Home Language Hacks 70+ Essential Latin American Spanish Phrases for Travellers (FREE PDF Printable)

70+ Essential Latin American Spanish Phrases for Travellers (FREE PDF Printable)

by Michele
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Useful Latin American Spanish Phrases Guide
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Travelling to Latin America? Then this Latin American Spanish travel phrase guide is for you. Whether you’re new to Spanish or already have some knowledge of the language, this guide will allow you to communicate with about 350 million people who speak Spanish.

While it’s possible to travel around Latin America without speaking any Spanish, learning and using a few key phrases will do enhance your travel experience. Who knows, you could end up being invited by a local to the best salsa club in town.

These Latin American Spanish phrases will help you meet locals, ask for directions, order food, greet and give thanks with little effort thanks to the easy-to-use pronunciation guides I’ve included.

Are you a complete beginner? Not to worry, there are a surprising amount of similarities between Spanish and English. Spanish comes from the same family of languages (known as Romance Languages) which includes Italian, French, and Portuguese. Since these languages derive from Latin, many of the same words also exist and are similar to those in English for example, vehículo means vehicle, mayor is major, and villa, well, means villa. So, already you’ve got your foot well and truly inside the language learning door. 

Keep practising!
70+ Spanish Travel Phrases Cheat-Sheet! (Free PDF Download)

Don't let the learning stop here. Download your free PDF guide with 70+ Spanish travel phrases. Includes English and Spanish translations with pronunciation guide plus both Castilian (European) and Latin American Spanish variations. ¡Aprendamos juntas! (Let's learn together!)

I promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
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To help me create this new addition to my collection of free travel phrase guides, I asked my friends Jim and May from Spanish and Go to provide accurate Latin American Spanish translations and pronunciation guides.

Let’s take a closer look at the Spanish spoken in Latin America. Here’s what we’ll cover:


Table of Contents


Where is Latin American Spanish spoken?

With Latin American Spanish being spoken in a whopping 16 countries in the Americas and on three islands in the Caribbean, learning the differences between Castilian (ie. Spanish spoken in Spain) and Latin American Spanish is definitely recommended.

Latin American Spanish is spoken in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Cuba, The Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico.

Is Latin American Spanish different from European Spanish (Castilian)?

Yes, but the differences aren’t so great that you can’t understand each other. The grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation do vary a bit but this doesn’t cause major communication issues. How do they differ? There are simply too many to things to list here which is why I dedicated an entire post to the difference between American Spanish and Castilian.

Latin American Spanish Alphabet and Pronunciation

The one main differences between all Latin American dialects and most Spanish dialects lies in the pronunciation of “z”, and “c” before “e” or “i”. This is all covered in my differences between Latin American Spanish and European Spanish post.

Here are the letters of the Latin American Spanish alphabet and their pronunciation.

a (ah) k (kah) t (teh)
b (beh) l (el-eh) u (oo)
c (seh) m (em-eh) v (oo-beh)
d (deh) n (en-eh) w (dob-leh-oo)
(eh)  ñ (egn-eh) x (eck-eez)
(ef-eh) o (oh) y (ee, or yeh, in some areas of Latin America as sh)
g (h-eh) p (peh) z (seh-tah)
h (ah-cheh) q (coo)  
i (ee) r (air-eh)  
j  (ho-tah) s (ess-eh)  

Latin American Spanish Vocabulary

The majority of Spanish words are understood worldwide, however, in Latin America, you will find some differences which vary further again between dialects. These are the same sorts of differences that exist between American, British or Australian English. Below is a list of some of the more common difference in vocabulary.

English Spain Latin America
Banana Platano Banana / banano
Car Coche Carro/Auto
Computer Ordenador Computador/a
Cute Mono/a Lindo/a
Drive Conducir Manejar
Firework Fuego artificial Pirotecnia
Jeans Vaqueros Jeans
Juice Zumo Jugo
Lipstick Pintolabios Labial
Mate Chaval/tío Parcero
Money Pasta Plata
Nice Majo/a Lindo/a
Pen Boligrafo Pluma / Lapicero
Public holiday Fiesta Festivo
Pyjama (el) pijama (la) Piyama
Sock (el) calcetín (la) Media
TV La televisión El televisor
Keep practising!
70+ Spanish Travel Phrases Cheat-Sheet! (Free PDF Download)

Don't let the learning stop here. Download your free PDF guide with 70+ Spanish travel phrases. Includes English and Spanish translations with pronunciation guide plus both Castilian (European) and Latin American Spanish variations. ¡Aprendamos juntas! (Let's learn together!)

I promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Want to have fun whilst learning European Spanish, Latin American Spanish or Argentinian Spanish? Struggling to find decent Spanish language resources available? I recommend getting uTalk. Available as a desktop site and app, uTalk is awesome for learning key words and phrases in Spanish (either in European, Latin American, or Argentinian Spanish), especially if you want to use it for travel purposes.  It’s great for beginners getting started in a language and invaluable for intermediates looking to fill in gaps in their vocabulary and pronunciation. 

What I love most about uTalk is that you can jump around their extensive library of topics and choose what you want to learn, when you want, and at your own pace.  Because I believe in uTalk so much, I reached out to them and we’ve teamed up to offer you an exclusive 30% OFF reader discount across all of uTalk’s 140 languages! This offer isn’t available anywhere else! Click here to claim your exclusive 30% discount in European SpanishLatin American Spanish here,and Argentinian Spanish here.


Useful Latin American Spanish Phrases for Travellers

Basic Latin American Spanish Phrases Guide

English Latin American Spanish Pronunciation

Greetings

   
Hello Hola O-la
Good morning Buenos dias bwe-nos di-as
Good evening Buenas tardes bwe-nas taɾ-des
Good night Buenas noches bwe-nas no-ches
Goodbye Adiós ah-dee-os
How are you? ¿Cómo estás? (informal ‘you’ – tú) /
¿Cómo está? (formal ‘ you’ – usted)
koh-moh es-tahs / koh-moh es-tah
I’m well, and you? Estoy bien, ¿y tú? es-toy bee-en, ee tuh
Good, thanks Bien, gracias bee-en, grah-see-as
     

Essentials

   
Please Por favor por fah-bor
Thank you Gracias grah-see-as
You’re welcome De nada deh nah-dah
Yes see
No No noh
Excuse me (getting attention)

Excuse me (when asking something to repeat themselves, begging pardon)

Disculpa (Tú) / Disculpe (Usted)

Perdón / ¿cómo?

Dees-kool-pah / Dees-kool-peh

Pair-don / Koh-moh

I’m sorry Lo siento loh see-en-toh
I don’t understand No entiendo noh en-tee-en-doh
Do you speak English? ¿Hablas Inglés? (Tú) / ¿Habla Inglés? (Usted) ah-blas een-gles / ah-bla oos-teth een-gles
     

Questions

   
How much is…? ¿Cuánto cuesta…? ¿koohahn-toh?
Where is…? ¿Dónde está…? dohn-deh ehs-tah
When? ¿Cuándo…? ¿koohahn-doh?
May I please have…? ¿Me puedes dar… por favor? (Tú) / ¿Me puede dar… por favor? (Usted)

¿Me das…? (Tú) / ¿Me da…? (Usted)

Quiero… (It sounds more demanding, so it’s a little less common.)

– Meh pweh-dehs dar… por fah-bor / Meh pweh-deh dar… por fah-bor

– Meh dahs… / Meh dah…

– Kyair-oh…

     

Eating Out

   
Beer Cerveza sehr-beh-sah
Wine Vino bee-noh
Water Agua ah-gwah
I don’t eat… No como… noh koh-moh
I’m a vegetarian Soy vegetariano/a soy veh-heh-tah-riha-noh/nah
the bill, please La cuenta, por favor lah kwen-tah por fah-bor
     

Getting Around

   
Left Izquierda eez-kyair-dah
Right Derecha dare-reh-chah
Straight ahead Todo recto toh-doh deh-reh-cho
Turn left Gira a la izquierda (Tú) / Gire… (Usted) here-ah ah lah eez-kyair-dah / here-eh
Turn right Gira a la derecha (Tú) / Gire… (Usted) here-ah ah lah dare-reh-chah / here-eh
Bus stop Parada de camión pah-rah-dah deh kammy-on
Train station Estación de tren es-tah-see-on deh tren
Airport Aeropuerto ah-eh-row-pwer-toh
Entrance Entrada en-trah-dah
Exit Salida sah-lee-dah
     

Numbers

   
1 Uno ooh-noh
2 Dos dohs
3 Tres trehs
4 Cuatro kwah-troh
5 Cinco seen-koh
6 Seis says
7 Siete see-eh-teh
8 Ocho oh-cho
9 Nueve nwe-beh
10 Diez dee-es
20 Veinte beh-in-teh
30 Treinta treh-in-tah
40 Cuarenta kwa-ren-tah
50 Cincuenta seen-kwen-tah
60 Sesenta seh-sen-ta
70 Setenta seh-ten-tah
80 Ochenta oh-chen-tah
90 Noventa noh-ben-tah
100 Cien see-en
     

Days

   
Monday Lunes loo-ness
Tuesday Martes mar-tehs
Wednesday Miércoles mee-ehr-koh-less
Thursday Jueves hwe-behs
Friday Viernes bee-ehr-ness
Saturday Sábado sah-bah-do
Sunday Domingo doh-mean-goh
     

Emergency

   
Help! ¡Ayuda! / ¡Auxilio! ah-you-dah / owk-see-lee-oh
I need a doctor Necesito un doctor neh-seh-see-toh uhn dok-tohr
I don’t feel well No me siento bien / Me siento mal noh meh see-en-toh bee-en
Call the police! ¡Llama a la paolicia! (Tú) /
¡Llame a la policía! (usted) /
¡Llamen a la policía! (You – plural)
yah-mah ah lah poh-lee-see-ah / yah-meh ah lah poh-lee-see-ah / yah-men ah lah poh-lee-see-ah
Fire! ¡Fuego! phweh-goh
Keep practising!
70+ Spanish Travel Phrases Cheat-Sheet! (Free PDF Download)

Don't let the learning stop here. Download your free PDF guide with 70+ Spanish travel phrases. Includes English and Spanish translations with pronunciation guide plus both Castilian (European) and Latin American Spanish variations. ¡Aprendamos juntas! (Let's learn together!)

I promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address

Here are some helpful videos by Spanish and Go. This one covers beginner Spanish phrases every traveller needs to know.

…and this one is how to make small talk with the locals.

Want more? Learn Spanish with me, with Intrepid Spanish!

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Useful Latin American Spanish Phrases for Travellers [Infographic]

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Latin American Spanish Travel Phrases

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Over to you!

Which of these Spanish phrases did you find most useful? Which other phrases would you like to know?
Let me know using the comments section below or join me on social media to start a conversation.

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