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Learning Easy Spanish

2020 Camino Guides
C

Castilian

Guest
And with Spanish there really is no excuse. Unlike English and French it is consistent and without silent letters
Umm, h is silent:)
...almost always (see below). And the u in gue and gui... always. OTOH, in güe and güi, the u is pronounced.

Exceptions: The words where the h is pronounced? Apparently the only such word that is recognized by the Royal Spanish Academy as fully Spanish is hámster, a cognate of the English word for "hamster,"
Other words that come to my mind (recognized by the RAE) are: saharaui, sahariano and sahárico (all of them meaning from/or/relative to the Sahara or the Western Sahara).

In some areas of Spain (mainly rural areas of the West of Andalucía) the h is pronounced aspirada; mainly in words that started by f in Latin.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
you can learn to pronounce say...'pescado' absolutely perfectly (soft d etc) and find the locals say what seems a different word altogether ie : peca'o
There are several Spanish dialects and accents in Spain so locals from one area speak Spanish different than locals from another area...

P.S.: Don't forget there are also several languages in Spain so if you are in any of the bilingual (or plurilingual) areas of Spain and you don't understand what it's said/written, check first if it's Spanish what it's spoken/written or if it's another language.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Sarria to Santiago (2015)
Camino Frances - Sarria to Santiago to Fisterra (2016)
...almost always (see below). And the u in gue and gui... always. OTOH, in güe and güi, the u is pronounced.



Other words that come to my mind (recognized by the RAE) are: saharaui, sahariano and sahárico (all of them meaning from/or/relative to the Sahara or the Western Sahara).

In some areas of Spain (mainly rural areas of the West of Andalucía) the h is pronounced aspirada; mainly in words that started by f in Latin.
oh I know guys, I was over simplifying but its STILL easier than French or English!!!
 

Coreyna

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (May 2016)
Really appreciate all the tips in this thread everybody. Using this and other sources I've made a public Google sheet of key phrases by category, with English/Spanish and a phonetic pronunciation column. In case it would help anyone else, the link is: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1suzvvpo6rMkCC9vpezFbgjfTKsSXQn5KSENl5AA5D-A/edit?usp=sharing
I also highly recommend the volumes from Earworms Rapid Spanish - they include a a set of audios as well as a printable pronunciation guide so you can follow along.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Sarria to Santiago (2015)
Camino Frances - Sarria to Santiago to Fisterra (2016)
Also.... nothing in the world will help you with Basque but when you get to Galicia having a basic idea of Portuguese will help with Gallego.
 
C

Castilian

Guest
Using this and other sources I've made a public Google sheet of key phrases by category, with English/Spanish and a phonetic pronunciation column.
I won't comment about the phonetic pronounciation because it'll take too much time and open too many arguments. I won't comment either about the missing accent marks on the document as well as the missing ¿ but I'll comment about some wrong translations, some typos and some other things.

Sometimes you quote the male and female forms (what it's a great idea) but other times (e.g.: 105, 116, 180...) you just quote one of them... I would suggest you to follow the same rule(s) always.

I also suggest you to make a brief explanation about why you used the usted instead of the tú.

When you is involved, you could provide the translation both for you as singular and for you as plural.

Can I/I Can = Puedo
Is it/It es = está or es
I don't know = no sé. No lo sé = I don't know it
Can you tell me? = ¿Puede decirme?
What is that? = ¿Qué es eso?
Can you stamp my passport? = ¿Puede sellar mi credencial?
call up a taxi = llamar a un taxi
Can you give me a discount? = ¿Me puede hacer un descuento?
It's nice has many translations depending on the context. It would be a good idea to specify a context (and in that case, está bueno may not be the translation)
35 and 36 Cuánto
67 Iglesia
64 Estación de autobuses
70 Rotonda (rotunda is another thing)
75 Derecha
77 another possible translation would be gire
78 another possible translation would be junto a
106 una botella de vino
111 In Spain, a sandwich is a sándwich and a bocadillo is a bocadillo.
125 not necessarily bravas
127 not necessarily from Padrón
129 tortilla de patatas or tortilla española (you must specify the name of the tortilla because there are many types of tortillas)
161 encantado (a) de conocerle
173 no importa (another possible translation)
175 vámonos
176 caminamos (another possible translation)
200 tengo dolor aquí
213 mañana
204 ampolla = blister. Pronounced... well, I know what it means but I don't see it as a camino (related) word so I may be missing some meaning...
210 Ayúdeme
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature
There are several Spanish dialects and accents in Spain so locals from one area speak Spanish different than locals from another area...

P.S.: Don't forget there are also several languages in Spain so if you are in any of the bilingual (or plurilingual) areas of Spain and you don't understand what it's said/written, check first if it's Spanish what it's spoken/written or if it's another language.
I had Spanish as spoken in Andalucia in mind when I wrote that
:)
 

Coreyna

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (May 2016)
I won't comment about the phonetic pronounciation because it'll take too much time and open too many arguments. I won't comment either about the missing accent marks on the document as well as the missing ¿ but I'll comment about some wrong translations, some typos and some other things.
Thanks Castilian, that helps a lot, everyone on this forum is so helpful and generous :) I've gone through and updated the document according to your list.

Pronunciation: The pronunciations I've written are based on how the words sound on my audios and how best I can describe them to myself with my Australian accent.

Lack of accents was just my laziness, I've been mainly practicing through speaking and listening and just didn't take the time to write them properly. I've fixed up all that I can see.

Male/Female forms - Where there is just female quoted it's usually because my travelling companion (my Mum) and I are both female and it's all I was expecting to use. I've updated those couple you mentioned.

Tu vs usted - I figured it it's always better to be safe than sorry and use the formal form. I've added tu to those instances as an alternative.

RE: está bueno - I was trying to talk about the weather, have added the context.

Singular/plural "you" - I'm terrible at grammar, I think this might be a bit much for me with only 2 weekish till I go.

Thanks!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018, (2019)
Thanks Castilian, that helps a lot, everyone on this forum is so helpful and generous :) I've gone through and updated the document according to your list.

Pronunciation: The pronunciations I've written are based on how the words sound on my audios and how best I can describe them to myself with my Australian accent.

Lack of accents was just my laziness, I've been mainly practicing through speaking and listening and just didn't take the time to write them properly. I've fixed up all that I can see.

Male/Female forms - Where there is just female quoted it's usually because my travelling companion (my Mum) and I are both female and it's all I was expecting to use. I've updated those couple you mentioned.

Tu vs usted - I figured it it's always better to be safe than sorry and use the formal form. I've added tu to those instances as an alternative.

RE: está bueno - I was trying to talk about the weather, have added the context.

Singular/plural "you" - I'm terrible at grammar, I think this might be a bit much for me with only 2 weekish till I go.

Thanks!
@Coreyna, thank-you very muchfor sharing your document (#204). Am I OK to use the same link, or is there a new one I should use now you've updated it?
 

Tonylash

Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
It is just great to hear from so many of you and to learn that you have been having such a spiffing time on the Camino. From all your comments it is clear that our sense of humour is not dead!
I did not realise that there were so many linguists amongst our pilgrims. Must write up a few more flash cards as none of this is in my Berlitz, Spanish Phrase Book!
Not a splicing time then
 
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria to Santiago May 2018
Is there an Android app to hear-and-speak enough Spanish for the Camino? I'd like to learn as I walk laps inside the mall. Earphones to the cell phone would be great, but not if I must walk staring at the screen. Duolingo says I'm 35% fluent but that's reading - still don't know how to ask "Where do I catch the bus to Santiago?" and couldn't understand the answer if I got one.
 

thesmiths2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Madrid (2018)
Is there an Android app to hear-and-speak enough Spanish for the Camino? I'd like to learn as I walk laps inside the mall. Earphones to the cell phone would be great, but not if I must walk staring at the screen. Duolingo says I'm 35% fluent but that's reading - still don't know how to ask "Where do I catch the bus to Santiago?" and couldn't understand the answer if I got one.
I would love to know an app that doesn't need connectivity to translate. I have Google Translate (I'm on an iPhone)? I use it ALL THE TIME with my gardener who doesn't speak english. I speak or write what I want, it translates it, then audibly speaks to Jose for me. :) Couldn't live without it. Unfortunately, you have to be connected via wifi or network.
 

thesmiths2

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Madrid (2018)
I'm looking online now and there are non-connectivity apps available. Would love feedback from others on the best ones.

I just noticed Google Translate has offline translations that can be downloaded. It seems to work, but won't speak it for me without a network connection, so we have to read it or show it to the person to read. :)
 
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Caligal

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
Hello fellow pilgrims, i walked the CF this past spring now planning for #2! I was a pre-school teacher in California so I learned “kid Spanish” it served me pretty well. Now as I am planning my next Camino I understand not all the Caminos are as English language friendly as the Frances. I now have the time and desire to learn conversational Spanish. I know of Rosetta Stone and Babbel, have any of you used either or have any recommendations? Thanks Dee
 

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Hello fellow pilgrims, i walked the CF this past spring now planning for #2! I was a pre-school teacher in California so I learned “kid Spanish” it served me pretty well. Now as I am planning my next Camino I understand not all the Caminos are as English language friendly as the Frances. I now have the time and desire to learn conversational Spanish. I know of Rosetta Stone and Babbel, have any of you used either or have any recommendations? Thanks Dee
Also, tune into Spanish language channels.

My👂improves when I watch Spanish news. Rapid-fire initially but after a time I understand.

In Los Angeles we have no dearth of said channels.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Coffee Break Spanish is good and centres around a young, Scottish student learning from scratch (spoiler, she learns so well she ends up with a Spanish boyfriend!) - short podcasts you can learn while you drink your coffee!
 

witsendwv

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2015)
Duolingo, then Notes in Spanish with Ben and Marina. Their podcasts range from beginner to advanced, and finally as I am going to try and test - Lengalia. Lengalia costs, but they have sales. In the summer I bought a year for half price. Buena suerte!!
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
There's the Duolingo Spanish Podcast on Spotify. Pretty easy (an english speaker keeps interjecting!) but good for a variety of accents.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
I understand not all the Caminos are as English language friendly as the Frances.
From my language impaired perspective, the Camino Frances is not English language friendly. Admittedly, many pilgrims spoke English, but I did not find anything beyond the exchange of food and beverage for money in English.
 

Caligal

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
From my language impaired perspective, the Camino Frances is not English language friendly. Admittedly, many pilgrims spoke English, but I did not find anything beyond the exchange of food and beverage for money in English.
why that’s too bad. I had many 1/2 English 1/2 Spanish conversations I think it could be even better with a bit of work.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
Hello fellow pilgrims, i walked the CF this past spring now planning for #2! I was a pre-school teacher in California so I learned “kid Spanish” it served me pretty well. Now as I am planning my next Camino I understand not all the Caminos are as English language friendly as the Frances. I now have the time and desire to learn conversational Spanish. I know of Rosetta Stone and Babbel, have any of you used either or have any recommendations? Thanks Dee
I have been using www.duolingo.com for more than a year now. It is FREE and is very good.

When I return to volunteer at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago each summer, the staff is always surprised that my Spanish continues to improve. One day... they may let me do Compostelas... But for now I am cinderfella...

Try it...

Hope this helps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked part of the Camino Frances and plan to start over in April 2018.
Hello fellow pilgrims, i walked the CF this past spring now planning for #2! I was a pre-school teacher in California so I learned “kid Spanish” it served me pretty well. Now as I am planning my next Camino I understand not all the Caminos are as English language friendly as the Frances. I now have the time and desire to learn conversational Spanish. I know of Rosetta Stone and Babbel, have any of you used either or have any recommendations? Thanks Dee
Look into the Olly Richards program. Also iTalkie for practice online with a native speaker of your choice.
 

cindyjo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012
Camino del Norte /Primitivo (2014)
Chemin la Puy (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Hi Caligirl, I used some of Rosetta Stone before my first Camino in 2012 and have used Duolingo for practice as well. I certainly got by in the most basic way. But, I’ve had the most success using Fluenz. It teaches using situations you may find yourself in and takes advantage of what you know about your own language. I’ve used Fluenz Spanish through all levels, but what most impressed me was going through level 3 in Fluenz French and managing better than I ever thought possible while walking the Chemin du la Puy. I find French difficult. There’s also an old program on the internet called Destino. It’s actually a Spanish novella, with a guide. It helps with listening and reminds you to listen to the whole as well as focus on the content and situation rather than getting stuck trying to translate every word. I still have lots to learn in Spanish so your question has also given me lots of new resources to explore. Good luck with your language learning...it’s a fun life long endeavor.
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
This is an old and ongoing thread, and I'm lazy and don't want to plod through the whole thing to see if this has been mentioned before, but here's a source for common Camino words and phrases:
http://www.caminoguide.net/pages/camino-spanish
Click on the "...download it here" highlight, and if you're so motivated, you can make a donation to the link on the same page.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hi Caligirl, I used some of Rosetta Stone before my first Camino in 2012 and have used Duolingo for practice as well. I certainly got by in the most basic way. But, I’ve had the most success using Fluenz. It teaches using situations you may find yourself in and takes advantage of what you know about your own language. I’ve used Fluenz Spanish through all levels, but what most impressed me was going through level 3 in Fluenz French and managing better than I ever thought possible while walking the Chemin du la Puy. I find French difficult. There’s also an old program on the internet called Destino. It’s actually a Spanish novella, with a guide. It helps with listening and reminds you to listen to the whole as well as focus on the content and situation rather than getting stuck trying to translate every word. I still have lots to learn in Spanish so your question has also given me lots of new resources to explore. Good luck with your language learning...it’s a fun life long endeavor.
Fluenz seems rather expensive. Do they have any special offers that you know of?
 

Theresa Brandon

Artist, photographer, dreamer
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (2018)
Check with your local library to see if they subscribe to Mango. If so, then you can download it yourself. I like it because it is very conversational with useful phrases and common words.
 

cindyjo

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2012
Camino del Norte /Primitivo (2014)
Chemin la Puy (2016)
Camino Portuguese (2017)
Trecile, Sometimes, around Christmas, Fluenz has a sale. They have great customer service, flash cards, and a forum for language learners. You are right, it is more expensive than some programs so I suspect it’s a resource for folks who want to learn more Spanish than what’s needed on the Camino. For me, Spanish is like walking caminos, once I got started I can’t seem to stop. :)
 

IngridF

Intrepid Peregrina
Camino(s) past & future
2012, 2015 ,2017, 2019
Yes, I used to have a copy I lend out post first Camino. ..still waiting for return... not sure who has it. It was helpful!
 
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AndrewDavOz

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2019
Due to the limitations of amazon, which requires Australians to buy from amazon.com.au rather than any other country’s version of amazon.com, it appears to allow me to buy the kindle edition from the uk site but not from the AU site. The wonders of “border free” commerce.. haha.
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
There is no doubt that it is very useful, if not essential, to speak at least a bit of Spanish when undertaking the Camino. However it does take time to learn a foreign language and most of us are short of time. However it is not too difficult, or time consuming, to learn just enough to get by.
I have a friend who over 50 years has cycled in many countries of the world and has done that, learned just enough of various languages to get by. These include Spanish, French, German, Polish and even Japanese!
From experience he has learned that you can get by with about 150 phrases. He starts with a phrase book which includes phonetic pronounciations. He recommends the combined phrase book/dictionary by Berlitz, but there are others. From this he writes up the 150 most useful phrases onto flash cards, and then starts to learn and practise them. This way you only have to learn a minimum of words/phrases, those which are most likely to be of use during your trip.
There are some phrases which will not appear in your phrase book, for example:
Please can you stamp my credencial - Por favor, puede usted sellar mi credencial.
And instead of asking if there are rooms free, at a hostal you will be asking for a vacant bunk bed.
But you get the idea, it just needs a bit of thought and adaption!
So perhaps it would be useful to set up a pilgrims crash course of 150 useful phrases. So to start the ball rolling, any suggestions for inclusion is what should go into the top 20 most useful phrases? Are there any phrases that you want to know, or wish that you had known?
Muchas gracias Picosrider! I am currently learning Spanish for my mid September Camino Frances. I was going to write a list of useful phrases for the trip and learn them by heart. This thread is great! Maravilloso!
 

Hilarious

Hilarious
Camino(s) past & future
Planning stage Camino Frances from SJPdP (Sept. 2019)
Due to the limitations of amazon, which requires Australians to buy from amazon.com.au rather than any other country’s version of amazon.com, it appears to allow me to buy the kindle edition from the uk site but not from the AU site. The wonders of “border free” commerce.. haha.
That’s interesting Dave. I have had an account with US Amazon for about 10 years. It hasn’t changed over to the Aussie one.
 

rometimed

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(SJPdP: 2015, June2020!) (Eng Way: 2015)
Don't know if anyone else is like me... but typically I can understand French and Spanish when others are speaking it but I have a hard time vocalizing my own thoughts into those languages.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Don't know if anyone else is like me... but typically I can understand French and Spanish when others are speaking it but I have a hard time vocalizing my own thoughts into those languages.
A much missed friend used to say "I speak perfect French, it's a shame my neighbours don't!" - he was a Welshman who lived in the Charente Maritime region of France for 25 years.
 

MikeJS

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (12), VdlP (16). Sureste/Invierno (17). Olvidado/San Salvador/Primitivo (19)
I have found that along with my basic spanish that the app Say Hi is an excellent assistant - the 80 year old lady at one of my recent albergue stops thought it was excellent fun that we could have a conversation via this app.
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
I took the Basic Dictionary for Hospitaleros, and extended it with additional words and phonetic spellings. Here is my revised Basic Dictionary for Hospitaleros with the SPA (SPAIN) phonetic spellings from spanishdict.com. I also added them to Quizlet.

Solo practicando ... ¡buena suerte! 👣 :D :cool:
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I took the Basic Dictionary for Hospitaleros, and extended it with additional words and phonetic spellings. Here is my revised Basic Dictionary for Hospitaleros with the SPA (SPAIN) phonetic spellings from spanishdict.com. I also added them to Quizlet.

Solo practicando ... ¡buena suerte! 👣 :D :cool:
An excellent resource - now if we could have a few practical phrases for the pilgrim along the way . . . .

I suggest: "The mouse is under the table". "the cat is on the chair" and "the monkey is in the tree" cf Eddie Izzard we'll be good to go ;)
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
An excellent resource - now if we could have a few practical phrases for the pilgrim along the way . . . .

I suggest: "The mouse is under the table". "the cat is on the chair" and "the monkey is in the tree" cf Eddie Izzard we'll be good to go ;)
"The mouse is under the table" and "the cat is on the chair" could quite possibly be practical for a peregrino. I think "the monkey is in the tree" is likely less practical and suggest replacing it with "the bedbug is in the bed" as a more potentially useful phrase.
 

MariaSP

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (2019)
I took the Basic Dictionary for Hospitaleros, and extended it with additional words and phonetic spellings. Here is my revised Basic Dictionary for Hospitaleros with the SPA (SPAIN) phonetic spellings from spanishdict.com. I also added them to Quizlet.

Solo practicando ... ¡buena suerte! 👣 :D :cool:
Can I suggest some corrections? Sorry, the Spanish teacher in me can't help it 😬
 

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