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Useful Spanish Words/Phrases

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005, 2017) Camino Portguese 2018
Use Spanish Words/Phrases For the Camino de Santiago
Esto -This
Click this link for to hear pronunciation:

You've walked all morning through a smattering of sleepy villages where everything was frustratingly closed. Not a shop, bar or cafe open anywhere.

Then you see a sign in the woods "Panadería - Bakery 1km." All of a sudden you're no longer dragging your feet and thinking of eating the lizards. You're skipping along dreaming of a tasty Spanish pastry.

You bounce through the bakery door, see what you want but words fail you because you don't know the name of the thing begging to be eaten in Spanish. That is when you unleash this beautiful word that'll get you what you want.

"¡Esto!" You cry drooling at the mouth and pointing at the object of your desire on display. You say it ten times because you're so hungry you eat ten of them.

Ampolla - Blister
Click this link for to hear pronunciation:

That dreaded hot spot has started to burn your heel and ball of your foot.. The longer you go on, the more it bites away at your precious energy.

You gingerly peel off your socks in the courtyard of the albergue and your worst fears are confirmed - a callous callus is staring you in the face. Better get it seen to before it turns radioactive.

The word you'll need in the chemist is ampolla. Say it with sad eyes and sucking air through your teeth like you're in pain.

With any luck you'll get served by a lovely lady like I did who'll give you what you need. I was given strict orders to dress them in bandages doused in antibiotic cream every day before walking and apply disinfectant on the blisters to sanitise them when finished for the day.

Tapones - Ear plugs
Click the link to hear pronounciation: https://www.howtopronounce.com/spanish/tapones/
After rigorously rehearsing a sentence I’d pieced together using my Spanish phrasebook, I strode into a pharmacy with the confidence of a local, flamenco stamped at the counter and hit the lady behind the counter with it.

Las cosas para enchufar aquí– the things for plugging in here,’ I requested, sticking my fingers in my ears. They'd get the message surely?

The señora standing by the till gave me a look of horror like I’d just asked her to pull out a nostril hair. Without saying a word she scurried out back and returned with a colleague.

I repeated my request to her colleague.
‘Eeengleesh pleez,’ she pleaded equally stumped.
‘Earplugs,’ I said, sticking my fingers in my ears again.

With all becoming clear she pulled a set off a hook behind the counter and I thanked them for their patience.
Later on I found out from a Canadian who spoke fluent Spanish that I’d actually asked them to electrocute me through my ears.

Tapones, she informed me, was the magic word that would keep me out of future trouble. It could stop you from being electrocuted too and give you a good night's sleep at the albergue.


To read the full blog post, learn more handy Spanish words and read more pilgrim ponders go to:
https://caminosantiagoblogcom.wordpress.com/blog/

Thanks for reading:)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005, 2017) Camino Portguese 2018
Most people know those words so wanted to provide some less obvious terms. Can you put your recommendation for the pronunciation please? I've treble checked and to me, if I was teaching an english speaker to make the correct vowel sounds for those syllables, I wouldn't change it.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Most people know those words so wanted to provide some less obvious terms. Can you put your recommendation for the pronunciation please? I've treble checked and to me, if I was teaching an english speaker to make the correct vowel sounds for those syllables, I wouldn't change it.
Yes, I appreciate that you were giving out some other words that pilgrims would find useful. I especially like claro. But there should be no R sound in potable - po-ta-blay, with the stress on ta

 

Sharonn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
Camino Portugues 2017
Six Spanish Words/Phrases That Could Come in Handy on the Camino de Santiago

Esto -This (pronounced Ess-to)!
You've walked all morning through a smattering of sleepy villages where everything was frustratingly closed. Not a shop, bar or cafe open anywhere.

Then you see a sign in the woods "Panadería - Bakery 1km." All of a sudden you're no longer dragging your feet and thinking of eating the lizards. You're skipping along dreaming of a tasty Spanish pastry.

You bounce through the bakery door, see what you want but words fail you because you don't know the name of the thing you want in Spanish. That is when you unleash this beautiful word that'll get you what you want.

"¡Esto!" You cry drooling at the mouth and pointing at the object of your desire on display. You say it ten times because you're so hungry you eat ten of them.

Ampollas - Blisters (am-po-yass).
That dreaded hot spot has started to burn your heel. The longer you go on, the more it bites away at your precious energy.

You gingerly peel off your socks in the courtyard of the albergue and your worst fears are confirmed - a callous callus is staring you in the face. Better get it seen to before it turns radioactive.

The word you'll need in the chemist is ampollas. Say it with sad eyes and sucking air through your teeth like you're in pain.

With any luck you'll get served by a lovely lady like I did who'll give you what you need. I was given strict orders to dress them in bandages doused in antibiotic cream every day before walking and apply disinfectant on the blisters to sanitise them when finished for the day.

Tapones - Ear plugs (tah-po-ness).
After rigorously rehearsing a sentence I’d pieced together using my Spanish phrasebook, I strode into a pharmacy with the confidence of a local, flamenco stamped at the counter and hit the lady behind the counter with it.

Las cosas para enchufar aquí– the things for plugging in here,’ I requested, sticking my fingers in my ears. They'd get the message surely?

The señora standing by the till gave me a look of horror like I’d just asked her to pull out a nostril hair. Without saying a word she scurried out back and returned with a colleague.
I repeated my request to her colleague.

‘Eeengleesh pleez,’ she pleaded equally stumped.
‘Earplugs,’ I said, sticking my fingers in my ears again.

With all becoming clear she pulled a set off a hook behind the counter and I thanked them for their patience.
Later on I found out from a Canadian who spoke fluent Spanish that I’d actually asked them to electrocute me through my ears.

Tapones, she informed me, was the magic word that would keep me out of future trouble. It could stop you from being electrocuted too and give you a good night's sleep at the albergue.

Agua Potable (agoo-ah po-tar-blay) - Drinking Water
You may come across some drinking fountains or taps along the way and unsure if it's safe to drink. Agua Potable are the magic words you are looking. Probably best not to consume if those words aren't displayed.

Postre - Desert (po-stray)
All pilgrims know hunger is a chronic condition on the way to Santiago. You can never have enough food, even after attacking a table full of tapas. With your belly purring after plates of padròn peppers, chipirones & calamares a la romana, desert is the next thing you can bury your face in.

Postre por favor!" You shout to the camareros.

Claro - Clear/Understood/Okay/Exactly! (clar-ro)
The Spanish looooove to talk. If it were an Olympic event they'd clean sweep the medals. On more than one occasion I had some enchanting old villagers come sit next to me on a bench and just start talking.

Even if you don't understand anything, just throw in the word claro when there's a natural pause or it sounds like they could be asking a question. It's a magic little term to keep conversation bouncing back over the net and a word you'll often hear in the Iberian concrete jungle.

For more pilgrim ponders have a wander over to:
https://caminosantiagoblogcom.wordpress.com/blog/

Thanks for reading:)
Thanks for your 6 useful words. I enjoyed your humour too! One doesn't have to know a lot of Spanish on the camino at all. The 2 most essential phrases are "can I have another beer please" and "Do you take a credit card?"
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005, 2017) Camino Portguese 2018
Yes, I appreciate that you were giving out some other words that pilgrims would find useful. I especially like claro. But there should be no R sound in potable - po-ta-blay, with the stress on ta

Upon second thoughts... that video plays a recording of how to say it. But doesn't show how it sounds phonetically for English speakers. The sound "tar," like "car" or "jar" fits perfectly into "potable. Hence why I threw an "r" in there:)
Upon third thoughts... I would put an "tar" for English speakers from the UK and "ta" for Americans. Think our bone of contention lies in our different accents;:)
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005, 2017) Camino Portguese 2018
Thanks for your 6 useful words. I enjoyed your humour too! One doesn't have to know a lot of Spanish on the camino at all. The 2 most essential phrases are "can I have another beer please" and "Do you take a credit card?"
Everyone's psyche is loaded with cerveza!
 

Andrew Lowrey

Andalublue
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (last 300km) - November 2016
Camino Francés (beginning Roncesvalles) - November 2018
And of course the most important words are gracias and por favor. :)
Just a point, while I completely agree that 'gracias' is extremely important, 'por favor' much less so, and this is something I find native English speakers (particularly English and Canadians) find a bit tricky to get their head around. I have lived here in southern Spain for 12 years and many of my Spanish neighbours often refer to English people, especially tourists, as 'porfas'. It's not meant insultingly, but it is a reflection that English speakers use 'por favor' far more than is necessary or customary for native Spanish speakers to do. Now, that's not a problem as such, but it can be.

Native Spanish speakers will use 'por favor' from time to time, but in most everyday circumstances, asking for a drink in a bar for example, it is unnecessary provided you use a pleasant tone of voice when ordering. Furthermore, and this often comes as a shock to tourists, using 'por favor' can actually give your request an impolite-sounding urgency. "Dame una cerveza. Por favor!" That is not the most elegant way of ordering a beer. The stress on 'por favor' effectively makes your request sound like: "Give me a beer, and make it snappy!" Or similarly, "Por favor, dame una cerveza" can convey the sense: "Oi! Can I get a beer here?"

I always say thankyou, but rarely please these days. As a well brought-up Englishman, it has taken me many years to wean myself off the knee-jerk inclination to say 'por favor' every time I want something.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Just a point, while I completely agree that 'gracias' is extremely important, 'por favor' much less so, and this is something I find native English speakers (particularly English and Canadians) find a bit tricky to get their head around. I have lived here in southern Spain for 12 years and many of my Spanish neighbours often refer to English people, especially tourists, as 'porfas'. It's not meant insultingly, but it is a reflection that English speakers use 'por favor' far more than is necessary or customary for native Spanish speakers to do. Now, that's not a problem as such, but it can be.

Native Spanish speakers will use 'por favor' from time to time, but in most everyday circumstances, asking for a drink in a bar for example, it is unnecessary provided you use a pleasant tone of voice when ordering. Furthermore, and this often comes as a shock to tourists, using 'por favor' can actually give your request an impolite-sounding urgency. "Dame una cerveza. Por favor!" That is not the most elegant way of ordering a beer. The stress on 'por favor' effectively makes your request sound like: "Give me a beer, and make it snappy!" Or similarly, "Por favor, dame una cerveza" can convey the sense: "Oi! Can I get a beer here?"

I always say thankyou, but rarely please these days. As a well brought-up Englishman, it has taken me many years to wean myself off the knee-jerk inclination to say 'por favor' every time I want something.
Good to know! I don't think that I would ever say dame when ordering! Quisiera seems much more polite. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
Quisiera seems much more polite.
Yes, that's what we all learned in Spanish class, but Spaniards don't really say that. It sounds extremely polite to us, but they just get to the point and will use "dame" or "póngame" (or "me das" or "me pones"). I mean, it doesn't hurt anything to say quisiera if you want to, but it's not rude not to.

No problems with a "por favor" in a sincere tone. I recently saw a funny photo from a bar in Madrid that I will add to this post that illustrates a little more:

B0726CD8-7B8C-447B-B2DB-8C21D5639DC1.jpeg
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005, 2017) Camino Portguese 2018
That is all I need after a day of walking. Thank you. I am not the kind of person that needs alcohol on a daily basis , not even on a Camino.
but they're so good on a hot day! Those beers are so good but small it's hard not to crave a second.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
but they're so good on a hot day! Those beers are so good but small it's hard not to crave a second.

I just wanted to make clear that a person can do without alcohol on a Camino.
Recently there are some posters asking for information about AA meetings on different Caminos and I feel it is important to post that not drinking any alcohol is perfectly normal when walking a pilgrimage. It is not a " conditio sine qua non".
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005, 2017) Camino Portguese 2018
Yes, I appreciate that you were giving out some other words that pilgrims would find useful. I especially like claro. But there should be no R sound in potable - po-ta-blay, with the stress on ta
Upon second thoughts... that video plays a recording of how to say it in Spanish. But doesn't demonstrate how it sounds phonetically for English speakers. The sound "tar," like "car" or "jar" fits perfectly into potable. Hence why I threw an "r" in there:)
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Upon second thoughts... that video plays a recording of how to say it in Spanish. But doesn't demonstrate how it sounds phonetically for English speakers. The sound "tar," like "car" or "jar" fits perfectly into potable. Hence why I threw an "r" in there:)
¯\_(ツ)_/¯
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
My Spanish teacher tells me that camerero (like garçon in French) is deemed to be a bit patronising nowadays. As is shouting Oiga! and tapping your cup with a spoon.

But she's from Valencia so what does she know?

I find if I speak loudly and slowly enough, these foreign Johnnies understand perfectly well (especially if I take my tongue out of my cheek) ;)
 

GettingThere

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles-SdC Apr-Jun 2015
Roncesvalles-Sarria Sep-Oct 2017
(2019: Planning to return!)
Upon second thoughts... that video plays a recording of how to say it in Spanish. But doesn't demonstrate how it sounds phonetically for English speakers. The sound "tar," like "car" or "jar" fits perfectly into potable. Hence why I threw an "r" in there:)
This illustrates beautifully the pitfalls of "phonetic" spelling - it varies with how English is spoken in different parts of the world. Hence the weird-looking pronunciation symbols you see in dictionaries. If you are from parts of the UK or some other English-speaking countries, a Spanish "ta" sound would make sense as "tar" because the r would be seen as silent, but not really in North America or some parts of the UK and elsewhere where the r is pronounced and a reader might think you meant they should say "tarrr". We "English speakers" are a very diverse bunch - and isn't that great!
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
Upon third thoughts... I would put an "tar" for English speakers from the UK and "ta" for Americans. Think our bone of contention lies in our different accents;:)
Why on earth would you put an 'r' in there if you want people to pronounce it correctly? It is adding a regional English accent to a Spanish word.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
Swearing in Spain could be a thread in and of itself! Boy, do the Spanish love to swear! I'm not prone to it myself, but it does indicate that you've got a good grasp on the local language if you can use it in the correct context. I, personally, wouldn't use the word above, but it's extremely common to hear. I was watching a Facebook Live over the weekend of someone I follow from Galicia and he used that word about 10 times in 15 minutes!! (in the same context as above, just as an exclamation at the end of a sentence.)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Six Spanish Words/Phrases That Could Come in Handy on the Camino de Santiago

Esto -This (pronounced Ess-to)!
You've walked all morning through a smattering of sleepy villages where everything was frustratingly closed. Not a shop, bar or cafe open anywhere.

Then you see a sign in the woods "Panadería - Bakery 1km." All of a sudden you're no longer dragging your feet and thinking of eating the lizards. You're skipping along dreaming of a tasty Spanish pastry.

You bounce through the bakery door, see what you want but words fail you because you don't know the name of the thing you want in Spanish. That is when you unleash this beautiful word that'll get you what you want.

"¡Esto!" You cry drooling at the mouth and pointing at the object of your desire on display. You say it ten times because you're so hungry you eat ten of them.

Ampollas - Blisters (am-po-yass).
That dreaded hot spot has started to burn your heel. The longer you go on, the more it bites away at your precious energy.

You gingerly peel off your socks in the courtyard of the albergue and your worst fears are confirmed - a callous callus is staring you in the face. Better get it seen to before it turns radioactive.

The word you'll need in the chemist is ampollas. Say it with sad eyes and sucking air through your teeth like you're in pain.

With any luck you'll get served by a lovely lady like I did who'll give you what you need. I was given strict orders to dress them in bandages doused in antibiotic cream every day before walking and apply disinfectant on the blisters to sanitise them when finished for the day.

Tapones - Ear plugs (tah-po-ness).
After rigorously rehearsing a sentence I’d pieced together using my Spanish phrasebook, I strode into a pharmacy with the confidence of a local, flamenco stamped at the counter and hit the lady behind the counter with it.

Las cosas para enchufar aquí– the things for plugging in here,’ I requested, sticking my fingers in my ears. They'd get the message surely?

The señora standing by the till gave me a look of horror like I’d just asked her to pull out a nostril hair. Without saying a word she scurried out back and returned with a colleague.
I repeated my request to her colleague.

‘Eeengleesh pleez,’ she pleaded equally stumped.
‘Earplugs,’ I said, sticking my fingers in my ears again.

With all becoming clear she pulled a set off a hook behind the counter and I thanked them for their patience.
Later on I found out from a Canadian who spoke fluent Spanish that I’d actually asked them to electrocute me through my ears.

Tapones, she informed me, was the magic word that would keep me out of future trouble. It could stop you from being electrocuted too and give you a good night's sleep at the albergue.

Agua Potable Drinking Water (agoo-ah po-ta-blay) -
You may come across some drinking fountains or taps along the way and unsure if it's safe to drink. Agua Potable are the magic words you are looking. Probably best not to consume if those words aren't displayed.

Postre - Desert (po-stray)
All pilgrims know hunger is a chronic condition on the way to Santiago. You can never have enough food, even after attacking a table full of tapas. With your belly purring after plates of padròn peppers, chipirones & calamares a la romana, desert is the next thing you can bury your face in.

Postre por favor!" You shout to the camareros.

Claro - Clear/Understood/Okay/Exactly! (clar-ro)
The Spanish looooove to talk. If it were an Olympic event they'd clean sweep the medals. On more than one occasion I had some enchanting old villagers come sit next to me on a bench and just start talking.

Even if you don't understand anything, just throw in the word claro when there's a natural pause or it sounds like they could be asking a question. It's a magic little term to keep conversation bouncing back over the net and a word you'll often hear in the Iberian concrete jungle.

Find Ten Top tips, Do's and Don'ts at Albergues, a Comprehensive, Minimalist Packing List and more pilgrim ponders at:
https://caminosantiagoblogcom.wordpress.com/blog/

Thanks for reading:)
Isn't a desert a large, arid, desolate area? Inedible at the best of times but, if my belly was purring after plates of padròn peppers, chipirones & calamares a la romana, a hot, sandy desert is the last thing I'd want to bury my face in. ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005, 2017) Camino Portguese 2018
This illustrates beautifully the pitfalls of "phonetic" spelling - it varies with how English is spoken in different parts of the world. Hence the weird-looking pronunciation symbols you see in dictionaries. If you are from parts of the UK or some other English-speaking countries, a Spanish "ta" sound would make sense as "tar" because the r would be seen as silent, but not really in North America or some parts of the UK and elsewhere where the r is pronounced and a reader might think you meant they should say "tarrr". We "English speakers" are a very diverse bunch - and isn't that great!
lovely summing up;))
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
I was thinking about this subject and imho the best way to learn a new language is to enroll in a Spanish course in a class: a good native speaker teacher ( or someone who understands the language to an almost perfect level ) and classmates to have conversations with. Also wonderful to meet new people .

I am glad I went to adult evening class and had four years of Spanish. I learnt that first year much more than listening to the Spanish audiofiles on my PC.
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I am Spaniard and never say "Por favor" . Just what I want to order :
"Una caña" , "Un Café con leche" etc. And, for paying "Me cobras?" or "Me cobra? The last one is when I'm not a regular customer. (treatment of usted).
But you as foreigners can say "por favor" or whatever because the waiter understands and for paying you can say "Cuanto?".
It's true that If say "por favor" sounds weird.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
I am Spaniard and never say "Por favor" . Just what I want to order :
"Una caña" , "Un Café con leche" etc. And, for paying "Me cobras?" or "Me cobra? The last one is when I'm not a regular customer. (treatment of usted).
But you as foreigners can say "por favor" or whatever because the waiter understands and for paying you can say "Cuanto?".
It's true that If say "por favor" sounds weird.
I had a similar experience in Arabic (I used to dive a lot in the Red Sea) - one time I asked our local Dive Master what please was in Arabic and he asked why because nobody local uses it! "Shukran" for that!
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
Dragged up from a distant memory - on one Camino I heard an Irishman asked if he was tired - ¿Estás cansado? His reply, "Si estoy casado." nearly brought the house down as did my comment "Pero casado y cansado es lo mismo, ¿no? "

Currently learning Esperanto and it's a joy!
 

cathn

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed one 550 Miile and six partial caminos
Good list, but you have a typo in the pronunciation of potable.

And of course the most important words are gracias and por favor. :)
In a shop along the Camino, the lady shopkeeper said
“You Eenglish( no I haven’t misspelt) you say thank you too much-ok I say, get my goods and then say Garcia’s!!!,
 

Jeff Titelius

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (León to Santiago) 2018
Useful Spanish Words/Phrases That Could Come in Handy on the Camino de Santiago

Esto -This (pronounced Ess-to)!
You've walked all morning through a smattering of sleepy villages where everything was frustratingly closed. Not a shop, bar or cafe open anywhere.

Then you see a sign in the woods "Panadería - Bakery 1km." All of a sudden you're no longer dragging your feet and thinking of eating the lizards. You're skipping along dreaming of a tasty Spanish pastry.

You bounce through the bakery door, see what you want but words fail you because you don't know the name of the thing you want in Spanish. That is when you unleash this beautiful word that'll get you what you want.

"¡Esto!" You cry drooling at the mouth and pointing at the object of your desire on display. You say it ten times because you're so hungry you eat ten of them.

Ampollas - Blisters (am-po-yass).
That dreaded hot spot has started to burn your heel. The longer you go on, the more it bites away at your precious energy.

You gingerly peel off your socks in the courtyard of the albergue and your worst fears are confirmed - a callous callus is staring you in the face. Better get it seen to before it turns radioactive.

The word you'll need in the chemist is ampollas. Say it with sad eyes and sucking air through your teeth like you're in pain.

With any luck you'll get served by a lovely lady like I did who'll give you what you need. I was given strict orders to dress them in bandages doused in antibiotic cream every day before walking and apply disinfectant on the blisters to sanitise them when finished for the day.

Tapones - Ear plugs (tah-po-ness).
After rigorously rehearsing a sentence I’d pieced together using my Spanish phrasebook, I strode into a pharmacy with the confidence of a local, flamenco stamped at the counter and hit the lady behind the counter with it.

Las cosas para enchufar aquí– the things for plugging in here,’ I requested, sticking my fingers in my ears. They'd get the message surely?

The señora standing by the till gave me a look of horror like I’d just asked her to pull out a nostril hair. Without saying a word she scurried out back and returned with a colleague.
I repeated my request to her colleague.

‘Eeengleesh pleez,’ she pleaded equally stumped.
‘Earplugs,’ I said, sticking my fingers in my ears again.

With all becoming clear she pulled a set off a hook behind the counter and I thanked them for their patience.
Later on I found out from a Canadian who spoke fluent Spanish that I’d actually asked them to electrocute me through my ears.

Tapones, she informed me, was the magic word that would keep me out of future trouble. It could stop you from being electrocuted too and give you a good night's sleep at the albergue.

To read the full blog post and read more handy Spanish words and pilgrim ponders go to:
https://caminosantiagoblogcom.wordpress.com/blog/

Thanks for reading:)
Great tips and quite hilarious too!! Loved this!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Dragged up from a distant memory - on one Camino I heard an Irishman asked if he was tired - ¿Estás cansado? His reply, "Si estoy casado." nearly brought the house down as did my comment "Pero casado y cansado es lo mismo, ¿no? "

Currently learning Esperanto and it's a joy!
I think that there's a reason why those two words are so similar!:p
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I had a similar experience in Arabic (I used to dive a lot in the Red Sea) - one time I asked our local Dive Master what please was in Arabic and he asked why because nobody local uses it! "Shukran" for that!
We use por favor when some effort is required by the other side and we don' t pay for it. For example asking for help.
The real meaning of por favor in English is as a favour. Nobody would say Put me a bear as a favour, if you are going to pay.
The English please, has more to do with French sil vous plait (if you like), so it makes more sense saying it asking for something you are going to pay.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
People used to laugh when I said disculpame, until I found out it sounds a bit dramatic and should usually be perdón, or nothing at all. I have also been told 'don't usted me' :oops:

Oh had the same experience! They answered me not to be too polite ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005, 2017) Camino Portguese 2018
Can I just thank you all for your thorough assessments and honest opinions on my blog posts.

I'm very new to this and you've already helped me improve loads. As the great Zig Ziglar once said. "You don't have to great to start, but you gotta start to be great. ¡Buen camino!
 

Antomuchacho

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning on startting first time at e d of april start of may
I dont know how you spell it in spanish lol!! But orally it sounds like valle i.e good
And the nada i.e say nothing or no problem!!
So valle and the nada !!
Does anyone know correct spelling?
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
I dont know how you spell it in spanish lol!! But orally it sounds like valle i.e good
And the nada i.e say nothing or no problem!!
So valle and the nada !!
Does anyone know correct spelling?
Vale, we say also OK .
De Nada.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
It's vale.
Other good conversation "fillers" are:

a ver = let's see (pronounced R-fair)
pues = well (as in well then) pronounced pwez
entonces = so (as in so then) pronounced en-ton-cez

good for when the waiter is hovering and you haven't made up your mind!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (from Ferrol June 2014)
Camino Portuguese (from Tui May 2015)
For saying goodbye you’ll hear a lot of “hasta luego” and “ciao” (which I suppose a Spaniard would spell “chao”?)
 

bernhugo

Active Member
Slightly off subject .I did about 8 years evening classes in Spanish and at one time spoke it quite well.
I was outside a bar in Tarragona and finally managed to get the waitress's attention. Anyway she brought my coffee and brandy. I asked her what should I call her (meaning her name). She said "guapa" which I knew meant beautiful.
Next day I went there again and the outside seating area was busy again, with people waiting to order and people waiting to pay.
I shouted "Hey guapa", some locals laughed, but she came straight to me, and I jumped a big queue.
So, go along with them !
 

Gareth Griffith

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago de Compestela in May(2016)
All you need to say is "Soy un estúpido americano habla despacio por favor!" You can insert "ingles" instead of americano if you like. What it means is, "I am a stupid american speak more slowly please". The Spanish can then do the same trick on you that you do to them, which is speaking slowly and distinctly in your own language thinking that they those from far of lands will understand you.
Alternatively I recommend you try Duolingo.com and learn a bit of Spanish at our own speed. After 12 years of learning I am now speaking Spanish at the level of a three year old!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
All you need to say is "Soy un estúpido americano habla despacio por favor!"
I once had a summer class in Spanish with a number of teachers. There was one who spoke verrrrry rapidly. When she was asked to speak slower she spoke verrrrry slowly. But what was worst was she spoke one word at a time, always followed by Comprendes? :mad:
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
To read the full blog post, learn more handy Spanish words and read more pilgrim ponders go to:
https://caminosantiagoblogcom.wordpress.com/blog/

Thanks for reading:)
A phrase required at the end of each day is absolutely essential, "Una cama, por favor. No, no reserva." With this, you will likely be able to get a bed each night.

Overall, I find that if I am at least willing to try to communicate in espana while in Spain, you can immediately gain respect, for doing what you can, no matter how bad your Spanish may be.
 

howlsthunder

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (2018)
Camino Francés (2020)
Las cosas para enchufar aquí– the things for plugging in here,’ I requested, sticking my fingers in my ears. They'd get the message surely?

The señora standing by the till gave me a look of horror like I’d just asked her to pull out a nostril hair. Without saying a word she scurried out back and returned with a colleague.

I repeated my request to her colleague.
‘Eeengleesh pleez,’ she pleaded equally stumped.
‘Earplugs,’ I said, sticking my fingers in my ears again.

With all becoming clear she pulled a set off a hook behind the counter and I thanked them for their patience.
Later on I found out from a Canadian who spoke fluent Spanish that I’d actually asked them to electrocute me through my ears.
I cried. XD Gawd, that's hilarious!

I took 4 years of French about 20 years ago, most of which I don't remember; for the first third of the Camino Frances I kept responding/using manners in French. I speak no Spanish but there were enough cognates here and there that I'd find myself speaking childish "franglais" to Spanish people along the way out of reflex on the few ocassions I tried to communicate. Luckily in most of these situations we both laughed and had fun gesturing and cobbling together meaning. It was fun! Moral of the story being that I found that most people respond well to politeness and smiles and patience pretty well.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Just don't try to express your embarrassment by saying "estoy embarazada" 😂
That would quickly get you a chair, a bed, a table or a glass of water. But beer and wine would be out of your reach the rest of the camino!
 

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