With four new 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 to Spain or Latin America.
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.
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!“
¿Cuanto cuesta? (KWAHN-toh KWAY-stah)
While shopping, use this question to ask “how much does it cost?“
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 tour? 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.