Thinking about traveling to a Spanish speaking country? Congratulations, it might be one of the best trips you have ever had. Whether for business or pleasure, Latin American countries and Spain are always full of surprises ready to amaze us!
If the Spanish language has not been your preferred skill to work in, check out this survival list, brought to us by our friends at Languag3Online.
One concern people usually have about Spanish is the regional variations it has. “I learned some Spanish in Spain, will it be useful in Latin America?” or “I grabbed some phrases while traveling to Mexico, will it be useful in my next trip to Argentina?”. Fortunately, the answer to those questions is nothing but good news. Besides some words, and some differences between the use of tenses, Spain and Latin American Spanish are almost the same, at least regarding understanding the simple expressions you will need during a trip, or the language Spoken in a business environment. No worries at all!
With that concern out of the way, let’s learn useful expressions that will come handy while you are in foreign lands.
Spanish Greetings and Goodbye
- Buenos dias – Good Morning
- Buenas tardes – Good Evening
- Buenas noches – Good Night
- Hola – Hi
- Adios – Good-bye
- Hasta luego – Until next time
- Nos vemos – See you later
- ¿Como estas? – How are you?
- Estoy bien, ¿Y tu? – I’m fine, and you?
- Muy bien, gracias – Very well, thanks.
Numbers in Spanish
- 1 – Uno
- 2 – Dos
- 3 – Tres
- 4 – Cuatro
- 5 – Cinco
- 6 – Seis
- 7 – Siete
- 8 – Ocho
- 9 – Nueve
- 10 – Diez
Days of the week and time-related expressions
- Lunes – Monday
- Martes – Tuesday
- Miercoles – Wednesday
- Jueves – Thursday
- Viernes – Friday
- Sabado – Saturday
- Domingo – Sunday
- ¿A qué hora es mi vuelo? – What time is my flight?
- ¿Qué día es mi vuelo? – What day is my flight?
The most basic Essentials
- Por favor – Please
- Gracias – Thanks
- De nada – You’re Welcome
- No – No
- Si – Yes
- Lo siento – I’m sorry
- No entiendo – I don’t understand
- ¿Puede repetir por favor? – May you repeat that please?
- ¿Habla inglés? – Do you speak English?
- No hablo español – I don’t speak Spanish
- Hablo Ingles – I speak English
How to ask questions
- ¿Qué hora es? – What time is it?
- ¿Cuánto cuesta…? – How much is…?
- ¿Cuándo? – When?
- ¿Puedo por favor…? – May I please…?
- ¿Cómo te llamas? – What’s your name?
- ¿De dónde eres? – Where are you from?
- ¿Cómo puedo hacer eso? – How can I do that?
How to let people know you want something
- Me gustaria… – I’d like to…
- Quisiera… – I’d want to…
- Quiero… – I want…
For example, at a restaurant, you might say:
Hola, soy Vegetariano, me quisiera comer ensalada, frutas, vino y café, por favor.
– Hi, I am a vegetarian, I’d like to have the salad, fruits, wine and coffee, please.
Besides these expressions, a quick fact of Spanish grammar will be very useful when trying to build sentences: the verb “to be” is equivalent to “Ser”, “Estar” and “Hay”. If you learn the following forms, they will be extremely powerful to communicate in ways we will explain in a moment:
|Ustedes (you plural)||Son||Estan|
Why is this useful? Well, in Spanish, we use the verb “ser” to describe permanent features of things or people. This includes: name, physical description, profession, gender, nationality, and so on. While “estar”, is used to address temporary features, which will include location, position, mood, and so on. So, for example, using “Ser” and “Estar” only, we can describe people and things very accurately, using sentences like:
Hola, yo soy Gerard. Soy arquitecto. Soy de Estados Unidos. Estoy aquí de Vacaciones. Estoy muy feliz.
– Hi, I am Gerard. I am an architect. I come from United States. I am here on vacation. I am very Happy.
Ella es Nicole. Ella es Chef, es de Alemania. Esta en México de negocios. Ella está muy cansada.
– She is Nicole. She is a Chef, and comes from Germany. She is in Mexico for business. She is very tired.
El es Michael. El es mi Hermano. Esta aquí conmigo. Nosotros estamos emocionados.
– He is Michael, my brother. He is here with me, we are excited.
Additionally, “hay” translates as “there is” and “there are”. So, we can use it to say things like:
- ¿Hay vuelos disponibles para el martes? – Are there available flights on Tuesday?
- ¿Hay habitaciones disponibles? – Are there rooms available?
- ¿Hay aire acondicionado? – Is there air conditioning?
- ¿Hay opciones vegetarianas? – Are there vegan options?
- ¿Hay taxis disponibles ahora mismo? – Are there available taxis right now?
- ¿Hay vuelos disponibles para el martes? -Are there available flights on Tuesday?
If you are looking for a short course or in-depth training from home while you prepare for your trip, you may find languag3 online lessons useful!
Thanks for reading!
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