If there’s one thing that can damage a travelling experience, it’s feeling completely ostracised and lost due to lack of communicative ability. Nowadays it’s common that many countries have some level of English, which makes it easier for international travelling, but not every country. According to EF’s latest English Proficiency World Index (Nordic countries ranking the highest level of English bilingualism, Africa and East Asian ranking the lowest), Spain is in the middle, ranking at #28, which means that there’s a 50/50 chance the person won’t understand you. Whether you want to book a table, ask information about a certain building, directions, or god forbid, you have an accident, it’s essential to know the basics to get around. So here is a list of some must-know phrases and words.
Hola – Hello
Que tal? Como Estas? – How are you?
Buenos Días -Good Morning/ Good Day
Buenas Tardes – Good Afternoon
Buenas noches – Good Night
Hasta Luego – Goodbye (more casual)
Adiós – Goodbye
¿Donde esta….? – Where is…?
El bar – the Bar
El Restaurante – The Restaurant
El Hospital – The Hospital
La Comisaría – The Police Station
La Calle – The Street
Estoy buscando… – I am looking for…
No Encuentro …- I can’t find …
¿Me puedes indicar …? – Can you show me to…?
A la izquierda – To the Left
A la Derecha – To the Right
Todo Recto – Straight Ahead
Al final de… – At the End of
Me pones un vaso de agua for favor? – Could you give me a glass of water please ?
Que tenéis? – What do you have?
Con Hielo – With ice
Cerveza – Beer
Vino – Wine
Coctel – cocktail
Vaso – Glass
Café con Leche – Milky coffee
Una Mesa para… – A table for…
Pescado – Fish
Carne – Meat
Opción Vegetariana – Vegetarian
Me da una carta por favor? – Can I have the Menu please? (Don’t confuse Menu in Spanish with is a Set lunch or set dinner )
The Bill – La Cuenta
When asked how you would like to pay you can answer either
En Efectivo – With Cash
Con Tarjeta – By Card