If you are planning a holiday in Spain, you should know the most important vocabulary and phrases to communicate. Most Spaniards speak little English or German, and when you visit traditional Spanish restaurants, you'll often find only a Spanish menu.
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If you are planning to go on holiday in Spain, it makes sense to know the most important vocabulary and phrases to get your point across. Most Spaniards speak a little English but if you want to go along to a more traditional Spanish spot then you might only find the menu in Spanish. We have written a downloadable "need to know" phrasebook to help you out with handy vocab to make your trip go as smoothly as possible. Spanish sentences and vocab for your holiday
So, you're sat in the sun, toes in the sand, how do you get the Sangria to make it a triple whammy when the menu is all in Spanish. Fear not, you don't need to have any roadblocks on your summer hols. Worse still, you're at a market and need to pee badly, how on earth would you ask someone where to find a loo? Not to mention all those excursions you'd like to go on, how are you going to go about getting a bus ticket? Spanish people sometimes speak English but not everybody, so you'd be wise to sort yourself out with a few phrases to make getting around on holiday easy as pie.
The 8-page print out PDF gets you prepped for your trip with the typical kinds of questions and sentences you'll need to ask and say. The sunbonoo Spanish Language Guide We've rounded up the most essential sentences and vocab you'll need in Spanish in the following areas:
Spanish basic vocabulary (introductions, change language, ask for prices and photos
Find your way around (questions about the most important places and asking for directions)
In restaurants (ordering and paying)
Food (the most important foods you will find on almost every menu and in the supermarket)
Shopping (departments, aisles, checkout)
Emergency vocabulary in Spanish (telephone numbers, asking for help, theft, parking, insurance)
We wanted to make the guide short and sweet, so you don't wind up overwhelmed. We've only given you what you're sure to need when you're away. If you're more of a tech fan, download the guide and keep it on your phone so you can get easy access to it. For those of you who like things a bit more old-school, you are of course free to print off a copy. Download Spanish vocab for your trip.
The Spanish pronunciation
As you listen to people speaking in Spanish you'll soon notice how melodic it sounds and how different it is from English pronunciation. In some cases, they use the same letters, but the sound is another story altogether. Of course, you'll want to sound as authentic as possible, so we've given you 4 short and sweet rules to give you a helping hand with the pronunciation.
We've broken down how to create the sounds below:
"B" and "V" have a somewhat similar sound in Spanish, since the "B" is pronounced more like a "V" and the "V" is pronounced more like a "B" (it's not as confusing as it seems). Say "B" very softly. Instead of closing your lips tightly, let your mouth open slightly so that it sounds more like "veh".
The "V" is a mixture of "B" and "W" and keep your mouth open just a tad.
The "C" is lisped in front of an "e" and "i", it’s identical to the soft "th" sound in English (e. g. cebolla (onion) is pronounced "theh-boy-yah") - otherwise it is pronounced like a "K" (e. g. cortés (court) is pronounced "kor-tehs").
The "ch" is pronounced as a "tsch" sound (for example with chorizo - "tscho-ree-tho").
The "G" is pronounced in Spanish before "e" and "i" sounds more like"heh" with the sound coming from the throat (e. g. genial (great) - "hehn-eeal") - otherwise it is pronounced like the "G" in English.
The "H" is always silent at the beginning of a word: you write "Hola" or "hablo", but you say "olah" or "ablo". The only time you'll hear the "H" is if it follows a "C" and then you have the "ch" sound it sounds exactly like "ch" in English (e.g abrocharse (do up) "ah-broh-char-seh").
The "J" is pronounced like an exagerrated/throaty "H" sound (e. g. jabón (soap) - "hhah-bonn").
Double" L "is pronounced like " Y"(e.g billete (ticket) is pronounced "bee-yeh-teh").
The "Ñ" is a special Spanish letter that is pronounced like the "ny" in "Tanya" (e. g. año (year) - "an-yoh".
The "R" is always rolled in spanish, the "RR" is rolled very strongly and a little longer - there is a difference if you say pero (but) "peh-roh" or perro (dog) "peh-rrrroh". The "Qu" is pronounced with a "Kee" sound (e. g. quiero (I want) - "kee-eh-roh".
The "Z" is pronounced like the soft English "th" (e.g zanahoria (carrot) - "tha-nah-o-reeah"
The Confusion: Mallorquí, Catalaán and Spanish in Mallorca
In some parts of Spain, both Spanish and Catalán are official languages, this includes the Balearic Islands. Catalán and Spanish are on one hand similar, but on the other hand quite different. Catalán has a deeper and choppier sound, the words get joined up a bit more. The language is a mixture of French, Spanish and Italian. In the Balearic Islands it's not unheard of to stumble across road signs in Catalán, which makes it easy to see the difference between the two languages. In Spanish, Tuesday is "martes" whilst in Catalán it's "dimarts" and in Spanish "playa" means beach and in Catalán it's "platja".
Catalán is the official language in Mallorca which means that the schools teach the kids in Catalán. For lots of Spanish speakers who've moved over from the mainland, this means that they need to go through their schooling in their secon language. English is not such a big deal in this part of Spain as they already have their hands tied with learning their two official languages. With that being said, it makes a lot of sense if you suss out some of the basics in Spanish and you get yourself off to a good start before you've even landed. Mallorcan is a dialect of Catalán spoken only in Mallorca, you're most likely to come across it if you make your way over to the south-eastern side of the island around Manacor. Mallorquí is very similar to Menorquí (spoken in Menorca) and Eivissenc (spoken in Ibiza). To give you an idea, the port translates to "el puerto" in Spanish "el port" in Catalán and "es port" in Malloquí.