Spanish is Mexico’s official language, although a very small percentage of the population speak some form of Amerindian language. The Mexican government has officially recognised 63 native Amerindian dialects as national languages.
Mexican Spanish and the Spanish you would encounter in Spain are intrinsically the same, but there are some notable differences, such as variations of pronunciation and grammar use.
There are also some purely Mexican expressions.
Typically Spanish is spoken more slowly in Mexico and pronunciation is often clearer.
The level of English spoken in Mexico isn’t as high as in some nations so to get the most out of your new life you’ll need to learn the language. Not only will the locals appreciate the effort but there will be many situations in which a working knowledge of Spanish is essential.
As with any language, there are a host of options available for learning Spanish. Pick the one that will work with your schedule and learning style.
Specialist language courses are always a great place to start and are available through a variety of institutions. If you’re nervous about learning a language being with other beginners can really help and intensive courses can get you going quickly.
Absorbing the language through immersion is a fantastic way of really understanding phrasing and pronunciation. Before arriving in Mexico language DVD’s, books and online courses can be used in conjunction or alone and are excellent tools for practice. As your confidence builds read Mexican newspapers and watch Mexican films.
In Mexican television programmes you’ll hear people speaking at a natural speed and in a variety of tones. With frequent watching you’ll soon find yourself moving from associating words with actions to really understanding the dialogue.
The rate you’ll learn Spanish is directly linked to the amount of effort you put in. Constant practice over a long period of time will yield the best results, but you can fit practice around a busy schedule.
You might also find a practice partner useful. Through lively conversations you can encourage and test each other. If you don’t have a friend or family member who wants to learn Spanish you might be able to become involved in a language exchange!