While it would be great to speak 4 or 5 languages fluently, not too many people are immersed in this on a daily basis. On our backcountry trips, our guides are fluent in many of the languages that we travel to. Spanish is one of the languages where everyone will be able to pick up a little here and there, as you spend time in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. In Brazil, Portuguese is the native language and is definitely a bit harder to learn, unless you have studied it for a while. Being able to say a few words and phrases will be helpful, but most local residents are able to speak English and are pleased you are visiting their countries. We do recommend bringing along dictionaries and phrase books on your holiday.