002 – ¿Sólo te Hablan en Inglés? | Do They Only Speak to You in English?

In this episode, Jim shares some of his tips on what to do when a Spanish native speaker only talks to you in English. This is something that happens a lot, especially when you’re visiting touristy places in Spanish speaking countries.

Jim has had the opportunity to live in two different Spanish speaking countries, Mexico and Puerto Rico (which is technically a territory, not a country, but the culture feels very distinct from the rest of the US) and he has met many native spanish speakers living in the U.S. His experience in each place has been a little different.

Jim and May go in depth in this conversation and explore cultural aspects about Mexico, Puerto Rico, and life in the U.S. as an immigrant. Jim also shares how this situation makes him feel and why he thinks that some native Spanish speakers like to reply in English.

After finding himself repeatedly in the same situations, when all he wanted to do was to immerse himself in the Spanish language in every place he was visiting, Jim decided that he was not going to simply give up. He created a toolkit of strategies that he’s been using ever since. These tools have been key in his spanish learning journey to make the most of the places and situations he puts himself in to keep improving his Spanish.

For example, that time when Jim and May were in Vieques, Puerto Rico and were about to enter a small store on the side of the road where there was a group of gringos drinking beer right by the door. One of the men started greeting them in English and Jim, feeling like he wanted to mess with this guy, answered back in German. The guy didn’t know what to say, but Jim told him that he also spoke Spanish and so the conversation quickly followed in Spanish.

And that’s just one of the tips Jim shares during this episode. Listen in to practice your Spanish, and get even more tips so that you know what to do when you find yourself in a similar situation.