Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world with Mandarin being the first and English being the third. Spanish is spoken by over 400 million speakers, a language that will open up whole continents to you. It is the primary language of South and Central America, Spain and other parts of the world.
Learning a new language is fun and can often make your travels a lot easier. As you start exploring the world or if you choose to move abroad to work and travel, you’ll find that wherever you go due to globalisation there is always more then one language spoken in that country. Learning some of the top widely spoken languages may actually come in use even if you’re not in the national country where it’s originated.
Here’s a few phrases in Spanish that you can easily learn and get by with:
Hola – Hello
This is the most basic of the greetings and can be combined with other greetings as shown below such as Hola, buenos dias
Buenos dias – Good Morning
This literally means good morning and can be used cauualy to say good day, it’s most commonly used until noon.
Buenas tardes – Good Afternoon
This can be said in the afternoon most commonly after one. In Spain it may be used until later on in the evening whereas in most Latin American countries it’s used until sunset.
Buenas noches – Good Evening
This phrase is also used as a way of saying goodbye and can be used at the end of a conversation so be mindful of the context.
How are you?
¿Cómo está? – How are you? (formal)
This is the formal ways of asking people how someone is feeling and is often reserved for older people as a sign of respect. In some south american countries it’s best to use this one just to be on the safe side. When you’re about to have a business talk then it’s best to ask this first to show you care about the client.
¿Cómo estás? – How are you? (informal)
The only difference between this and the one above is the ‘s’ at the end whcih indicates that you’re talking to someone your age or younger.
¿Cómo están? – How are you (plural)
If you’re a greeting a group of people the ‘n’ at the end will indicate that just said hello to everyone. Also it’s common amongst Spanish speakers to kiss everyone on the cheek and for men to shake other men’s hands.
¿Qué tal? – How’s it going? (informal)
If you’re not in a business setting this is the informal way of saying how are you.
¿Hablas Ingles? – Do you speak English?
You may want to ask this if you need help but you know your Spanish will not be understood by the locals.
Puedes ayudarme por favor. – Can you help me please
If you want to ask for help whatever it may be for then say the following phrase.
¿Cómo puedo llegar a _____ ? – How do i get to____?
If you want to ask for directions start the sentence with this and then end it with your chosen location
al aeropuerto? – The airport?
la estación de autobuses? – The bus station?
la estación de tren? – The train station
al centro? – The town centre?
el hotel _____ ? – the ____ hotel?
¿Está lejos? (esta lekhos) – Is it far?
Get to know someone
Cómo se llama? – (What is your name?)
This is literally translated as “What do you call yourself?” To answer, say
Me llamo _____. – (My name is _____.)
After s/he introduces himself/herself then you can say:
Mucho gusto – (Nice to meet you.)
This phrase is a standard response and means “much pleasure.” You’re telling the other person that you’re pleased to meet him/her
¿Cómo está usted? – (How are you?)
Now you’re being asked how you’re feeling. There are many ways to answer this, depending of course on how you’re feeling:
- bien (good)
- muy bien (very good)
- así-así (so-so)
- mal (bad)
- muy mal (very bad)
¿Dónde vive? – Where do you live?
¿De dónde es? – Where are you from?
¿Cuántos años tiene usted? – How old are you?