Life Musings

Crash course in Spanish

       Disclaimer: I am no language expert. However, I have found it very helpful to learn a few phrases for getting around and making new friends in a foreign culture. I learned Spanish by doing just that-I spent a semester living and studying in Morelia, Mexico and I am currently in Shell, Ecuador volunteering. I also have a degree in Spanish, but really it is only a piece of paper. 98% of the Spanish I`ve learned I`ve done so outside of the classroom, and I`m still learning!
     This is by no means an exhaustive list and some words and phrases may change depending on the country, but here are some basics to get you started! Remember even a small effort at speaking the native language will go a long way and will open you up to a new perspective! Please read my post about social etiquette which discusses when to use certain expressions and greetings.
Buenos Dias – Good Morning

Buenas Tardes – Good Afternoon (often abbreviated to ´Buenas´)
Buenas NochesGood night (only used after dark)
¿Cómo está? How are you?
¿Cómo se llama? – What is your name? (note: the ll is pronounced always as a ´y´)
Me llamo – My name is
Mucho gusto – Nice to meet you
Que le vaya bien – That it goes well with you (often used in saying goodbye)
Hasta lugeo – Until later (note: the ´h´ in Spanish is always silent).
Nos vemos – We`ll see each other

Getting Help
Disculpe – Excuse me
¿Habla inglés? – Do you speak english?
No entiendo – I don`t understand
Necesito ayuda- I need help
No hablo español – I don`t speak Spanish
Está bien – It´s okay

Getting Around
¿Dónde está…? – Where is…?
El baño – The bathroom
El hostel – The hostel
El Banco – The bank
¿La parrada por el bús? – The bus stop?
El tren? – The train?
El aerpuerto? – The airport?
Pasaje/boleto – ticket
A la derecha – To the right

A la izquierda- To the left
Adelante – Straight ahead

¿Cuántos cuesta? How much does this cost?
GraciasThank you
Por favor – Please (often shortened to ¨Porfa¨)
Mercado – Market

Peluquería –Hair salon
Panadería – Bakery
Llavandería – Laundromat
Hay…? – Is there…?
Agua – Water
Comida – Food

*Spanish dictionary is another great online resource. It has all of the conjugations of verbs and a huge vocabulary of words you can translate. If you are a Spanish student or will be living in a Spanish speaking country for a period of time I would highly recommend buying 501 Spanish Verbs. My copy is well worn and tattered! My Spanish Adventure is another great blog that focuses on creative ways to acquire new language skills!

What has been your experience speaking a foreign language? Do you have any phrases or words that have been helpful to you while traveling?

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