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Travel tips

Spanish phrases to know before you go

May 22, 2016 by Laura Barber

With plenty of Spanish and Latin American destinations to explore, we thought it was about time we brushed up on our Spanish. For anyone else who may not have retained as much of those high school language classes as they thought they would, here are a few simple phrases that will help you connect with the locals on your next tour of Spain or Latin America.

Key Spanish phrases to know before you go

Buenos días (BWEHN-ohs DEE-yahs) This is how you wish someone “good morning.” Later in the day, you can greet people with a simple “hola,” meaning “hello.”

¿Cómo está? (COH-moh es-TAH) Use this question to ask “how are you?” If someone asks you, respond with estoy muy bien, ¿y usted? Which means, “I’m very well, and you?”

¿Habla inglés? (AH-blah een-GLAYS) It’s always best to address people in their native language while traveling. Use this more formal way of asking someone “do you speak English?” If the answer is “sí” (yes), feel free to carry on the conversation in English. If not, you can always ask your Tour Director for help translating.

Gracias GRAH-see-AHS)_ Use this word to say**“thank you**.”

Por favor (pohr FAH-vohr) The way Spanish speakers say “please.”

De nada (deh NAH-dah) When translated literally, it means “of nothing.” But when used in casual conversation, it’s how you should say “you’re welcome.”

Con permiso (cohn pehr-ME-so) Say this when you have to squeeze your way through a crowd. In English, it means “excuse me.” However, if you’re trying to get someone’s attention to ask a question, say “_me _disculpe” instead.

La cuenta por favor (lah KWAYN-tah pohr FAH-vohr) Out to eat and ready to pay? “Check, please!

¿Cuánto cuesta? (KWAHN-toh KWAY-stah) While shopping, use this question to ask “how much does it cost?

*Adiós (AH-dee-OHS)* This is the most common way to say “goodbye.” For something a little more informal, try “hasta luego” (“see you later!”).

Looking to get a few more Spanish words and phrases under your belt before you head out on a tour of Spain or Latin America? Try this free site to help you practice. Or, to be prepared for any situation when you’re on-the-go, download this handy dictionary app for your iPhone before you leave.


About the author | Laura Barber
It all began on a school trip to London in 7th grade. Since that first jaunt across the pond, Laura has been hooked on all things travel (and British for that matter). When she's not at work using her words to help people find their own adventures, she can be found running 5ks, refining her cribbage game, or rewatching The Office for the 100th time.

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