Speaking English in Nicaragua, big no-no?

Hola Amigos!

Ok get this, I called my good friend (to his cellphone) who lives in Nicaragua a few days ago and he was on a bus, we spoke in English-since I'm still trying to learn enough Spanish, and he knows English... We talked for a good 15 minutes before the connection got lost. Anyways, I talked to him again today and he told me that there was an older woman on the bus and after he got off of the phone with me she was pretty much yelling at him saying things like, this is Nicaragua & in Nicaragua we speak Spanish not English. She also told him that she knows English, but in Nicaragua we don't speak English. or "en nicaragua hablamos espanol no ingles..(angry face)." see what did I say, my Spanish is not very good. He in turn told the woman that his friend in the US doesn't speak Spanish so he was talking to me in English, nonetheless she still chided him. ANYWAYS, i'll cut to the chase... Is it wrong to speak English at all in Nicaragua? Will people give me dirty looks? I was there in June & a lot of people were very kind to me, I tried to speak some Spanish, but others kind of looked at me strangely. Do you think that it would be extremely improper and grounds for violence if I return to Nicaragua to visit my friend and we speak English?

I seriously need to learn more Spanish & quick.

I guess some people dislike Americans (although I am one-I don't totally/totally/ disagree with them..but still.

Oh well. What do you think?

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Opinions are like belly buttons,

your friend ran into a crackpot. Be advised, though, that:

1) The educated half of all Nicaraguans have taken several years of English in school. This doesn't make them fluent, or even conversant, in English, but they often understand a little.

2) Several Nic. universities require their graduates to PROOVE they are fluent in English as a condition of graduating. This is for all majors, not just language majors. The theory is that professions are supposed to be able to talk with their peers and customers. Peers and customers in a little Spanish-speaking country "so far from God, so close to the United States" (if I can borrow a Mexican joke) are heavily English-speakers or Europeans who have learned English.

3) People who don't speak Spanish don't belong in Nicaragua, unless they want to be a perpetual fringe element. Best bet: study spanish in the states where the living/studying conditions are better, plan on at least 4 weeks in an immersion school when you arrive, and then set up a self-study or tutoring plan.

ask yourself.....

do I want to fit into the community and be able to talk to my neighbor, or do I want to be a long term tourist? Go to spanish class and pay attention, was the only conclusion I could come to when I asked that of myself. I think Tacomasteve and Cookshow both make good points. Respect goes a long way in any community. Calm down, nobody is gonna beat you up.

my husband feels what's rude is

talking on the cell phone. (especially in public. we had to make an agreement that there would be no talking on the cell while we drive around in the car.) I think it's kind of silly but I have my silly things so I stay off the cell phone when I'm around my husband.

There are already so many English speakers in Nicaragua.... it's inevitable

People want to speak English

My almost universal experience has been that anyone with a bit of English wants to talk to you in English for practice. Many times I have had to force them to Spanish because I couldn't understand their English.

ok to speak English

in Nicaragua,but try no to do it on the bus,because people might feel like you are talking about them (most people on the bus is poor class and they don't have education.

English in Fine

There shouldn't be any hostility towards any body speaking a foreign languae, not just English for that matter. With the few,unpolite and ignorant few.

There are plenty of other nationalities in Nicaragua other than USA, Germans are very predominant as well, and they talk in German with no problems.

Remember, most of the population is ok with another foreign language being spoken,but there is always those that may dislike it.

Don't we have the same problem in the States? Certain red-necks don't like spanish being spoken, and they give you the same lines you mentioned above"This is America, You need to speak English".

Thou,I strongly believe this does NOT hold true in Nicaragua.

Thanks Pinolero! Yeah, I

Thanks Pinolero! Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.. It's just too bad people are that way, but we can't necessarily change the world. lol. It would really help to know what people are saying though when I'm there... I wish I were smarter. haha. :)

don't forget

this English language exchange happened on a cell phone on a crowded bus and lasted for 15 minutes...I'd bet the old woman was as annoyed with the cell phone as she was with the English...

On the bus

She was probably just pissed that someone on the bus was screaming into a cell phone for 15 minutes (as I would be if they were near me). Common courtesy is always a nice touch no matter where you are.

If English can't be spoken in Nicaragua then there are one hell of a lot of people in trouble on the Atlantic.