Basic Spanish for the Camino (Part 1)

When walking the Camino you’ll find people from all over the world, and often English is used as the common tongue. However, as we saw in a previous post on the official statistics from the Cathedral in 2014, still 48% of pilgrims are Spanish. Along with dealing with shopkeepers, taxis and greeting friendly locals, it’s well worth learning Spanish before you go!

In this series well will cover the basics of Spanish for an absolute beginner, starting from common greetings, moving to basic grammar and finishing with links for those who want to study more!

Polite Phrases

por favor = please
gracias = thank you
discúlpe = excuse me
perdón = sorry (in the sense of bumping into someone)
lo siento = sorry (more serious)

Greetings

hola = hello
buen camino = have a good journey [on your camino]
buenos días = good day
buenas tardes = good afternoon
buenas noches = good night

Food and Drink

una bebida = a drink
agua con gas = carbonated water
agua sin gas = non-carbonated, still water
agua = water
manteca = butter (often bread is given with meals without butter in Spain)
pan = bread
vino tinto = red wine
vino blanco = white wine
cerveza = beer
té = tea
café = coffee

Common Questions

¿Cómo está? = How are you? [polite, when meeting someone for the first time]
¿Cómo estás? = How are you? [informal, when you have met someone before]
¿Dónde está el baño? = Where is the bathroom?
¿Dónde está el albergue? = Where is the albergue [hostel]?
¿Habla inglés? = Do you speak English?
¿Cuánto cuesta? = How much does it cost?

Common Answers

si = yes
no = no
yo entiendo = I understand [‘yo’ is optional]
yo no entiendo = I don’t understand [‘yo’ is optional]
bien, gracias = I’m good, thanks [answer to ‘¿Cómo estás?’]
mucho gusto = nice to meet you

Numbers

uno = 1
dos = 2
tres = 3
cuatro = 4
cinco = 5
seis = 6
siete = 7
ocho = 8
nueve = 9
diez = 10
once = 11
doce = 12
trece = 13
catorce = 14
quince = 15
dieciséis = 16
diecisiete = 17
dieciocho = 18
diecinueve = 19
veinte = 20
veintiuno = 21

treinta = 30
treinte y uno = 31

cuarenta = 40
cuarenta y uno = 41

cincuenta = 50

cien = 100