We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

First time to Cancun: do I need a Spanish phrase book?

In cooperation with: Visit Mexico
Which Cancun hotels are on sale?
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
See hotels
Adams Morgan
Level Contributor
17 posts
1 review
Save Topic
First time to Cancun: do I need a Spanish phrase book?

Boyfriend and I are leaving for Cancun on Thursday. We were planning on picking up a phrase book to help us at the airport, hotel, etc. I took several years of Spanish in high school and was planning to use the phrase book as a vocab refresher for our trip. Several friends have told me to save my time and money because everyone speaks English. Is this true?

Northern Suburb of...
Level Contributor
1,150 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: First time to Cancun: do I need a Spanish phrase book?

Yes...they all speak English...sometimes better than us.

Saint Louis...
Level Contributor
3,602 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: First time to Cancun: do I need a Spanish phrase book?

You do not need to purchase it. Most people you come in contact with, waiters, cab drivers, hotel front desk, speak english.

In a Little Cafe...
Destination Expert
for Cancun
Level Contributor
10,784 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: First time to Cancun: do I need a Spanish phrase book?

It wouldn't hurt you, I wouldn't be spending more than a

couple bucks on it though. As others have stated, there's

enough of the local populace that is working bilingual.

However, the locals do get a kick out of the travellers that

attempt to speak and understand the language and are

often willing teachers. It's also a way to make a few friends

among the locals. All those years of HS Spanish will come

roaring back when you read the signs, menus and the like.

Speaking and understanding will be a bit more difficult,

especially among the Maya, the original locals whom have

a mixed dialect of Mayan, Spainish and sometimes broken

English.

Iowa
Level Contributor
618 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: First time to Cancun: do I need a Spanish phrase book?

I downloaded a spanish software program for free on the web. It is called before you know it. You could try searching for it. I think I searched for free spanish software or something like that.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
2,659 posts
Save Reply
5. Re: First time to Cancun: do I need a Spanish phrase book?

Get the Langenscheidt's Spanish Phase books. They are the best. I posted 2 commercial bookstores on here, and my post was removed. Look at the books in the big stores. You can't miss the covers, they are bright yellow, and plastic. Perfect size for travel with everything, broken down to phonetic pronunciation, and sections. Small enough to fit in the palm of your hand or back pocket. This company makes all different kinds of books. They're the best!