People commonly ask about how important it is to learn Spanish when they are moving to Mexico; it is possible to live in Mexico without speaking the language, of course. Read on to find out if you really need to learn Spanish before moving to Mexico.
Your answer depends on where you want to live in Mexico
There are some parts of Mexico in which you will most certainly need to know a little bit of Spanish in order to get by; while Mexico is way ahead of most Latin American countries in terms of the proportion of people who speak some English, there are places in which a lack of Spanish will make it almost impossible to get by when moving to Mexico without speaking Spanish.
On the other hand, however, the top tourist locations like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Acapulco, and Baja California are great places to live in Mexico if you are a native English speaker. These locations are not only populated by and large by native English speakers (mainly expats) who have chosen to make the area their home, but the local population, too, seem to speak English, by and large. Even people who consider themselves to not know English will have a good grasp (put it this way; they’re likely to know more English than you do Spanish).
On a side note, border towns are also full of bilingual people and so you would likely fare well speaking only English when moving to Mexico’s borders.
Do you want to survive or thrive?
Another thing to consider when deciding how important it is to learn Spanish when moving to Mexico is whether or not you want to thrive in this country. As we have mentioned, many places in the country are expat friendly, but you will miss out on many opportunities if you don’t speak Spanish. This is particularly true if you intend to move to Mexico and work or start a small business.
Do you want to live the expat lifestyle or have an authentic Mexican experience?
If you’re happy that your life in Mexico will be like creating a little America, then you don’t need to learn Spanish, but if you want to integrate into your new community you should consider learning some Spanish. If you are intent on becoming a fluent Spanish speaker, however, you should interact with the local people as much as possible. The Mexican people are so warm and inviting, and they are even more charming when you can converse with them in their own language!
How well do you speak English?
If you don’t English (then you are probably not reading this article anyway) or Spanish, you will find that it is somewhat a struggle when moving to Mexico. You will find that well-educated Mexicans are bilingual and maybe speak some French or German, but you will certainly struggle, even in the most tourist-ey, of areas to fully immerse in your new life if you do not speak Spanish or English.
Are you planning on working in Mexico?
If your plans include working in Mexico we would highly recommend to learn Spanish; it will open so many doors for you. High tier, professional careers will certainly expect you to have some understanding of Spanish.