Top 10 useful Spanish phrases

A little knowledge can take you a long way in a foreign country and mastering a few phrases in the local lingo could make the difference between making a lifelong friend and getting a confused stare. Here are our top ten Spanish phrases to get you talking like an Ibiza local when you most need it.

1. Qué pasa tío?
Literally translated this means ‘what is happening uncle?’ – not so practical in your day-to-day life. However, the colloquial meaning is “Whassup bro?” – definitely something you’ll use every day.

2. Cual es el codigo WiFi?
What is the WIFI code must be the number one question upon entering any establishment across the globe. Memorise it now.

3. Donde esta la Ferreteria/la Farmacia?
‘Where it the hardware store/pharmacy?’ You never know when you might need to repair something or find a cure for your insufferable sunburn.

4. Una media de tomate por favor
Half a piece of toast with tomato please. This is the breakfast of Spanish champions – half a toasted roll with crushed tomato, salt and olive oil. If you want to really get down with the locals order it with a carajillo – a short coffee with a shot of brandy.

5. Encantado/a
Pleased to me you. The o or a ending refers to the speaker not the person you’re meeting. So, boys say encantado and girls say encantada regardless of the gender of your brand new friend.

6. Por favor me das un…
When translated directly this phrase sounds rather rude in English. You would never say to a waitress give me a coffee without warranting a slap in the face. In Spanish it has a softer edge and is totally acceptable, more like ‘Could I please have a….’

7. Esta abierta la cocina?
‘Is the kitchen open?’ may seem like an odd phrase to need to know but Spaniards love to eat late and if you haven’t quite adjusted your belly clock you may find yourself arriving too early at cafes and restaurants and need to know the answer.

8. Vale
Quite simply, this means ‘OK’. This a catch all for almost any situation most closely related to the English okay.

9. Hostia
This is the communion wafer that priests press onto the tongues of the faithful at mass. Like so many churchy words however, it has other slang meanings. It’s rather harmless thankfully and is most like saying damn! or bloody hell!

10. Cuanto valen las hamacas?
Sunbeds lined up like soldiers on the sands of Ibiza beaches are somewhat of a premium luxury and therefore priced as such. ‘How much are the sunbeds?’ is therefore an important question, as it’s best ask before setting up camp.