya Hartill of NicaTour Group – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
I'm a strong believer that if you are moving to a new country, you should learn the language. Too often I have seen older people in my own country, Canada, immigrants - who cannot speak a word of English. They are left "outside" of the society in which they live.
 
The same thing goes if you move to Nicaragua.  Learn Spanish.  It will make life so much easier and you won't be "left outside" of the new world in which you choose to live.

Go Here Next

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

If you're interested in Can I Get By Just Speaking English in other places, look here...

Go Here Next

 
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadUse the menu on this page to go to categories of Stories.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadUse the menu on this page to go to other categories of questions.
The Best Places In The World To Retire Location Advisor makes personalized recommendations for where to live and retire overseasGet matched to your ideal location to live abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Community Questions and Answers about living and retiring abroadAnswers about living, working or visiting abroad.
Best Places In The World To Retire Expat Stories contains text, video, and photos by people just like you who are already living abroadStories by expats & others about their life aborad.
Best Places In The World To Retire - MarketplaceFind for profit, non-profit and religious organizations.
 

Our Pledge To You

Best Places will present information from the Community in a transparent way, unedited, except to conform with our Conditions of Use.

You can trust that Best Places does not manipulate content to sell you anything. All opinions in the Community Q & A and Expat Stories are those of its authors, not Best Places.

Get Known To The Community

Those who contribute to the Best Places Community are our heroes! And being a Best Places hero is fast, fun, and easy. Just go to Questions & Answers, find your first question to answer, click on it, and then click the Contribute Your Answer To This Question Button. If you’d rather enter a Story, go to Expat Stories and click the Contribute Your Story Button".

Contact/Support

Please contact us. We would love to hear from you! Customer Service
Technical Support
Business Development
Suggestions
Press
Phone: (US) 520-940-0481