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We can’t emphasise enough just how much it can enhance your experience in Latin America if you spend a short while before your trip swatting up on a few Spanish phrases. The locals you will encounter are some of the warmest and most hospitable people you could wish to meet, so why not return the favour with a small token of respect by impressing them with a Spanish phrase or two? We’ve been specialising in travel to Central and South America for over 30 years and can tell you that knowing just a little can go a long way!

Here are 15 very simple yet essential phrases you can learn to use on your trip:

1) Hola - Hi

2) Por favor / Gracias - Please / Thankyou

3) Buenos días / Buenas tardes / Buenas noches - Good morning / Good afternoon / Good evening

4) ¿Cómo estás? - How are you?

5) Mucho gusto - Nice to meet you

6) Me gustaría - I would like

7) Yo necesito - I need

8) ¿Tiene? - Do you have?

9) ¿Dónde está? - Where is?

10) ¿Cuánto cuesta? - How much does it cost?

11) ¿Qué hora es? - What time is it?

12) A la derecha / A la izquierda  / Siga derecho - On the right / On the left / Straight ahead

13) A una cuadra / A dos, tres, cuatro cuadras- In one block / In two, three, four blocks

14) El baño - The bathroom

15) Banco / Dinero / Cambio / La cuenta - Bank / Money / Change / The bill

And finally, if all else fails:

Yo (no) entiendo - I (don’t) understand

¿Habla inglés? - Do you speak English?

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