When visiting Barcelona, whether you are staying there for a brief or extended amount of time, it is important to have some useful Spanish travel phrases at hand. While Spain is known for its warm and welcoming personalities, you are not going to get very far interacting with this friendly people without a basic foundation in common Spanish phrases. Below is a basic survivor’s guide of Spanish phrases for effectively interacting with native Spanish speakers during your stay in Barcelona.
Here are 18 useful Spanish travel phrases to keep in your pocket while traveling!
#1 Hello! = ¡Hola!
One of the best ways of showing courtesy in another culture is at least being able to say hello. In Spanish, the letter “h” is silent, so practice saying this one without English pronunciation.
#2 My name is… = Me llamo…, or Soy…
To introduce yourself in Spanish you have two common Spanish phrases available. In “Me llamo,” which literally translates to “I call myself,” the “ll” sounds more like an English “y.” When followed by your name, “Soy” translates to “I am.” If you can’t memorize both, pick your favorite so that others can know your name.
#3 How are you? = ¿Cómo está(s)?
Depending on your level of familiarity with another person, you may need to add the “s” at the end. In formal settings where you don’t know others very well, stick with “¿Como está?.” If you are friendly with the person with whom you are speaking, you can ask “¿Cómo estás?.”
#4 Can I order…? = ¿Me permite pedir…?
When in a restaurant and asking for food, you will have to get your waiter’s attention. Outside of the United States, it is very common to have to flag your waiter down with a hand signal. Once you get your waiter’s attention, you can order both food and drink with this expression.
#5 Can I have…? = ¿Puedo tener…?
This question works very similarly to the expression above when requesting food in a restaurant.
#6 Can we order…? = ¿Nos permite pedir…?
When speaking for a group, you’ll notice the change between “me” and “nos.” This expression is to grant permission for a full group to place an order.
#7 Can we have…? = ¿Podemos tener…?
Again, when representing a group of people, you will see a change in the verb used in the question. “Podemos tener” can be used to represent what the whole group wants to eat.
#8 Where is… ? = ¿Dónde está?
Whether you’re lost and need directions or simply want to find the bathroom, this useful expression will help others guide you toward your destination.
#9 How do you say…? = ¿Cómo se dice… ?
If you are surrounded by native Spanish speakers that are familiar with the English language, this expression will be useful for interacting with them and adding more words to your Spanish vocabulary.
#10 What does … mean? = ¿Qué quiere decir…?
Another useful expression for trying to gain clarification for what commonly used words mean, “Qué quiere decir” will allow you to interact with others while learning new words.
#11 Good morning! = ¡Buenos días!
In addition to “Hola!,” you can greet people at different times of the day. From when you wake up in the morning until noon, you will commonly hear and use this greeting.
#12 Good night! = ¡Buenas noches!
When the day is over and the sun has set, this expression can be used to both greet someone and to say goodbye as you part ways at the end of the night.
#13 Check, please! = ¡La cuenta, por favor!
Once you have finished your meal in the restaurant, don’t forget that you’ll probably have to flag your server down once again. This is the most efficient way to ask for the check.
#14 Do you speak English? = ¿Habla Ud. inglés?
If you really do end up getting lost or have an emergency situation arise, you may be more comfortable speaking in native English. This is the best way to find out if speaking English with another person is even a possibility.
#15 I do not speak Spanish. = No hablo español
If you are able to charm a native speaker with great pronunciation in your greetings, he or she may begin speaking a mile a minute in Spanish. To let another person know that your conversational abilities are limited, you can simply say “No hablo español.”
#16 I’m sorry. = ¡Perdone! or !Lo siento!
There are two Spanish phrases to apologize in Spanish. “Perdone” is commonly used if you bump into someone by accident. “Lo siento” is typically said when feeling extra apologetic or expressing great sympathy for another person.
#17 Thank you = Gracias
To express thanks, simply say “Gracias.” A common reply to “gracias” is “¡No hay de qué!,” which means “Don’t worry about it!.”
#18 Excuse me! = ¡Disculpe! or ¡Con permiso!
Like saying “I’m sorry,” to excuse oneself in Spanish depends on context, too. “Disculpe” normally is used when you need another person’s attention. “Con permiso” is said when someone is blocking your way, and you need to get by politely.
As you enjoy your stay in Barcelona, you will find that these expressions will serve as a great basis to fundamental interactions with others. The longer your visit, the more likely your vocabulary will expand, and you will begin to interact more casually with Spanish natives.