If you are considering learning Spanish in Panama, it is essential that you realize their culture of welcoming foreigners with open arms. Their people are exceptionally hospitable.
One of the best ways to learn Spanish is enrolling in a Spanish language course! Panama has several such offerings in Boquete, Bocas del Toro and Panama City – just choose what’s right for you!
1. Learn the Basics
There are various approaches to Spanish learning in Panama that suit your level and budget. If you are serious about studying it, immersion courses provide full-time Spanish learning environments without English being spoken during class sessions; though more expensive, these intensive programs can quickly bring fluency in short order.
Another approach would be working with a private tutor or using an online Spanish app such as Duolingo. Both options may be cheaper and provide valuable feedback about pronunciation and grammar which may otherwise be difficult to detect from an app!
If you don’t feel ready to commit to an immersion course or are on a tight budget, start small by learning the fundamentals of Spanish while living in Panama. Speak Spanish with as many locals as possible – don’t be intimidated if your attempts at speaking their language don’t always go smoothly; most Panamanians understand and often even pride themselves on welcoming foreigners into speaking their native tongue – particularly in more traditional areas where only Spanish is spoken! Doing this is also a fantastic way of becoming part of Panamanian culture!
2. Go With the Flow
When learning Spanish in Panama, it’s essential to stay adaptable and follow the flow. Panamanians are extremely welcoming people who will gladly assist you with practicing your Spanish – and might even teach you some local dialect or slang! For instance, Panamanians tend to drop the final sound in verbs, leading them to use words such as rei (for refrigerator) instead of refrigerador (fridge) and llora, canta, hace instead of rear, retratar and cantar.
Panama City, where many speak some level of English, boasts many loan words from English that you’ll recognize everywhere – for instance mae as an informal way of addressing either friends or men; chingo as a slang term for “gringo”, and guagua as public transportation are just a few examples.
Food and drinks in Panama’s various regions offer something delicious for every palette. Master the most beloved dishes like gallo pinto, arroz con pollo and bananas flambe with ease in no time, as well as learning all those exotic fruit names at local markets! You could even join one of Panama’s expat Facebook groups and look for a cooking teacher!
3. Get Out There
Panama is a multicultural nation, and this diversity has had a considerable effect on its language, which includes Spanish. Many Panamanians speak a mix of standard Spanish and a unique Panamanian Spanish dialect with unique slang, pronunciation, and idiomatic terms. If you’re interested in embracing this linguistic diversity, you can learn Spanish in Panama to fully immerse yourself in the local language and culture.
Panamanians commonly employ voseo, which refers to an address using “you” instead of the more conventional “t”. Furthermore, they tend to drop final sounds from many words such as rei (bus), llora (cry), canta (sing) and hace (to do).
Immersing yourself in Panamanian Spanish is the key to mastery – taking classes at a reliable Spanish school every day and spending as much time with native speakers who only speak Spanish can make learning the language easy and seamless. Start this process well in advance of moving to Panama so that the transition will go as smoothly as possible.
Panamanians are well known for their hospitality and kindness, making them ideal partners to practice your Spanish with. They will gladly assist with any difficulties in learning the language – even if they don’t fully comprehend all your words!
Panama offers an amazing diversity in landscape and adventure activities that provide the ideal place for practicing Spanish. Many language schools in Panama work with trusted tour operators so that exciting outdoor adventures can be part of your study abroad experience. Uber drivers tend to be quite friendly and enjoy engaging their passengers in conversation – which makes learning Spanish much simpler!
4. Make Friends
Making friends while learning Spanish is crucial; these connections will both help your practice and provide fun social opportunities. Panama boasts a large expat community and there are various ways to meet people here – joining one of the many active Facebook expat groups will allow you to meet locals interested in Spanish learning as a starting point.
Engaging with local sporting events or social clubs is another effective way to meet new people. For instance, hiking enthusiasts could join an organized hike group while bookworms might want to consider book clubs or writers workshops. You could even attend local festivals and concerts where people who share your interests might come together.
Panamanians are friendly and welcoming people. They’re particularly patient with foreigners trying to learn their language, particularly if you take time to immerse yourself in their culture and traditions. You may notice that Panamanians speak quickly with distinct accents from other Latin American countries – making understanding them much simpler.
Unlocking Panama’s vibrant culture and language will enrich your life in many ways, so if you’re seeking adventure off-the-beaten-path, consider Panama as your next Spanish learning destination!