You might find it a bit challenging to interact with people in El Valle de Anton, if you only speak English. When I first came here, I had already been studying Spanish for six or seven months so I was already able to say what I had to say to get by, but when the people I spoke with answered me, I was in trouble!
Most of the locals here speak only Spanish. The ones who work in hotels and the ones who are better educated, maybe those who come from Panama City, speak a certain amount of English. I study Spanish probably an hour every day in the last three years. However, I find it very hard to understand the people here in El Valle because they speak fast. I try to say what I have to say and they understand me, but when they respond, I usually have to say, “Habla mas despacio por favor” which means “Please speak more slowly” because they speak so quickly and their Spanish is not really very proper Spanish, whereas in Panama City, the quality of spoken Spanish improves dramatically.
If you really want to interact with the people here in El Valle, you have to speak Spanish; otherwise, you will be very limited here. Learning Spanish is so much fun. To be able to say anything more than Gracias, Si, Hola and to be able to get into a simple conversation you are going to need some Spanish. I happen to use different courses such as the Rosetta Stone and the Verbarrator, which conjugates 567 verbs. I happen to have a friend who is from Venezuela and her English is about the same as my Spanish but we are able to communicate in both languages so that makes it a lot of fun.
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