Spanish phrasebook

Sourced from Wikivoyage. Text is available under the CC-by-SA 3.0 license.
Tony Hisgett
Ichwan Palongengi
Spanish (español), also known as Castilian (castellano), is the third most-spoken language in the world (after Mandarin Chinese and English), with around 500 million speakers. Originating in Spain and spoken by most residents there, it is also an official language in Mexico and all of Central America except Belize (though it is widely understood there as well), and of many South America countries, with the exceptions of Brazil, the Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, and Suriname. Spanish is generally understood to some level in all those countries as well.
In the Caribbean, Spanish is spoken in Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. Spanish is also a first language for many people in the United States, especially in California, Texas, New York City, Chicago, South Florida, and elsewhere in the Southwest—it is a co-official language of New Mexico, and many government offices in major American cities provide services in Spanish in addition to English. There are around 50 million Spanish speakers (including native and second language speakers) in the U.S., making it the country with the second-highest Spanish-speaking population in the world after Mexico. Additionally, Spanish is an official language in the African country of Equatorial Guinea. It is also widely spoken in the British territory of Gibraltar, where almost all locals are bilingual in English and Spanish.
A Western Romance language, Spanish is closely related to and somewhat mutually intelligible with the other Romance languages, such as Catalan, Italian, Portuguese, and Romanian. English and Spanish share variants of approximately one third of their words (via Latin), although the pronunciation and spelling tend to be very different.
Be careful of false friends if you speak Portuguese or Italian. Examples of these include Portuguese embaraçada (embarrassed) vs Spanish embarazada (pregnant), Portuguese oficina (workshop) vs Spanish oficina (office), Italian burro (butter) vs Spanish burro (donkey) and Italian carta (paper) vs Spanish carta (letter).


Pronunciation guide

Castilian and Latin American Spanish

Phrase list