It’s nice when you get a chance to take a trip abroad. If you are going to a Spanish speaking country, it might be a little intimidating to get off the beaten path and explore. Just making yourself at home in hotels and restaurants can be quite a task if you’re unprepared. That’s why it’s good to learn Spanish phrases to get you by.
Of course, if you have time to take a full Spanish course, that’s preferable. Learning to speak conversational Spanish will make your stay among the local people much more pleasant. You can communicate most ideas if you learn Spanish in this way.
However, you may not have the time to learn Spanish thoroughly. You may have been invited on the trip unexpectedly. You may have won the trip and have to take it in a short amount of time. Or, perhaps you had plenty of notice, but had too busy of a schedule to fit in a full course to learn Spanish properly.
It doesn’t matter why you’re in this position; the crux of the matter is that you need to learn Spanish enough to handle your basic needs. You will probably find English speaking people somewhere on your journey to speak with. However, there will be times when you must depend upon Spanish speaking people to answer important questions.
You can find phrasebooks to help you find the words to ask for basic needs. They will tell you how to introduce yourself and say please and thank you. You will learn Spanish phrases for asking the time and weather.
More importantly, these books will tell you how to ask where the restroom is. You will learn Spanish phrases like “Ayudame!” meaning “Help me!” Most of the books will also tell you how to ask where you can find a doctor or dentist.
Phrasebooks can also be helpful with the hotel you’re staying at. They can tell you how to ask for clean linens. You can learn Spanish phrases that make it easier to order room service. You will also know how to check into and out of your hotel.
The books will tell you the basics of how to order food in a restaurant. They will tell you any number of words to use in different situations. A book like this should also contain valuable information like how to ask where the US embassy is.
If you are concerned about your pronunciation, you can get the same type of phrase manuals on CD’s. Just pop them into your CD player and repeat after the speaker. You can do this in your car, at your computer, or in your living room. Wherever you find comfortable will do.
A book or CD like this can help you learn Spanish phrases. What it can’t do is help you understand the answers. You will have to rely on a lot of pointing and gesturing. Also, never forget, if you think you might be able to understand the person, if they would speak slower, just say, “mas despacio.” It works wonders.