When I first moved to Costa Rica, just over a year ago, I had just a basic understanding of Spanish. I took two years in high school. I graduated high school in 1993, so that was a little while ago. Also, when in high school the Spanish that I learned was Mexican Spanish, it’s a little different down here. I am doing a lot better now, but I still have a long way to go. Before we moved down here I bought the entire Spanish for Dummies, that hasn’t really helped. I have tried a few different courses on-line, some are better than others. We have also tried a tutor, but we moved and it was a little hard for her to get to our house because of work and the bus schedule. So, we have been slacking for a while. My husband has 67% hearing loss so it is extra hard for him. He just can’t hear it to learn it. Now we have hired a teacher. She is originally from the States and is a very nice young lady. She is only charging us $5 an hour. Not bad for a private teacher. My husband needs to start off with the basics so he had the class tonight. I think that this is really going to help him, having a one on one teacher. She even brought us over some books that are in Spanish and English, so you can read both languages. So, my recommendation for everyone is to at least have a basic understanding of Spanish before coming here, or have someone with you who can translate. If you are in a tourist destination you won’t have any problems, but if you are going to a rural area you will need Spanish, even at the largest mall in Costa Rica you will need Spanish. Everyone in my town has been very patient with me and know that I am trying to learn and remember. If I try to say something and I don’t say it right they will usually laugh and smile and then help me to say it the correct way. So I pretty much have everyone in my town being a tutor for me. They know I try and they try to help me, they are truly wonderful people here.