spain-span-sliderThese basic Spanish words and phrases, including the polite essentials, should help make your trip to Spain more enjoyable. Use them at the airport, at the shops and restaurants, when asking directions, or when you just want to be friendly. This is the Spanish as spoken in Spain, but it will be understood in Latin America as well.

As an adult visitor to a Spanish-speaking country, the first few words out of your mouth to a stranger should be in Spanish. Don’t expect them to speak English, though there is a good chance that they will. In nearly all cases, they will appreciate your attempts to speak their language and be very cooperative.

Try not to be too concered about your pronounciation or lack of fluency. A few Spanish words and your imagination can go a long way in your efforts to communicate. Use the universal language of hand signals and body language. Show your map and ask “Donde esta…?” Remember, Hola (hello), por favor (please) and gracias (thank you) are some of the most powerful words in any language.

Traveling to foreign lands, speaking a little of the native language, spending the currency, eating and drinking the local specialties, and enjoying the sights and customs is a truly rewarding experience. Moreover, it is an excellent opportunity to show that we value other people and cultures.

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