Spanish Lessons for Travellers – The Essentials
Spanish-speaking countries are very polite societies and you must always be courteous and say “hello” and “how are you?”. Don’t worry about making mistakes. They will try their utmost to understand you and to make sure you understand them. Just try your best and they will be so happy with your effort.Good morning – Buenos días (bway nos dee ahs)Good afternoon – Buenas tardes (bway nahs tar days)Good evening – Buenas noches (bway nahs noh chayss)Hola (oh lah) is “hi” and you can say that with people you know.¿Cómo está? (coh moh es tah) is “how are you?” if you don’t know someone and ¿Cómo estás? (coh moh es tahs) if you do know them.If they ask you how you are, you can say “good, thank you” – “bien, gracias” (bee ayn, grah cee ahs) because you, too, are a polite person.Don’t ever forget: Please – Por favor (por fah vohr) – and Thank you – Gracias (grah cee ahs). These are VERY IMPORTANT words in Spanish.When you are introduced to someone, you say “Mucho gusto” (moo choh goos toh) and they will say the same thing back to you. It means, “nice to meet you.”¿Habla inglés? (ahblah een glays)? – Do you speak English? While it is never correct to assume that someone speaks English, you can ask if they do and they will like you so much better for asking in Spanish.
Basic vocabulary for many uses
You can go far with some very easy-to-remember words and phrases. You can always use “I want,” “I like,” “Do you have…?” and if you don’t know the noun, you can simply point at the object.I want, I don’t want – Yo quiero, yo no quiero (yoh kee ayr oh, yoh noh kee ayr oh)I would like (more polite) – Me gustaría (may goo stah ree ah)Where is – ¿Dónde está? (dohn des tah)How much does it cost – ¿Cuánto cuesta? (cwahn toh cways tah)?What time is it? – ¿Qué hora es? (kay orah ess)?Do you have? – ¿Tiene? (tee ayn ay)?I have, I don’t have – Yo tengo, yo no tengo (yoh tayn goh, yoh noh tayn goh)I understand, I don’t understand – Yo entiendo, yo no entiendo (yoh ayn tee ayn doh, yoh noh ayn tee ayn doh)Do you understand? – ¿Entiende? (ayn tee ayn day)?
Have a great trip! Ten un buen viaje!