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Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to Latin America, Mexico, or Central America.
So, a lot of forum members have been quite worried about what they need to do to "succeed" in Latin American countries.
The ONE KEY INGREDIENT to success in Latin America is:
SPANISH SPANISH SPANISH
The more, the better. Not only should you simply aim to be understood, but you should speak it fluently, charismatically, and like a native. That will get you major points.
I guarantee that almost everyone who speaks Spanish well is going to experience at least some level of "success," whether making plenty of new friends, enjoying the culture, or scoring dates.
Everything else is secondary:
- Your race, ethnicity, nationality
- Your age
- Your looks, height, weight
- Your income, job, education
- Urban vs. rural Mexico/Peru/etc.
- Northern vs. southern Mexico, Colombia vs. Argentina, etc.
- White vs. indigenous vs. black women
- Upper class vs. lower class, rich vs. poor
- Where to meet people, how to chat up people
Not speaking Spanish is seen by some (not all) Latinos as a sign of arrogance, since Americans have a reputation for not learning others' languages and speaking to them only in English as their way of showing off their superiority. Most Latinos will simply have trouble getting to know you, or view you as a strange curiosity.
If a Latino speaks to you in English, reply in Spanish. Start off in Spanish. End in Spanish. Do everything in Spanish. Latin America is a melting pot of all kinds of different peoples and cultures, but there is one thing that binds them all together: the Spanish language. Spanish is what will assimilate a newcomer into Latin American society; Spanish is how you become accepted by them.
What about the issues of age, urban vs. rural, white vs. indigenous, and so on? They are all secondary, because they all come after Spanish is mastered. Then find your own niche / style through exploration and trial-and-error. You might be much more successful with the rural/indigenous areas, or you might find that your age in fact doesn't matter that much, but you will need to know Spanish well if you want to find out.
Same with China - speak Chinese. Same with Brazil - speak Portuguese. Same with Russia - speak Russian.
Happy language learning!
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I agree 100%. I just got back from a trip to Peru. When women realized I could speak fluent Spanish, I suddenly I got a lot more attention.
One situation in particular sticks out. I remember overhearing a conversation on a bus in Peru between cute two girls sitting behind me, one who found me rather attractive, but didn't want to approach me due to her poor English. They were not aware that I could understand them perfectly. From what I later found out from other girls, this is a rather common situation.
Latin America is not Europe, where nearly everyone speaks English. I can attest to the fact that speaking fluent Spanish will very much impress the ladies and give you many more opportunities. I'm not talking about one night stands and/or hookers, for which minimal Spanish is required. But if you're looking for a deeper relationship, speaking Spanish fluently will actually allow to communicate with the ladies. And instead of only being able to pursue the small minority of girls that speak English, you can pursue any girl in the country!
And it's really not that hard to learn Spanish. In fact, it's probably one of the easiest languages for a native English speaker to learn. Before my trip, I studied for about 1-3 hours a day for a little less than a year, and most Peruvians were very impressed with my Spanish. All needed were a couple workbooks, Skype, YouTube, and some bootlegged audioprograms. After my trip I would say that I'm somewhere between advanced and fluent. If I had learned Chinese instead, I may have possibly reached the intermediate level, at best. Spanish is NOT that hard!
Anyways guys, don't limit yourselves! Take the time to learn the language! It will be worth it. I'm planning on spending 2-3 months in Peru again next Summer, and am more motivated than ever to continue learning the language. Feel free to PM me or ask me any questions.
I agree too. I think it's not just a matter of showing respect towards their society and culture. By mastering Spanish, you're giving yourself the golden chance of engaging in a good conversation with those ladies that sport brains as well as good looks. I have the shiny example of Colombia in my mind: my gosh the large cities of Colombia (Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, etc) are jam-packed with young ladies who are not only gorgeous, but also well educated (read lawyers, doctors, engineers) and can entertain an exciting conversation whilst keeping up with the flirting. The blissful combo stimulation of brain and groin...what else could a decent man expect from life?
Hey -- I actually give a damn about other countries. I'm very interested in learning as many languages as I can, and Spanish is one of them.
If I get my passport renewed, and my credit card comes through, I'll be headed to Paraguay for a while.
So I agree with this post 100%!
Self-improvement addict. Always striving for perfection.
Order your FBI report ASAP (if you're American) and make an appointment at the PY consulate up here (with passport and birth cert). They can initiate PR process for you, to be compLeted down there with the help of a fixer. Easy PR. Libertarian country. Great 2nd passport.
Last edited by Jester on June 1st, 2012, 6:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=pa ... 2AWc8eXDDQ
EXCELLENT ADVICE FALCON! I agree 100%. I can say from experience that this is accurate. I also agree with doing everything in Spanish. It's one of the best things I've done for myself. I feel at home in the language and it makes traveling to Latin America and interacting with natives so much better.
Could you elaborate a bit, sir? PR? PY? FBI report? What are these strange things you speak of!?
Great article, thanks.