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Speak Spanish Instantly

Updated on May 21, 2016
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Spanish is a very English-friendly language to learn for several reasons. The sentence structure are layered much like English. The letters are more or less pronounced the same and they do not have words that an English speaker cannot say.

Spanish Language

Spanish is a Romance language and is second only to Chinese Mandarin as regards amount of speakers across the globe. Spanish, in one form or another, is spoken by about 414 million people. It is the official language of 20 countries, the vast majority in South America.

So, if you are travelling to either Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Chile, Guatemala, Cuba, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Paraguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Puerto Ricoa, Panama, Uruguay, Equatorial Guinea or, of course, Spain, this article will help you.

We are not going to learn the entire language here, but we will learn 10 phrases that will be very useful on our vacation. Speak Spanish Instantly Using English Words To Help Pronunciation.

Exercise 1 : Hello

Let's begin with saying hello. I know there are formal greetings we can learn, but we are on vacation so we will use the informal word:

Hola

Try using this International word to help with pronunciation: cola. Spanish speakers tend to sing this greeting.

Spanish phrase : Hola.

What it means : Hello.

English words : cola.

Pronounced : hola.

Great! Well done! You have spoken your first Spanish word.


Exercise 2 : Where Are The Toilets?

At some stage on our holiday we will need to know where the toilets are. For me it's usually when we arrive at our destination at the airport. We already know how to say hello to someone. Now find out where the toilets are.

¿Dónde está el baño?

This is phrase is a liitle more complicated than the last one. Try these English words: pond-yes-da-tell-man-toe. The "a" in "da" is pronounced as "a" in "apple". You will notice there is an upside down question mark at the beginning of the phrase. It is how Spanish questions are written, but as we are only learning to speak it doesn't matter to us.

Spanish phrase : ¿Dónde está el baño?

What it means : Where are the toilets?

English words : pond-yes-da-tell-man-toe.

Pronounced : dond-yes-ta-ell-ban-yoh.

Exercise 3 : Thank You

This is just a great word that we can use for thousands of situations.This word is probably already known to most people as it is widely used in films and on TV. There is something else presented here that is evident in Spanish; the pronunciation of the letter "c". Some people pronounce it as "th", like the "th" in "things" and others pronounce it as a "s". To keep it simple we will use the "s" pronunciation, but we will be understood whichever way we decide to use it.

Gracias

Spanish phrase : Gracias.

What it means : Thank you.

English words : brassy-mass.

Pronounced : grassy-ahss.


Exercise 4 : Excuse me

Here is another phrase we are bound to use on our vacation. To attract someones attention in a shop or to pass somebody in a busy market.

Perdón

The "r" in this phrase is rolled. Common to many languages. The Scottish roll their Rs too. You will get the idea when you hear a native speaker.

Spanish phrase : Perdón.

What it means : Excuse me.

English words : fair-gone.

Pronounced : pair-don.


Exercise 5 : How Much is it?

This phrase is essential for when we go shopping. We are bound to want to know the price of something sooner or later, especially on markets where you might end up bartering. It helps in shops or anywhere, where there is no price displayed.

¿Cuánto cuesta?

Try these English words: pan-low-mess-da. The "a" in "da" is pronounced as "a" in "apple".

Spanish phrase : ¿Cuánto cuesta?

What it means : How much is it?

English words : pan-low-mess-da.

Pronounced : kwan-toe-kwess-ta.

Exercise 6 : I Would Like

I would like or I want are always handy to know. Even if you only point to what it is that you need. The phrase to use is:

Quisiera


Spanish phrase : Quisiera.

What it means : I would like.

English words : bee-sierra.

Pronounced : key-sierra.

Exercise 7 : Drinks

Obviously we can't learn every single item we might want to buy while we're on our holidays, so we will narrow it down to some drinks we may want in a cafe or a bar. Hence there is quite a few words and phrases to get through.

Una taza...Un vaso...café...té...cerveza...leche...vino...agua

The word for tea (té) is pronounced halfway between tay and ti. The "i" is the same as the "i" in "bit". It almost sounds as if we're saying "Di". Listen carefully to the native speaker. All the "a" in each phonetic pronunciation below are as the "a" in "apple".


Spanish phrase : Una taza de café...Una taza de té.

What it means : A cup of coffee...A cup of tea.

English words : moon-a-pass-a-pay-café...moon-a-pass-a-pay-day.

Pronounced : oon-a-tass-a-day-café...oon-a-tass-a-day-tay


Spanish phrase : Un vaso de cerveza...leche...vino...agua.

What it means : A glass of beer...milk...wine...water.

English words : moon-car-so-day--bear-face-a...bay-jay...teen-oh...bag-a.

Pronounced : oon-bar-so-day--sir-bace-a...lay-chay...been-oh...ag-wa.


Exercise 8 : Numbers

When we are ordering our drinks we might want more than one so we will need to learn some numbers. Here they are one to five.

Uno...Dos...Tres...Cuatro...Cinco

Spanish phrase : Uno...Dos...Tres...Cuatro...Cinco.

What it means : One.,..Two...Three...Four...Five.

English words : moon-know...loss...dress...quatro...pink-oh.

Pronounced : oon-oh...doss...tress...quatro...sink-oh

Exercise 9 : The Bill / The Check

Unfortunately when we have finished all our drinks we are going to have to pay (it's a Spanish custom). So we will need the bill.

La cuenta, por favor

Spanish phrase : La cuenta, por favor.

What it means : The bill, please / The check, please

English words : back-went-a--more-have-nor.

Pronounced : lack-went-a--pour-fab-or

Exercise 10 : Goodbye

We began with hello so why don't we end with goodbye?

Adiós

This word is so familiar to us, that we don't really need help pronouncing it. All good vacations come to an end, so, with a heavy heart we have to say goodbye.

Spanish phrase : Adios.

What it means : Goodbye.

English words : baddie-boss.

Pronounced : addie-yoss

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    • villyvacker profile image
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      Billy Turnock 3 years ago from Manchester England

      thanks swilliams

    • swilliams profile image

      Emunah La Paz 3 years ago from Arizona

      This is a very insightful Hub for those looking to learn Spanish, at an early stage. Voted up interesting and useful.