A native speaker of English can feel safe anywhere around the world. Well, almost anywhere. The most accurate phrasing would be “where people expect to meet a foreigner.” But traveling far into the depths of a country may end up in a place where nobody has ever thought of learning English. This is where you will need this emergency Spanish phrase book. Print out the following list of Spanish words and phrases to carry around in your pocket. It may not help to get the details, but you’ll always know what to say to ensure that you get help and not a puzzled look.
- Help me! — ¡Ayúdeme! ( ah-YOU-theh-meh)
- I need a doctor. — Necesito médico. ( neh-theh-SEE-toh MEH-thee-coh)
- Police — policía (poh-lee-THEE-ah)
Asking for Information
- Where is …? — ¿Dónde está …? (DOHN-deh-STAH …) – Say this and hope for a pointing finger, not a lengthy explanation.
- Where is the bathroom? — ¿Dónde está el baño? ( DOHN-deh-STAH el BAH-nyo) – Bathrooms for women are also labeled “Mujeres” or “Damas”; words for “men” are “Hombres” or “Caballeros.”
- Where can I get a taxi? — ¿Dónde puedo tomar un taxi? (DOHN-deh PWEH-thoh toh-MAHR oon TAHK-see)
- What time is it? — ¿Qué hora es? (keh OH-rah ess) - However, here you’ll have to know the Spanish numerals. If you don’t, try saying
- Write it down for me, please. — Escríbamelo por favor. (ess-KREE-bah-meh-loh pohr-fah-BORR)
- I would like … — Me gustaría … (meh goo-stah-REE-yah …)
- I don't want it. — No lo quiero. (noh loh KYEH-roh)
- Do you have …? Are there any … available? — ¿Hay …? ( eye …)
- A meal — una comida (oo-nah koh-MEE-thah)
- Water — agua (AH-gwah)
- How much does it cost? — ¿Cuánto cuesta? (pronounced KWAHN-toh KWEST-tah) – Again, the numerals. Go for Escríbamelo por favor.
Add on a few polite words you already know like hola, por favor and gracias and you are sure to make a successful trip to any Spanish-speaking country even if your command of Spanish leaves much to be desired!
Next time we’ll tip you off on the Spanish words and phrases you might need at the airport, so stay with us!