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Non Spanish Speaker in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Non Spanish Speaker in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Old May 5, 17, 1:50 pm
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Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 1
Lightbulb Non Spanish Speaker in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Any advice for a non-Spanish speaker who is going to be in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic for 5 days. I am not worried about going out on my own and exploring but if I can't communicate with anyone it seriously restricts the amount of fun you can have. I heard not many speak English in this city.

Any advice would be appreciated.

jnakfor is offline  
Old May 6, 17, 8:44 am
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You are not the first, nor the last person that will encounter this situation. There are indeed locals that do speak and understand English. The Dominican Republic is not that "behind the times" so to speak. If you are staying in a mayor resort or hotel, you will not have problems, in this day and age, you can download a translator app to your phone, get a pocket dictionary and try to memorize some key words.

Like any place you visit, do some research on where you are going, what you want to see and how to get there. Print out some information or maps and become familiarized with the local transportation. When I last visited, and that was several years ago, I manage to hire a local cab driver who drove me around a couple of days for exploration. He stayed with me everywhere we went to, and waited for me when we where visiting. We paid less than $100 for the 2 day service, and his lunch as well.

Good luck, and enjoy your visit.

Last edited by arollins; May 6, 17 at 8:49 am
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Old May 22, 17, 8:42 am
Join Date: May 2017
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I am here now in the Santo Domingo and staying in a hotel in the Colonial Zone. You are right, I am having trouble with communicating with individuals because I don't speak Spanish and many don't speak English. All the hotels will at least have someone at the front desk that can speak English but when you are out on the streets, not many speak English. That's OK we are visiting their country. Arollins gave some good advice. I have an Android so I downloaded the Google translator. If you take the additional step of downloading the Spanish language package onto your phone (English is already installed) then you can use the translator without internet. This is important because there are very few places outside of the hotel that I can find a WIFI connection.

Before I leave the hotel I have written down all the places I want to go so I don't have to worry about pronouncing the words correctly, etc.

I also think Arolllins was spot on with the advice for the taxi. I think I might be using the same taxi company he did. There are 3 of the drivers that speak English (2 great and 1 good enough). They have been life savers for me. I spend part of the day getting around on my own and then it's nice to have them. While it is fun trying to do it all on your own, it does become overwhelming if you can't communicate to get what you need, see, eat or drink. Not only have them been driving me but they translate for me as well. I highly recommend them and the translator. I Googled, English speaking taxi in Santo Domingo and I found them. I think the name of their company is Santo Domingo Taxi. The owner is an American living there so his English is perfect. Tomorrow they are driving me from Santo Domingo to Las Terrenas. I heard in Las Terrenas a lot of the locals speak English. I hope so. Ha-Ha
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