Holidays are the perfect time to put language skills into use. After hours in school learning the grammar, downloading duolingo to earn a few golden stars and even learning the dance moves (and probably not the lyrics) to the macarena. You have the basics but somehow conversations aren’t flowing. Just like in English, Spanish has its own words and phrases that change in each region. Similarly, knowing these really help you fit in. Read on to help you learn colloquial Spanish, ready for the streets of Seville.
Spanish slang phrases
One of the biggest memories from trips is often the people we meet. The man at the bar, your guide in Ronda and the trip when you both met. If your language is limited, there are a few words and phrases that can make someone smile and break those first barriers. ‘Guay’, is perhaps the most ‘Spanish’ of Spanish (originating from Spain as opposed to South America) and translates as ‘cool’. ‘No Pasa Nada’. This literally translates as ‘nothing has passed’ and is used to say, ‘don’t worry about it’.
Arrive at your first bar/cafe/social space in Spain. Notice the relaxed way of life. Take a seat, enjoy, and mingle, no pasa nada.
Life in Seville happens in the plazas. Almost every ‘rincon’ (‘corner’) has a small bar. These are commonly called, ‘el rincon de …’ or some form of ‘Bodega’, literally translated as a cellar. They are the small local watering holes and great to hang-out in. Learn colloquial Spanish for your tip to Seville and use it here. Now, enjoy the tastiest breakfast, coffee, tapas and drinks.
Spanish at a bar
What to drink?
Morning time, you surely want a coffee. Don’t try to order your regular cappuccino or americano.
Now you have learnt some colloquial Spanish, pull up a stool at the bar and order a local classic. Try, ‘Cortado’, this is an expresso with a dash of milk or, ‘café con leche’, this is as it sounds, ‘coffee with milk’. In other words, a cappuccino. If you just want the coffee, simply order ‘Café’. You will get an americano, minus some water.
So many ways for just one drink!
For the evening, a must-try in Seville is the Cruz Campo. If you don’t like it, don’t let on, as the locals love it. How to order? ‘Una caña’. Otherwise known as, a glass of beer. Beer is served in small glasses. Perfect to quench the thirst and avoid being left with a warm beverage. Alternatively, try ‘tinto de verano’. This is locals’ sangria, and perfect for a warm summer afternoon. Red wine mixed with some form of fizzy drink. This could be lemon, orange or blanca – the Spanish version of soda. It is surprisingly tasty and very refreshing. However, it is better made fresh and not from a pre-made bottle of tinto.
Spanish in Andalusia
Read this blog? In addition, learnt colloquial Spanish at home? Don’t be disheartened if it’s not easy to use on the streets. The accent of Andalusia is definitely not the easiest to grasp. Locals commonly drop various syllables at the end of words. For example, ‘Lets go over there’ translates as ‘vamos para allá’. In Andalusia it wittles down to a mere ‘pa’ allá’.
These small words are worth the effort. The best way to learn colloquial Spanish, or any language is out there mingling with the locals. Pick up some words and phrases and get practicing. Of course, visiting Seville is the perfect way to do this!