Learning the Spanish language

The Spanish language or ‘Castellano’ is a Romance language and one of the United Nation’s six official languages. After Mandarin Chinese, it is the most widely spoken language in the world for the number of native speakers. It is also the world’s second most studied language after English and the third most used on the internet.

Conversation Guide

The following is a useful guide of basic phrases for your trip to Barcelona:

Everyday Useful Phrases
Hello – Hola

Good Morning – Buenos días

Good Afternoon – Buenas tardes

Good Evening – Buenas noches

How are you  – ¿Cómo estás?

I’m well, thankyou. – Estoy bien, gracias

What’s your name? – ¿Cómo te llamas?

My name is – Me llamo

Pleased to meet you – Encantado de conocerte

What time is it? – ¿Qué hora es?

Please – Por favor

Thankyou very much – Muchas Gracias

You’re welcome – De nada

Yes – Si

No – No

Excuse me – Disculpe

Sorry -Lo siento

See you tomorrow – Hasta mañana

See you next time – Hasta la vista

See you soon – Hasta luego

Goodbye -Adiós

I don’t speak Catalan – No hablo Catalán

Do you speak English? – ¿Hablas inglés?

Does anyone here speak English? – ¿Hay alguien aquí que hable inglés?

How much is it? ¿Cuánto cuesta?

Help! – ¡Socorro!

Be careful! – ¡Ten cuidado!

I don’t understand – No lo entiendo

Where is the bathroom? – ¿Dónde está el baño?

Open – Abierto

Closed – cerrado

I’ll call the police – Llamaré a la policía

Thief! – ¡Al ladrón!

I need your help – Necesito su ayuda

It’s an emergency – Es una emergencia

I’m lost – Estoy perdido

I’ve lost my suitcase – He perdido mi maleta

I’m sick – Estoy enfermo

I’ve just been hurt – Me acaban de herir

Can you call a doctor? – Llamen a un médico

Could I use your telephone please? – ¿Podría usar su teléfono, por favor?



Barcelona sightseeing tours


How much does a ticket to ….cost? – ¿Cuánto cuesta un billete para ___?

A ticket to …..please – Un billete para ___, por favor

Eating out

To have breakfast – Desayunar

To have lunch – Comer

To have dinner – Cenar

A table for two please – Una mesa para dos, por favor

I’m a vegetarian – Soy vegetariano

I don’t eat pork – No como cerdo

Please can you use less oil? – Por favor no use demasiado aceite

Water – Agua

Beer – Cerveza

Red/Rosé wine – Vino tinto/rosado

Fork – Tenedor

Knife – Cuchillo

Spoon – Cuchara

Salt and Pepper – Sal y Pimienta

The bill, please – La cuenta, por favor

Do you accept credit cards? – ¿Acepta tarjeta de crédito?


Do you have any rooms free? – ¿Hay habitaciones libres?

How much is a room for one/two people? ¿Cuánto cuesta una habitación para una/dos personas?

OK – De acuerdo

I will stay here for …nights – Me hospedaré aquí durante ___noches


Where can I exchange foreign money? – ¿Dónde puedo cambiar divisas?

What is the rate for exchanging foreign money? – ¿Cuál es la tasa por cambio de divisa?

Spanish Matador, by Maesejose

Origin of the name

According to the Real Academia Española (Spanish Royal Academy), the word español comes from the Medieval Latin word Hispaniolus that means from Hispania. The other denomination for the language, castellano, comes from the Latin Castellanus that means from Castilla.


The Spanish language extended throughout the Peninsula during the Late Middle Ages due to the expansion of the Christian kingdom during the Reconquista (reconquest). The colonisation of America also provoked its expansion throughout most of the American continent and from 1770 onwards Spanish language was officially taught.

Geographical distribution

Spanish, or castellano, is the official language of nineteen countries in America, Spain and Equatorial Guinea, although it is actually spoken in all five, main continents.

A growing language

It was predicted that in 2000 the number of Spanish speakers in the United States alone would reach 35,000,000. That year, Spanish overtook English as the most widely spoken language in the Western world. In 2001 there were approximately 400 million Spanish speakers.

The Instituto Cervantes is an organization that represents the diffusion of the Spanish language, and between 1986 and 1990 it reports an increase of 70% in the number of Spanish students in the United States and 80% in Japan. The organization’s Director admits that this interest reflects an increasing awareness of the importance of the Spanish language in the West and that it is spoken in so many different countries.

If you would like to read more about the history of the Spanish language, you can find further information on Wikipedia.

If you would like to learn Catalan, visit the official web site, Parla.cat, available in Spanish, English, German and French

If you have liked this article or would like to add your opinion, please feel free to leave a comment below. We would be delighted to know what you think!



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here