A quick Spanish guide for your travels

A few weeks ago my brother went on a trip to Costa Rica—his Spanish was, how do you say, muy malo (very poor).

Anyways, I came to his rescue (as younger, wiser sisters tend to do) with a guide for helpful words, numbers, and phrases. If you or someone you know is so inclined to visit a Spanish-speaking country, but have forgotten your high school Spanish basics, have no fear for here is your refresher course:

The basics:

Hello = Hola

What’s up? = Que pasa?

How are you?= Como estás?

My name is Steve = Me llamo Steve

I’m from Boston = Soy de Boston

Thank you = Gracias

Please = Por favor

I need help = Necesito ayuda

To the left = A la izquierda

Right = Derecha

Straight = Derecho

Stop! = Para!

Here = Aquí

Water = Agua

Some phrases for travel: 

Do you speak English? = Hablas inglés?

I’m sorry, I don’t speak Spanish. = Lo siento, no hablo español.

I want to go to the airport. = Quiero ir al aeropuerto.

Do you know where this hotel is? = Sabes dónde está este hotel?

How much will it cost? = Cuánto cuesta?

-They may answer in the country’s currency, so if they do and you can’t figure the exchange rate ask for dollar amount = “y en dólares?”

That is too expensive = Es demasiado caro

I only have $50 = Solo tengo cincuenta dólares

Where is the bus stop? = Dónde esta la parada del bús? (pronounced boos)

Does this bus go to Santa Teresa? = Este bús va a Santa Teresa?

Can you tell me when we are in Santa Teresa, please? = Puedes decirme cuando estamos en Santa Teresa, por favor?

When is the next ferry? = Cuando es la próxima barca?


10 = diez

20 = veinte

30 = trenta

40 = cuarenta

50 = cincuenta

60 = sesenta

70 = setenta

80 = ochenta

90 = noventa

100 = cien

150= ciento cincuenta

There you have it, so don’t let your lack of Spanish keep you from the beautiful beaches of Central and South America. The views are pretty spectacular and the people are very friendly.

low tide


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