While traveling in a foreign country, it’s not a bad idea to have a bit of knowledge, or a cheat sheet.
English Spanish Pronunciation
Good morning. Buenos días. booEHN-os DEE-as
Good afternoon. Buenas tardes. booEHN-as TAR-dehs
Good evening. (greeting) Buenas noches. booEHN-as NO-chehs
Hello, my name is John. Hola, me llamo Juan. OH-la meh YA-mo Wahn
What is your name? ¿Cómo se llama usted? KOH-moh seh YA-mah oos- TEHD
How are you? ¿Cómo está usted? KOH-moh ehs-TA oos-TEHD
I am fine. Estoy bien. ehs-TOY bee-EHN
Nice to meet you. Mucho gusto. MOO-choh GOOS-toh
Goodbye. Adiós. ah-dee-OHS
See you later. Hasta luego. AHS-ta looEH-go
I am lost. Estoy perdido. ehs-TOY pehr-DEE-doh.
Where is the restroom? ¿Dónde está el baño? DOHN-deh ehs-TA el BAH- neeo
Excuse me. Con permiso. OR Perdóname kohn pehr-MEE-soh OR pehr- DOH-nah-meh
Please. Por favor. pohr fah-VOR
Thank you. Gracías. gra-SEE-ahs
I’m sorry. Lo siento. low see-EHN-to
Bless you. Salud. sah-LOOD
You are welcome (it was nothing). De nada. deh NA-da
How much does it cost? ¿Cuánto cuesta? kooAN-to KWEHS-ta
How many are there? ¿Cuántos hay? kooAN-tohs eye
There are many. Hay muchos. eye MOO-chohs
Do you want to buy this? ¿Quiere comprarlo usted? kee-EHR-eh kohm-PRAR-loh oos-TEHD
What time is it? ¿Qué hora es? keh OR-ah ehs
How do you say maybe in Spanish? ¿Cómo se dice maybe en Español? KOH-mo seh DEE-seh maybe ehn ehs-pahn-YOL
Yes. Sí. see
No. No. no
I do not understand. No intiendo. no in ti end o
Would you speak slower, please. Por favor, habla mas despacio.
pohr fah-VOR, AH-blah mahs dehs-phasio. Is the train on time? Es el tren a tiempo? Where is the next stop? ¿Dónde esta la próxima parada?
At what time…? A qué hora…. ah kay or-ah
Who? ¿Quièn? kee-EHN
Why? ¿Por què? pohr keh
Basic Sentence Structure
Subject + Verb + Object
Example: Yo quiero una tortilla. (I want a tortilla.)
Adjectives come after the word it describes, where in English the adjectives come before it: El libro rojo es mío. (The red book is mine.)
¿Dónde está…? – This is the building block of your “I’m lost” vocabulary; it means “Where is…?” Then it’s up to you to fill in the blank!
¿Dónde está mi hotel? – This one is useful if you’ve got una dirección (an address) or at least a name on hand; it’ll help you find your way to your hotel.
¿Dónde hay un banco? – If you’re looking for a nearby bank, this is the question to ask.
¿Dónde hay un cajero automático? – On the other hand, if you only need an ATM machine, you might want to go with this question instead.
¿Dónde hay un restaurante? – If you’re in search of a place to eat, this is how to ask for a restaurant.
¿Dónde hay un hospital? – Hopefully this one won’t be necessary, but if you need to find a hospital, this is how to do it.
¿Dónde puedo encontrar…? – This phrase means “Where can I find…?” If you’re looking for something that may not have an exact location, this is a more sensible way to phrase your question.
¿Dónde puedo encontrar un taxi? – If you need to find a taxi, this is a simple way to ask where to go.
¿Dónde puedo encontrar a un policía? – Hopefully this one won’t be necessary either, but if you need to talk to the authorities, this is the way to find a policeman.
Tengo una reservación. – Meaning “I have a reservation,” this can be useful whether you’ve been planning this dinner for weeks or are simply practicing your skills as a B.S. artist as well.
De tomar, quiero/quisiera… – “To drink, I would like…” Simple enough!
De entrada, quiero/quisiera… – If you’re eating out at a nice place, you’re probably starting with appetizers. This phrase means “For my appetizer, I would like…”
Como plato principal, quiero/quisiera… – Can you guess what this one means? “As a main course, I would like…” (Were you right? Great job!)
Yo soy vegetariano. – Vegetarianism throughout the Spanish-speaking world can be viewed with a bit of skepticism, so if you don’t eat meat be sure to declare “I’m vegetarian” very clearly! And then add…
No como… – “I don’t eat…” You can follow this up with carne (meat) for example, or any other dietary restriction you might have. (example: “No como carne o manteca” = “I don’t eat meat or lard”)
¡Salud! – The Spanish version of a simple “cheers,” be sure to give a hearty salud when the drinks arrive. Fun fact: this word also means “health” in Spanish.
¡Al centro y pa’ dentro! – If you’re out with friends and indulging in a few shots perhaps, this fun rhyming phrase literally meaning “to the center and gulp it down.” It’s a popular way to accompany a group toast.
Necesito ayuda. – Short and to the point, this phrase simply means “I need help.”
¿Usted habla inglés? – If you’re in a situation where asking for help is necessary, there’s probably some explaining that you’re going to have to do. Use this phrase to ask if someone speaks English.
¿Dónde puedo encontrar a alguien que hable inglés? – This is a longer one, but it’s included because it’s important. It means “Where can I find someone who speaks English?”