Are you about to travel to a country where they speak Spanish? Do you want to communicate with the natives, or do you think you’ll need some Spanish when you’re there? Maybe you think your trip is a great opportunity to learn Spanish? Here’s the survival Spanish you’ll need on your trip!
“I speak English and I won’t need Spanish on my trip”
It’s true that English is a language that allows us to communicate in many different places around the world, both in countries where it is the official language and in those whose inhabitants have a good level of English.
However, you should bear in mind that in some parts of Spain or Latin America your knowledge of English won’t help you at all, because the natives either don’t know how to speak it, or they have a very low level.
Speaking the language of the locals is a sign of good manners
What do you think of those who travel to your country and make an effort to say hello or thank you in your language?
Maybe they won’t pronounce the words correctly, or might make a grammatical error, but you’ll probably appreciate the effort they’ve made. If they make a mistake you’ll probably smile to yourself, but you’ll still think they’re brave for at least trying to communicate with you, even if it is hard for them.
Experienced traveler Juan Villarino recommends, after more than ten years of devoting himself to travelling the world, that you should always bring some survival phrases with you, in order to put them into practice in the country you visit.
When you’re a foreigner, trying to speak the language of the locals is a sign of interest in the culture of the country you’re in, and, in addition, a sign of respect for the locals.
When you travel to a Spanish-speaking country and try to communicate in the native language, even at a very basic level, Spanish-speakers will think you are a well-mannered friendly person, and that might open some doors for you.
Your trip: what better time to learn a new language?
Maybe you just want to learn a bit of basic Spanish for traveling: to know how to say hello and goodbye, to learn some phrases when you meet people, to know how to order in the restaurant and ask about directions or, maybe, to learn some basic phrases in case there is a problem on your trip and you need help from locals.
But, once you have mastered those survival phrases and practiced them over and over again, maybe you feel you’d like to continue learning Spanish? Maybe you realize that what you know isn’t enough if you want to understand the words that you encounter while in town, such as the vocabulary of a menu, or the name of the products in the supermarket?
It’s also very likely that, when you’ve finished your first experience of Hispanic culture, you’ll want to carry on learning the language that you’ve just discovered. Without a doubt, having the possibility of traveling to a different country is a great opportunity to learn a new language in the most effective way that exists: using it in its natural context.
If you’re now back from your trip, why don’t you continue learning Spanish, now that you have taken the first, most difficult step to break the ice? If you’ve been able to practice with the locals with hardly any knowledge of the language, with only a few basic phrases, surely your initial fears have now disappeared? That should now be the stepping stone to help you to progress much faster in your Spanish language learning.
First aid: a list of basic phrases
I have also travelled to a country whose language I didn’t speak. Before I went I was grateful to find a summary of the phrases that I could put into practice in a very basic way in the language of the country I was visiting.
Would you like to have one of those useful lists? Well, I am here to help you! I’ve prepared a visual aid for you with some basic phrases in Spanish that will be very useful in your trip (I hope you don’t need the emergency ones!) You can download them at the bottom of the page.
Prepare yourself better for your trip
Have you got a basic level of Spanish and want to practice it before you travel?
Would you like to take an intensive Spanish course aimed at finding out about the culture of the Spanish-speaking country you’re going to visit?
If just a short list is not enough for you and you’d like to prepare yourself better before you leave, then I have good news for you!
If you want to go a little deeper, but still keep it basic, then I’ll be very happy to prepare some specific Spanish classes for you. These are classes for students who, like you, want to use Spanish in the most common situations on your trip, with the specific vocabulary that you will need. If you’re interested in exploring the Hispanic world and discovering its language and culture, contact me and I’ll offer you a free Spanish survival test for travelers!