A while back, I wrote French Lessons: Useful Phrases for the French Speaking World.
I got some pretty good feedback on that post so I figured I would continue this series with a Spanish language post for those of you who are planning on traveling within the Spanish speaking world. I studied Spanish for several years and also live within 30 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border, so I speak and understand more than enough Spanish to get by when traveling. I would love to become fluent someday, though. I’m torn between my French studies and my Spanish studies.
Anyway, if you’re planning on heading to the Mexican riviera for some beach time, to Madrid for some tapas, or for a lovely stroll around the streets of Buenos Aires, chances are you’ll want to brush up on your Spanish a little before you go. As with anywhere in the world, a little bit of the language goes a long way, so I wanted to prepare you with a few useful phrases that you can use when traveling through the Spanish speaking world.
No: No. (easy!)
Please: Por favor
Thank you: Gracias
Thank you very much: Muchas gracias
You’re welcome: De nada.
I don’t understand: No entiendo
I need… Yo necesito……
How much does it cost?: ¿Cuánto cuesta?
Do you speak English?: ¿Hablas inglés?
I don’t speak Spanish: No hablo español.
I don’t speak Spanish very well: No hablo español muy bien.
Excuse me: ¡Perdón!
Pardon me/Sorry: ¡Lo siento!
Can you help me, please?: ¿Me podría ayudar por favor?
Can I get on the internet?: ¿Puedo conectarme con el internet?
Is there a public phone here?: ¿Hay algún teléfono público aquí?
Where is the bathroom?: ¿Dónde está el baño?
How much does that cost?: ¿Cuánto cuesta?
Could you repeat that, please?: Repita, por favor.
What’s your name?: ¿Cómo se llama?
Where is the metro/underground/subway?: ¿Dónde está el metro?
If you’re really interested in learning more than just a few phrases in Spanish, you can also check out these resources that I’ve used myself in my language studies and have found useful and enjoyable (also, they are free, which is a huge plus):
Podcast: Coffee Break Spanish (please note this podcast teaches Spanish with the Spain dialect, which was a bit hard to get used to for somebody like me who is used to the Mexican dialect).
Also check out this YouTube Video from Polyglot Pablo: