New to Spain? You need these survival Spanish phrases
Spain is a super international country, with a lot of expats coming from every part of the world. But not every new expat speaks Spanish because knowing some Spanish is somehow not necessary for several visa applications.
However, you should understand that in Spain less than 25% of the population speaks and understands English! And what’s worse, the workers in the service sectors usually do not speak English (unless you are in a famous meeting point for foreigners). Therefore, having some Spanish knowledge is extremely important to live a normal daily life.
Always greet your Spanish neighbors or employees of a store or restaurant when you walk in. You can simply say "hola" simply step into a restaurant. If you don’t greet them, it might be seen as impolite!
You can combine Hola with any of the expressions above (except for hola buenas) to make the whole greeting sound more natural:
Buenos días: Good morning
Buenas tardes: Good Afternoon
Buenas noches: Good Evening
Cómo estás?: How are you:?
Qué tal?: What's up?
Hola buenas: a cooler way of saying Hola
Soy+your name: My name is ……
Encantado/Encantada: Nice to meet you! Men should use encantado while women should use encantada.
2. I am sorry!
When you start using a new language, mistakes and misunderstandings are inevitable. Therefore, it’s always good to know how to say sorry.
Perdón: If you do not understand what the others are saying to you or if you did something wrong, you can say this. Example:
Perdón, no hablo español: Sorry, I don't speak Spanish
Lo siento: I'm sorry. But this is with deeper emotion. It could be suitable when hearing some bad news.
Con permiso: It means excuse me. You might use it when you walk past someone in crowded public transportation.
Disculpe: It also means excuse me. It's better to use it when you make a question or try to attract someone's attention. It's very useful when you are lost, for example:
Disculpe, hay algún … cercano?: Excuse me, is there any … near here?
Disculpe, dónde está ……?: Excuse me, where is …?
3. I want to eat…
When you are in a restaurant, hotel, or cafeteria, you might also come across waiters that do not understand English. Let’s see what sentences you could use on these occasions.
Tengo una reserva: I have a reservation.
They might ask you other things to confirm the information, be sure to understand their questions such as:
¿Cuál es su/tu nombre?: What is your name?
¿A qué hora tienes la reserva?: At what time do you have the reservation?
Quiero…: I want… On most occasions, you can simply say ¨quiero+the dish you want¨ to order food. Sometimes, they might ask you if you want any bebida(drinks), postre(dessert), or entrante(starter).
De primero/segundo, quiero: As for the starter/main course, I want…
No como…: I don't eat… Make sure to know the Spanish name of the things you don't eat.
Soy vegetariano/vegano: I am vegetarian/vegan.
La cuenta, por favor: The bill, please.
Con tarjeta: (pay) with card
En efectivo: (pay) with cash
4. Going shopping
Most shopping stores are foreigner-friendly because they let you try products, or clothes, by yourself. When you are ready you can go directly to the counter. You barely need to talk with the shop assistants. However, it´s still worth it to learn some shopping Spanish just in case.
¿Puedo probar…?: Can I try…?
¿Cuánto cuesta/cuestan?: How much is it/are they?
¿Teneis…?: Do you have…?
Hasta luego: See you later
Hasta mañana: See you tomorrow
Nos vemos: See you
6. Other useful phrases
Gracias: Thank you!
Muchas gracias: Thank you so much!
Necesito ayuda: I need help.
Hablas inglés?: Do you speak English?
Alguien habla inglés?: Is there anyone speaking English?
7.Fortunately, You don't need to speak Spanish to talk with us!
By contracting medical insurance with us, you can get full service in your language without worrying about anything! This medical insurance is also a perfect fit for a Spanish visa/NIE/TIE application, as it fulfills all the requirements.
Unlike other Spanish insurance providers, our medical insurance covers worldwide emergency expenses, travel delays, loss of luggage, and 30+ other travel-related services. We are the international team of SegurCaixa Adeslas. We are a multilingual team that knows not only English but also other languages such as Chinese and Russian. Come and talk to us!
If you like to know more about living in Spain, click one of these blogs below: