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Old October 09, 2017, 12:13 PM
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wrholt wrholt is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
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I agree with Rusty: Costa Rica is a wonderful place to visit!

Also like Rusty, I'm not a big fan of automated translation systems. While they are improving (slowly), they generally do a poor job translating idioms or figures of speech. Online translation sites generally have similar drawbacks.

However, for my first trip to Brazil several months ago I installed the Google Translate app and its English-Portuguese dictionary onto my smart phone, and used the bilingual-dictionary features at wordreference.com as a method to cross-check the app's suggested translations. I found using that combination of tools to occasionally be useful for finding an acceptable translation for some word or short expression in Portuguese. These tools also have English-Spanish dictionaries.

Even so, I don't find using translation apps or sites to be useful while having a conversation: it interferes too much with the flow of the conversation, and I find it to be more effective to find some more round-about way to convey what I wish to say.

Another suggestion: have a supply of 3-by-5 cards, and use them to write down the name and address of the place you want to go to, and have one with the name and address of the place where you are lodging. This can make it easier for you to inform your taxi driver where you wish to go so they can tell you an estimate of what the fare should be. If you are staying at a hotel, the concierge or reception desk clerk should be able to suggest what typical fares should be, and whether or not its customary for tourists or foreign visitors to pay a different fare than a local resident would.

Last edited by wrholt; October 09, 2017 at 12:17 PM.