Spain - Language tipsWords and phrases that will help you get by in Galicia, Spain
This page gives you a few language tips that may help you out on a holiday in Galicia or Spain. All the words used are spoken across Spain (i.e. castillano), as opposed to the Galician dialect of "Gallego" which is only spoken in Galicia and is closer to the tongue of Portugal than Spain.
Although the inhabitants of many small towns like Noia and Muros will speak "gallego" to one another, they still speak regular Spanish as well. A couple of examples of "gallego" versus "castillano" would be "Noia" and "Noya" and "praia" and "playa" (the word for beach), the former being "gallego" in each case.
Essential words you must know to get by in SpainGreetings and courtesy in Spain
These are the basic greetings and salutations that you need in order to be polite in Spain, they all apply in Galicia too.
- Hello = hola (pronounced "o-la")
Thank you = gracias (pronounced "gra-thi-ass")
Please = por favor (pronounced "poor-fav-or")
Good morning/day = buenas dias (pronounced "bwan-os-dee-as")
Good afternoon = buenas tardes (pronounced "bwan-os-tar-dez")
Good evening = buenas noches (pronounced "bwan-os-notch-ez")
Goodbye = hasta manana (pronounced "asta-man-yana") literally "until tomorrow"
Goodbye = hasta luego (pronounced "asta-loo-A-go") literally "until later"
How are you = como estas (pronounced come-o-estas)
How are you (very informal) = que tal (kay-tal)
Very well = muy bien (mwee-be-en)
It's always important, not just to know how to ask for something in Spain, but also to be able to understand the answer. e.g. Questions like, "where is the hospital" may result in a list of directions which you don't understand. That said, here are some basic Spanish phrases that may help.
- where is = donde esta (don-day-est-a)
I want/would like = quiero or deseo (key-air-o, des-A-O)
How much (cost) = cuanto es (quan-toe-es)
How many = cuantos (quan-toss)
How much in total (cost) = cuanto es en total (quan-toe-es en tot-al)
How = como (com-O)
Do you speak English = habla Ingles (ab-la-ing-les)
What is your name = como se llama usted (como se yama oo-sted) *the double "ll" sounds like "Y"
My name is = me nombre es (mi nom-bray es)
I am called = me llamo (mi yam-O)
Do you have/have you = tienen (tea-en-en)
The bill please = la cuenta por favor (la qesta por fav-or)
What is = que es (kay es)
What/which = que
People's titles in Spain
When addresing a man or woman in Spain, whom you do not know, you call them the equivalent of "sir" or "madam", which is the same as Mr or Mrs.
- Sir or Mr = senor (sen-your)
Man = hombre (om-bray)
Lady or Mrs = senora (sen-your-a)
woman = mujer (moo-her)
younger (unmarried woman) = senorita (sen-your-ee-ta)
Other words and phrases you may come across in Spain
- I don't know = no se (always pronounce the vowels flat, especially the "o")
I don't understand = no comprendo
Can you tell me = me puede decir (mi pwed-aye des-ear)
cash = efectivo (effect-ee-vo)
credit card = tarjeta (tar-het-a)
ticket = billete (be-yet-aye)
The menu = la carta (la cart-a)
Good = bueno (bwen-o)
Bad = malo (malo)
Yes = si (see)
No = no (with a very flat "o")