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Mark Hurt – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Well of course you can get by in El Valle and only speak English... as long as you want to talk to ME and a handful of other people here.  This is Panama?  Yes.  Listen, if you want to speak English I would tell you to move to say Ohio.  People here speak Spanish, I think.  If you can't speak it, stay home.  Why?  Because the handful of friends that you will have here that can speak both will hate you.  Why? Because every time we turn around you will be calling needing our help to find out what your yard man just asked you.  Learn Spanish or don't come.
Neil Stein of Panama Paraiso – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

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.

Bill Brunner of abc realty panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
You can get by in El Valle if you just speak English.  An effort to learn enough Spanish to get you by in the market and restaurants is appreciated but that’s true anywhere that you go as a foreigner.  However, there are people who come here to El Valle to live who don’t speak any Spanish and they seem to get by.
 
The downside for you if you don’t speak Spanish is that you will experience a lack of communication or miscommunication.  If you have employees, you want to be able to communicate well enough to tell them what you want them to do.  If you can’t speak Spanish, though, there are people who will help.  There are also companies, like ours, that will offer translation services by the hour.  
Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
El Valle is cooler than the coastal regions. Spanish is the spoken language and there are a few locals who may speak some English. There are quite a few ex.pats living there who tend to stick together. Anyone moving to Panama should make the effort and learn the country`s language.

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