Hola, mis amigos. Before you decide to test that little bit of Spanish you can still remember from the eighth grade on a vacation, there are a few key words and phrases you should know (just in case your memory fails you.)
There are 20 countries around the globe that have Spanish as their official language. Spain--obviously--most of the countries in Latin America, and even one in Africa! Before you jet off to the Equator for a mid-autumn vacation, refresh yourself on everyone’s favorite elective!
Just like in other countries you may visit, Spanish-speaking countries are full of friendly people. So, it is best to be friendly back. Nearly everyone knows the customary hola, but you can also say buenos días, buenas tardes, or buenas noches for a customary “good morning,” “good afternoon,” or “good evening.”
If you’re on your best behavior, you’ll also be saying “please” and “thank you.” Por favor and gracias are your go-to's for this.
When it’s time to dine on some authentic, mouth-watering food--no matter the country--you can also ask the one-word questions: comida or restaurante? This should get you a simple response that gets you closer to some of the best food in the world!
Finally, sometimes you have to take a potty break. When asking for the restroom, you can pull the one-word question again with baño?
No matter how many individual words you know, like dinero, cerveza, or biblioteca, sometimes that just won’t get you where or what you need. Luckily, we have a few frases that should help you navigate any Spanish-speaking country, from Chile to Spain.
Eighteen of the twenty Spanish-speaking countries have beautiful beaches. If you’re looking for somewhere to sunbathe, build sandcastles, or catch some waves, you’ll be asking, ¿Dónde está la playa?
Spanish-speaking countries have rich cultures that you’ll want to get lost in--figuratively, of course. To make sure you get to where you need to go, just ask ¿Dónde está [name of place]? That should get you a point in the right direction.
There is never any shame in admitting you don’t speak a language, even if you spoke it in high school and lost it. That’s why you can always say, No hablo español, followed by, ¿Hables inglés?
Before you jet off to Argentina or Costa Rica, make sure to look over this helpful guide--and grab your Jarvisen, of course!