Hola! Even after more than a year of studying Italian with Rick, I always default to wanting to say hola to start a conversation. Perhaps it’s just all those repetitions we did in high school that it’s just drilled into my brain, as well as: Muy bien, gracias, y usted?
As a romance language, it has a lot in common with Catalan, Italian, and Portuguese, as well as some other similarities with French and Romanian. It can sound lively and loud or seductive and soft and is the second most commonly spoken language right behind Chinese.
Spanish is spoken in many countries though the dialects do change depending on the country and region. For the most part though, these travel phrases will get you by in Spanish-speaking countries.
Helpful Spanish phrases for travelers
English Spanish (pronunciation)
Hello Hola (oh-la)
Good morning/day Buenos dias (bway-nos dee-ahs)
Good evening Buenos noches (bway-nos noh-chays)
Goodbye Adios (ah-dee-ohs)
How are you? Como estas? (coh-moh es-tahs)
Good, thank you Bien, gracias (bee-yen, grah-see-ahs)
Polite expressions and essential phrases in Spanish
Yes Si (see)
No No (no)
Please Por favor (pore fah-vore)
Thank you Gracias (grah-see-ahs)
You’re welcome De nada (day nah-dah)
Excuse me Permiso (pear-mee-soh)
I’m sorry Lo siento (low see-ehn-toe)
I don’t understand Yo no entiendo (yo no en-tee-en-do)
Do you speak English Habla ingles? (a-blah een-glace)
I don’t speak Spanish No hablo espanol (no ah-blow ess-spahn-yohl)
What time is it? Que hora es? (keh oh-rah ess)
When? Cuando? (kwahn-doh)
Ordering food & drinks & shopping
I would like Quiero (kyeh-roh)
Water Agua (ah-gwah)
Beer Cerveza (sehr-vay-sah)
Wine Vino (Vee-no)
Breakfast Desayuno (deh-sah-yoo-noh)
Lunch Almuerzo (al-mooh-er-soh)
Dinner Cena (seh-nah)
The bill, please La cuenta, por favor (Lah kwehn-tah, pore fah-vore)
How much? Cuanto cuesta? (kwan-toh kways-tah)
Money Dinero (dee-neh-roh)
Credit card Tarjetas de credito (tar-heh-tass deh kreh-dee-toh)
Directions and travel
Where is…? Donde esta? (don-day es-tah)
Where is the bathroom? Donde esta el bagno? (don-day es-tah ell bahn-yo)
How do I get to…? Como llego a…? (koh-moh yeh-goh ah)
Want to really study Spanish before your trip? I absolutely love the For Dummies series of language books as they really explain the language and even provide fun tips and exercises. Check out the economical four-in-one Spanish for Dummies to really get a good grasp on the language!
What’s your favorite Spanish-speaking country to visit? Tell us in the comments below!
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