For many first-time visitors from English-speaking nations, the prospect of travelling to a nation where people speak another language can be daunting, especially if you have no experience with the new tongue at all. In Los Cabos, like in all of Mexico, Spanish is spoken by the locals. Thankfully, most people that you encounter at many of the resorts, clubs, golf courses and tour companies are quite fluent in English, however having a few key phrases of Español under your belt will go a long way to befriend and impress the locals, and, if you’re lucky, you might score you a free taco! Brush up on these Spanish phrases to make your Los Cabos holiday fantástico!
Greetings and the Basics
Start conversations off on the right foot, get into the spirit of the destination, and offer some Spanish greetings to those around you. And never forget those manners your mother taught you with the basics.
Yes: Si No: No (This one should be easy)
Please: Por Favor Thank You: Gracias
Good morning/afternoon/evening: Buenos días/tardes/noches
It’s nice to meet you: Mucho gusto, encantado (for men)/encantada (for women)
If you’re struggling to remember the specific word for a time of day, and don’t want to be wishing your friends good morning at dinner time, stick with the evergreen “Hola!” If you’re truly stuck with your Spanish, see if the other person has better English skills.
I don’t speak Spanish. Do you speak English?: No hablo español. Usted habla inglés?
Thankfully, hotel staff are far more adept at English than many travellers are at Spanish, so it’s not often that you’ll need to fall back onto Spanish for directions in your resort. But if you’re exploring the towns, it can be handy to know where to go. And don’t worry, two of the most important words are universal between English and Spanish: Bar and Spa work in both languages. If you’re looking for a more authentic Mexican drinking experience, perhaps ask for directions to “la cantina”.
Where is…? (The bathroom): Donde está…? (El baño)
(The beach): (La Playa)
(The airport): (El Aeropuerto)
(The pool): (La Piscina)
One of the most important parts of a Los Cabos holiday is getting to try out the abundance and diversity of experiences on offer, from eateries to beaches.
I would like to go to a different (beach), which one do you recommend?: Me gustaría ir a otra (playa), cuál me recomienda?
Of course, if you’re heading towards the beach, you want to make sure that you won’t be dealing with any Jaws under the water!
There are no sharks, right?: No hay tiburones, verdad?
Buying and Selling
If you’re heading into town, and exploring the small shops and eateries, this is where you’re most likely to come across folk who aren’t as strong with their English, so knowing how to order, buy and sell is possibly the most essential phrasing.
I like this, I would like to buy it: Me gusta, quiero comprarlo
How much does it cost?: Cuánto cuesta?
I’m hungry!: Tengo Hambre!
I would like a beer: Una Cerveza por favor
(Though one beer is never enough, so swap out “Uno” for “Dos”, “Tres”, “Cuatro”, “Cinco”, etc…)
Can I have 2/3/4 tacos, please?: Me puede dar dos/tres/cuatro tacos por favor