By Kameron Nesen
September 3, 2009
While the majority of Mexico's hot vacation spots are English speaking, it is not only helpful, but also respectful to learn a bit of the country's language which you are visiting.
Here are some simple words and phrases to get you started:
You can add a "Que tal" which translates to "How are you?" and is very conversational. So it would sound like "Hola que tal?" which translates to "Hello. How are you?"
Me llamo... - My name is...
You should always know how to introduce yourself.
Como estas? (informal) Como esta? (formal) - How are you?
This really depends on what part of Mexico you are in.
Usually when you are speaking to friends you use the "informal" and when speaking to elders or in business use the formal.
When in doubt (for respect purposes) it is always safe to use the formal version.
Gracias - Thank you.
De nada - You're welcome
Por favor - Please
No comprende - I don't understand
No hablo Espanol - I do not speak Spanish
A que distancia? - How far?
Cuanto cuesta? - How much is it?
Beware when you ask this question, you will most likely get a response in Spanish. If you know the Spanish numerical system then you will be fine but if not (and since this is the Lazy Travelers Guide) I would suggest you have them write the answer down on a piece of paper.
La cuente, por favor - The bill, please
Donde esta...? - Where is...?
Donde esta el bano? Where is the bathroom?
Puedo tomar una foto? - May I take a photo?
If you are traveling with the family or with a significant other, I would suggest you know this one well for that fabulous shot!
I would also highly recommend if you are going to stay for awhile, pick up a local pocket dictionary. While most popular tourist locations do speak English, it is always nice to be able to mingle with the locals especially if you venture off beaten path.
Gracias y Adios!